Saturday, June 14, 2008

TENNESSEE.....HERE WE COME!

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers this past week. It has meant so much to have your support. We are all coming to grips with the reality of our loss. My SIL is doing remarkedly well.........I've talked to her several times this week. Her difficulties come mostly at night as she experiences being alone and her mind races over the last 35 years of their life together. With time, it will become easier..........

Also, I wanted to let you know that I will be away for the next 10 days. This trip has been planned for a long time. My sister and I will be leaving on Father's Day for Tennessee. I will be driving and my sister will be my navigator, the map reader, if you will. We are going there to visit my nephew and his family, or her son. We are looking forward to this trip and I can't wait to see what activities my nephew has planned for us. My camera will be a permanent attachment.......so I will share many photo's when I return. And if you don't hear anything from me until I get back.....well then, watch out! I'll be sharing stories of our adventures and pictures to back them up!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

HOW DO I EVEN BEGIN?????

I haven't felt like posting these last few weeks. Sometimes you just feel like you have nothing to say no matter how hard you try to rack your brain for just a few sentences. When I feel like that I will usually just post pictures. And I think I've given you plenty of those over the last few years.

I have been feeling a "little" down over the last year. And usually if there is something personal going on in my life I try to deal with it on my own. Believe me, there has been a lot of joy during that time too. And I feel so blessed to have my family and all of you, my friends, who stand behind me during those times. But last Monday when I arrived home from work, I had a message on my home phone with some very disturbing and sad news.

My late husband's brother, who we all loved dearly, had suffered a stroke and wasn't going to make it. After speaking with my niece, I got back in my car and headed for the city. I arrived and he was still holding on. The team of doctor's met with the family and explained that he had been doing well for a while.......after surgery to relieve the pressure from the bleeding out at the brain- stem. But the bleed-out had occurred again and the pressure from that just crushes the brain-stem and that there was no way that he would be able to live. The neurologist gave his spiel about what the next steps would be. My sister-in-law and all of the adult children were there and with my brother-in-laws wishes in mind, made the decision to remove him from the respirator. We waited there while they prepared him so that we could return to his room and
be by his side when he took his last breath.

I left around 9:00 p.m. so that I could return home and wait for the families call. I had been home about 30 minutes when my niece called to say that he had peacefully taken his last breath. He had managed to breath on his own for almost two hours.

This past week has been difficult for my family but especially my sister-in-law. Her children, her sister who flew in from Florida, and all of the extended family have rallied around her and maybe have lessened this burden for her just a little bit. But it will be later, when she is alone, when life goes on for everyone else, that you feel so alone to deal with the loss of your soul mate. My brother-in-law had always, ever since I had known him, just adored his wife. He was a wonderful guy, who at 75, seemed like he would be around for a lot more years . He was young at heart and always loved making everyone else's life easier. He was just so happy to do things for other people. In the last four months he had managed to get his sister, who had lost her husband 18 months ago, into an Assisted Living Facility. Getting her settled and seeing that she was safe and secure was a great accomplishment for him. He truly was a wonderful guy.

When my husband passed away he was so sad as he and his brother had shared a special closeness. No one could make my brother-in-law laugh like his brother could. He would just cry with laughter at some of my husband's silliness.......I'm serious! I have just wonderful memories of him and his wife over the last 30+ years. We did many things together as couples, but also our families got together on many Christmas Day afternoon's to share wonderful holiday memories. Whenever we were together it was always just so much fun. Not only were my husband & his brother wonderful, but the entire family too. Very special people who never judged but always wanted to help.

The funeral was Friday and it was so sad. He is buried next to my husband. And I would like to think that they are all together now.....with their older brother and their parent's who passed away many years ago.

Please keep my sister-in-law in your prayers. I have asked many times for your prayers for my family. I believe in the power of prayer and know in my heart that I would never have gotten through the many difficult times in my life if I hadn't believed and trusted in the Lord. It would mean so much to me if you will remember her and our entire family during this difficult time. Thank you all so much.