I have never understood Mother-in-Law jokes as I had a tremendous one. My Bride was going back and forth about choosing her retirement date. Her client would have loved to have seen her continue, until he retired. She had earmarked a date for retirement to make all the ducks get in a row, but in the end, she decided on another date. As she has repeatedly said, God had told her to retire, because right after she retired, her mother got ill and was hospitalized and they got her back to a stable condition. She was 96, and the last of eleven siblings, and a widow since 2006; mother of five, grandmother of thirteen and great-grandmother of ten. So, she gathered her five daughters and basically announced that she had lived long enough, and really didn’t want to prolong her life, in that she was tired. She first attempted palliative care, and when they wanted to put her back in the hospital for more tests, she talked it over with the five daughters again and she decided on hospice care.
This was the reason that my Bride was sure that God had wanted her to retire. Of the five daughters, one was out of town, two were still working and three of the daughters took turns to make sure that there was round the clock monitoring of their mother, as hospice delivered a hospital bed to her house, along with portable oxygen (when it was required) as well as medicines and other medical equipment. They also put a twin bed in the same room, for the sister that was doing the monitoring. The monitors were enjoying these days, as best as they could, they played cards with her, they cooked and cleaned for her. My Bride even decided to start recording some questions and answers sessions with some of the daughters and the grandchildren. While hospice care is a great service, they should provide even a pamphlet to hand out to the survivors, at least giving to prepare them for the last days. Eventually, even with great meals, oxygen when required, the body was shutting down and morphine became the saving grace. Thankfully, the family had a physician to rely on, and also a grandchild that was a fourth-year medical student doing his classes in the immediate area. I saw less and less of my Bride, as she wasn’t even concerned with the rotation schedule that they had carefully worked out for the initial two-month period. I went a couple of times, but I have never been able to really handle seeing family members as they were leaving this world, ever since I had witnessed my mother in a coma, just before she died when I was fifteen. All five of the daughters were there in the house that they had grown up in, of course it seemed more crowded now. I was home when the phone call came.
They had some lead time, to start make preparations, the funeral home and church was easy. The regime here must have declared war on Canada, as the Canadian mourners complained that it took them about an hour and half to cross the bridge. The luncheon venue was just as difficult. One of her favorite restaurants that she had enjoyed going to once a month with all the female cousins, would only accommodate fifty, sixty perhaps, because they were still have trouble getting people to work, and he seemed rather indifferent to the request even for steady customers. The restaurant may have survived the governor’s edicts, but the owner will destroy it. The daughters found a steak house that could handle the crowd. They created a menu of either Chicken Marsala or Grilled Salmon. Everyone also got a Caesar Salad, which in the evening, can be done tableside. Originally it was going to be one drink for a toast, but then that changed and I went and chose a couple of bottes of wine to open. I figured on two easy to drink wines. The first was Barone Fini Pinot Grigio Valdadige DOC 2021 part of the Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. The Bonmartini-Fini family began making wine in 1497 when the two noble families merged in a wedding up in Northern Italy. It is still family owned. This wine is their flagship showcasing the grapes of the Valdadige DOC. The fruit is hand-harvested and I will go out on a limb, though not a long limb and presume that the wine was fermented and aged in Stainless Steel, though it is not revealed by the winery. The wine has a nice soft yellow color and offers notes of citrus and lemon. While on the palate tones of melon and apples in a balanced acidity with a touch of mineral terroir at the finish. The second wine I chose for the dinner was Meiomi Pinot Noir California is a very easy wine, even for non-wine drinkers. Meiomi Wines is a California winery that was founded in 2007 by Joe Wagner, the son of Chuck Wagner of Caymus Vineyards. The winery started with Pinot Noir, then a Chardonnay and finally a Rosé. Meiomi means “coast” in the language of the Wappo and Yuki tribes of the region. The Pinot Noir is a blend of three coastal regions; Sonoma County, Monterey County and Santa Barbara County and hence the California AVA. Their first vintage of the Pinot Noir was in 2007 and they produced ninety-thousand cases and quickly became one of the most requested wine labels for restaurants. In 2015, Joe Wagner sold Meiomi Wines to Constellation Brands for $315,000,000, and he stayed on as a consultant for the 2016 and 2017 vintages. The wine is aged for six months in French Oak. The wine has a deep red color and offers notes of perfumed fruit jams, mocha and oak. One the palate, you can tell this was made for the California wine critics as it is a big fruit bomb of ripe strawberries, black cherries, mocha and vanilla, balanced and a lingering finish of fruit. I think that this wine is getting “jammier” with each vintage.