We woke up to sausage, orange rolls, and coffee. The perfect way to say good-bye to our amazing hosts! We finished packing up the car, and just as we were saying our good-byes, D started to bawl. She did NOT want to leave. She cried non-stop until we hit the Bay Bridge, then it was strangely quiet. She slept until we got to Sacramento, asked if we were still in California, when I told her yes, she started to cry again. Poor kid, I sort of felt the same way. I drove the whole way through Cali again until we got to Reno, then Adam took over and drove across Nevada.
Happier girl once we got into Nevada.
Little America Wyoming for a gas/potty/change driver/ice cream break. Added bonus: a small playground for the kids to run a bit.
A would text me through the day giving us updates, but never good news. Eventually she called to tell me that he had begun having seizures, and would I like to say good-bye over the phone. So she put the phone to his ear, and I said my good-byes. It would be the hardest thing I have ever had to do.... As soon as Adam heard what I was saying, he pulled the car to the side of the road, we all got out and had a giant family hug and crying session. It was extremely hard on all of us. L said he wanted to go to heaven with Milo, D said she didn't know daddy would cry like that. We thought it would be best if we moved all the stuff from the backseat so that I could ride back there with them. We explained that everyone will grieve differently, and that is ok. If they wanted to talk about him, we would, or if they didn't want to talk that would be fine too. So we kept our mind off things while watching T.V. shows and DVD's.
Eventually I got the text that Milo had taken his last breath, my friend A was just as heartbroken as we were, but she stayed with him the whole time. For this, I am forever grateful! We continued on the way home, stopping just outside of Joliet Illinois to switch drivers again, and I took the rest of the way home. We arrived home at 2:30am with both kids sleeping. Adam went in first to take care of Milo before we brought the kids in. We felt it wouldn't be good for them to see him, he no longer looked like him. We got the kids in bed, and brought in all the stuff from the car. We kept a small tuft of his fur from his belly and keep it in a small fancy pill box in case we needed help remembering.
Adam and I didn't go to sleep until 5am! When we all awoke at 11:30am the kids decided to build a little shrine to Milo after being inspired by the one at Haight and Ashbury. My kids were troopers, and made it the whole 18 hours with no complaints or bad behavior. They knew what was happening and have dealt with things like the big mature kids they are. I am incredibly happy to know that I have amazing friends that help me when I need them, and I have an amazing little family. It was a little bittersweet to come home like that, but it still was the most fantastic trip we could ever have taken. The kids are already asking what road trip we are taking next year.