I dropped Thomas in Palmerston North where he was to catch a bus to the New Plymouth on the West Coast and proceeded on to Wellington.
Back in September when I was originally planning this trip, my mother reminded me that a family friend from Easton lived in Wellington...Julie Kopp, now Julie Soboil. It felt a bit odd to be making a connection from a place and time in my life... growing up in Easton MA...in such a faraway place as New Zealand, but it could not have happened at a better time for me.
Just a week earlier, I'd received world that my Gram Reilly had a stroke and while she was stable, it would just be a matter of time. For the past week, I'd continued travelling, but had been waiting for the inevitable. Early in the morning on February 27, I receieved a message from my Aunt Elaine that Gram had passed peacefully just a few hours earlier.
It was sad news obviously, but I'd had some time to prepare for it and had been able to speak to Gram a few days earlier. Now beagn the task of getting home to celebrate her wondferful life and how much she'd meant to our family.
Fortunately for me, I'd landed with friends Julie and her husband Mark and was able to easily make arrangements and communicate with home. I'd thought about just cutting the trip short, but after some thinking, I decided to head home and then try to pick up where I'd left off.