Shifting Gears – A Short Stint in Civilization
My tech skills eventually landed me a great job with the state of Alaska as a web designer for the Department of Administration. Keith continued to create more intricate jewelry boxes and kaleidoscopes. Now living in the capital city, craft shows were more easily access accessible. We were active members of an artist’s co-op in downtown, where the tourists visited every summer. Keith would create amazing things with my help in the ideas and design processes. I did the marketing, he did the majority of the work. He kept our stained glass business alive and well.
Keith was starting to have some health problems, his hands were breaking out in a rash, his nails were splitting. In 2011 we went to Arizona to “walk my mother home”. During that time his body healed and he was able to determine that he was allergic to something in the flux, part of the stained glass process. That is when we started closing down the glass business.
I am eternally grateful for Keith’s love which he showed to my mother during the last month of her life. He was so patient and calm. I was going through a range of emotions, having been estranged from my mother for many years and reunited just in the previous few years, thanks to Keith. He was my rock, my support, so that I could be there for my Mom. I am pretty sure I would not have been able to do it had he not been there for both of us. Keeping things together, being that solid loving comfort in the room. He heard her take her last breath. I will never forget that. I was busy complaining about my older sister, another story that will be revealed at another time.
When we returned to Alaska after my mother transitioned, I was deep in grief and had very little tolerance for political games. I retired from the position of State Webmaster in 2012. We spent that summer hanging out on our boat, outside of the town where many of our friends and family lived.