Remember my post about the relatives I never knew? There have been some pretty incredible developments…
Right before (4 days before) Sunshine and I took our trip, we made a nasty discovery. Since her passport was within 6 months of expiring, she would not even be allowed out of the airport for international travel.
4 DAYS before.
I was already stressed about getting all of our ducks…and their blankets and their shoes and their underwear, all in a row, that this new revelation just about put me over the edge.
Gratefully the remedy was less disastrous than I thought it would be. She and I drove to Aurora, Colorado to meet with passport agents who issued her a new passport within three hours. (If anyone is interested in the stats, we spent 20 hours driving, 4 added because of blizzard-like conditions, and stayed in the state for 8 hours).
This was one of the more insane things I’ve ever done. Luckily, Sunshine had just earned her driver’s license so…it was a little less insane.
BUT, here’s the cool part.
It turns out, Mary lives right outside Aurora. At the very last minute, we were able to squeeze in a visit.
Since we’d spoken on the phone several times, once we finally met, it felt like we were old friends meeting up again.
From the moment we sat down, it was clear this woman is pretty amazing. We looked at pictures, heard a little about her life story AND saw the leftover evidence of the bear she faced…in her kitchen…alone on a ranch in California.
It was all incredible. She’s incredible and has had an incredible life. In her 90 years of life she has experienced some of the greatest joys and suffered the most excruciating heartbreaks a woman could have. She’s had the most exciting professions that have taken her all over the world. She’s raised children and loved passionately. She’s grappled with the loss of her dearest loved ones and faced down their killers. She’s even been pursued by a homicidal maniac. Her story left Sunshine and I in absolute awe.
And NOW, in the weeks following our visit, she contacted me again and asked me to help her write her life story. So at the end of the month, Mary is coming for a visit and we will be spending a few days compiling the memories that make up her life.
I’m hoping she’ll agree to let me share it on this blog because WOW.
(And here is where I want to throw up because since my computer crashed and I accidentally obliterated my phone in the span of two days, I’ve lost ALL the pictures I took of Mary and her bear and her family!)
ARG! Ain’t that the pits!
So until I can wrangle up more during our visit…here’s some baby slobber.
After reading this post, Sunshine sent THIS to me. We have pictures after all! This is the bear who visited her in her kitchen!