March 23 - May 23, 2000
At the end of March we had to rush back from southern China to England. Jan's Mam was succumbing to emphysema in her one remaining lung. This rush home was almost exactly three years after we had suddenly left Lucent in April, 1997 when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Jan had subsequently helped see her through the lung removal operation and lived with her for the first months of her recovery. We had last seen her in August, 1999, between Paris and Beijing, when she seemed to be gaining strength every day. It came as a shock to hear how quickly things deteriorated. During our last two weeks in Shenzhen, as Gerry was writing his final report for ZTE, we continually wondered if we should go to England. When we did, in spite of our efforts, we arrived just a few hours too late.
The next two months were spent in Darlington helping to deal with the after-effects of her death and going through the grieving process. A special thank you is in order to all the friends who sent words of comfort and made memorial donations to Cancer Research.
As May began, Gerry found himself in negotiations again with ZTE. In spite of the fact that he was supposed to be paid a down payment one week after starting work in February, he had received no money by the time we left for England and none while in England. After repeated apologies and promises that the money was indeed coming, Gerry finally accepted more work. So mid-May found us en route to Hong Kong , where soon after arrival he did get paid.
-- Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death. -- A hangover is the wrath of grapes. -- Sea captains don't like crew cuts.