JUNE 21, 2011
It was still daylight in Anchorage when my flight landed at the Ted Stevens International Airport, at 10:00 PM. (It was Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year). My youngest sister, Lolly, was waiting for me on a bench in Baggage Claim near the sliding glass doors to the parking structure. She didn’t tease me about missing my connecting flight from Seattle (I had misread my ticket, arriving at the gate after the flight had already boarded and all the stand-by had been given away. I was lucky to get a flight that was only one hour later.)
JUNE 22, 2011
Wednesday morning, Mom took me to visit Aunt Caroline and Uncle John (Rader), who live on the other side of Anchorage, near the airport. Uncle J. and Aunt C. were in the driveway doing yard work when we arrived. I think Aunt C. was glad we were visiting; this was the first time Uncle J. had been physically active in several months and she was afraid he would over-do. He’s been doing better than he has in about 5 years, but there was no point in pushing it. He had lost a lot of weight since the last time I’d seen him, a couple years ago. As Mom and I were driving up to their house, I sawing him first from behind, tall and gaunt looking, completely covered in a gray hooded sweatshirt and black sweat pants. I didn’t recognize him until he turned around.
Aunt C. led us inside and we sat around the informal dining table, with Uncle C. sprawled out on the near by couch. I noted that John was lucid, holding up his end of the conversation. (This was an improvement over the last few times I’d seen him.) Aunt Caroline seemed to be her same old self as far as I could see.