The trip was a de facto reward for my nephew's efforts (and a salve for his heart, after what was an unimaginably horrible experience watching his PopPop waste away and die from what doctors suspected was ALS). He had been wooing a young lady on-line, et cetera, for about two years; my parents wanted to be a part of their meeting in person. My father had made my mother promise to accompany my nephew there, as soon as she got her bearings after he died. I'm sure he had hoped it also would be a pleasant distraction for her.
Nothing was thoroughly pleasant for Mommy after Daddy died; so much of her died with him that nothing on Earth could fill the void. (This is the part where being selfish and having a major inferiority complex hurt me; what am I, Mommy? Chopped liver, post-digestion, oozing from some bum's bum??? Perhaps something lower than that...)
During her vacation, after a day trip to France, Mommy got a terrible UTI that knocked her on her ass for the better part of a week. My nephew's girlfriend took the best care of her, solidifying her place in my family's heart (she was a shoo-in before that). When Mommy finally got back from her long (two-month) absence from Louisiana, she was not well. She blamed the jet lag and residual effects of the UTI for her exhaustion and discomfort.
The middle of June found Mommy, my nephew and me on a road trip to Georgia to attend my brother's wedding. All went well with that, but after we returned, Mommy was still not feeling right. We celebrated her 66th birthday June 29th; she went to the doctor the next day and learned that she had cancer. It was either ovarian or pancreatic in origin; regardless of which it was, it was spreading uncontrollably. Doctors believed they could treat her, but the outlook was grim.
Mommy went into the hospital sometime in late July; my family soon got a taste of what life would be like with her suffering. It was even worse than I remembered life without her being. She held on long enough for my brother and two of my sisters to get here and say their "goodbyes." She died Tuesday morning with them at her side; she had nothing more to sacrifice.