We slept too warm, and the mattresses just aren’t very comfortable, so it wasn’t hard to get up at 7:30am and start packing. Within an hour, we were packed for the road and dressed for church, and finished our tamales at breakfast with Tio Alberto and enjoyed a parting treat of fresh papaya and guava with coconut juice.
Church at the Lomas English Ward was pleasant, though a little sparse as it is holiday tomorrow for Constitution Day and many families were absent on a long weekend holiday. The chorister hinted at the virtue of experience gained from an ordeal she had endured for 18 months, and her husband hinted at it later. It got me searching the scriptures on my phone and I zeroed in on joy in a discourse by Paul.
Leaving right after sacrament meeting, we spent the remainder of our morning visiting with Victor and Esther Tacher who live down the street on Sierra Guadarrama. He thought we were coming next weekend, so they were still in their pajamas, but we were still received cordially with homemade limeade and chocolate puffs. I always enjoy chatting with Victor, and am fascinated with how well connected he is to everyone in our family. His stylish flat, punctuated with copies of artwork executed expertly by his mother, Matilde, always fascinates me. He invited us to plan an adventure outing next time, like a day at the canal boats in Xochimilco. Sounds like a good plan.
We left there just before noon, a little behind schedule, but arrived at Turmix in 15 minutes, circumventing some event that closed the Angel de la Independencia glorieta at Reforma, and finding our way through the back streets right down Sevilla to Sinaloa. Armando loaded our bags into his van and we rode with his wife to the airport along Eje 1 similar to how we had come out with Lily, with 3 hours to spare. We were able to weigh and adjust our checked baggage carefully, check into Delta on a short line, then detour to the fast food court for a final meal. I ordered some fish filets, one in a coconut sauce, and another in a spicy Mexican salsa. A shared liter of guanabana juice left us ready for the journey. Security went smoothly. Time in the terminal passed quickly, and we left on time and are now one third of our way into our flight and I’ve already had a nap.
It’s snack time, so until later…
I finished Finding Mercie during the flight. It was hard to hide my feelings during some very tender and astonishing moments in the story.
While at the airport, I answered an e-mail from Thomas and Lynda Fernandez in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“We are wondering how your recovery is progressing. We would really appreciate a short update.”
“Thanks for asking about me. I’m due for an email update to all my fans. The cancer is all gone, and I’m still pursuing treatments to prevent its return. My recovery was swift, but I still have limited range of motion in my mouth. It only opens part way, from the trauma of a 6 hour procedure. Therapy is slowly loosening it up, and time. I lost 20 pounds because i couldn’t eat well. It’s coming back, hopefully not all of it. Since the operation, I’ve had 2 very busy months at work, so I took a week off to visit family in Mexico on the occasion of a 95 year-old aunt’s birthday. Susie came and we drove all over central Mexico for 9 days exploring and visiting friends and family. We’re at the Mexico City airport now heading home to get back to work tomorrow. It was a great escape. But I miss my mountains.”
After a busy week at work, during which I billed well ($4,650), I spent the weekend close to home. Planning ahead for some snowshoeing now and backpacking this summer, Gary Myers asked,
“How are you doing, Ed? Any developments on your health issues?”
“My health is great, thank you, until and if the burden of cancer returns again. The Lord tells me that there is nothing I can do to prevent its return, meaning, it’s in his hands. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be careful about not feeding the cancer, but other than keeping the commandments so that I’m worthy of his interventions, I can’t prevent it, only he can. Hopefully, the purpose of this trial has achieved a sufficient change in me so that I won’t need to keep going through this burden again.
“I’m feeling great! I lost 20 pounds after surgery and have gained back at least 5 and have lots of energy and strength. I had to learn to swallow again and eat with a reduced oral opening, but that’s much better. From up to 8 therapy sessions per week, I’m down to one every other week. My 9 day celebration to Mexico with my daughter Susie was a great relief after working so hard to heal and at work. We roamed through 9 Mexican states surrounding the federal district and saw some awesome places in a drought stricken high plains that is littered with mountains. We didn’t get to climb the volcano to 15,000’ (raining and so foggy that we couldn’t see 100 yards), but there’s always next time.
“I’ve only had 45 minutes on the trail since I returned, and I’m anxious to get on the trail this coming Saturday. Are you available?
“Due to the costs in time and money for surgery and recovery and therapy, I’ve used up all of 12 days of 2012 vacation already, so I have to earn comp time to get away. But I’m anxious to get in those long weekends backpacking at the destinations you recommended. I’ll build the time off, so count me in on your plans. I’m going to California for a three day weekend on the 24th to hike and kayak. Want to get away from Friday night until Tuesday morning? You’ll only miss work on Monday the 27th.”
In retrospect, the vacation was a great success, tranquil, with few difficulties. We covered 2,400 km (1,500 miles) on highways and byways in 9 states surrounding the Federal District of Mexico. Truly, the altiplano (high plains) of Mexico aren’t very flat. They’re full of impressive mountain ranges and many significant population centers. The drought has desiccated much of the native flora, and the air was grey with an accumulation of dust. But the wide open spaces and picturesque nature of Mexico shone brightly.
Salt Lake City, Utah