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Monday, March 30, 2020

Hello, Pink Flamingo Teammates and other Spark People Friends. I hope you are doing well, emotionally and spiritually and physically. This has been quite the month, and I can apologize for being a bit MIA, but maybe with all that the world has been going through I was not even missed. I wrote a blog that explains in a list of calendar dates what has happened in my life since February. Some is new, some is great news, and some is horrific news, so I ask that you read through it all. I will end with a positive note, I promise. Thank you. I appreciate the support some of you have given me over the past month. I will not give up, and I will now try to get back to a routine and schedule, so I am productive and do not waste another minute of my life…

Although this is sad, it is not negative. These are just the hard facts.

TUES, FEB 4th – I turn 60 with a fun surprise party given by my husband, family and friends on the 1st.

THURS, FEB 13th (12th anniversary of our forever 17 year old daughter’s death due to a car accident) – My husband Rick is diagnosed with malignant melanoma on his back, and that night we are called to come home to be with my father who has been suffering since the beginning of the year (and actually the end of the last year) with heart disease. (I had spent time with him between my birthday and my daughter’s birthday.)

FRI, FEB 14th – We drive through the night from southern Maryland to northern New Jersey to be with Dad on Valentine’s Day. We arrive at about 2:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, and I am blessed to be at his bedside, holding his hand, most of the weekend.

SUN, FEB 16th – We head home to Maryland.

MON, FEB 17th – Dad dies at 1:30 p.m. right after my mom had left their room at the rehab
center for therapy. They had just started living there together.

TUES, FEB 18th – My husband celebrates his birthday…NOT…I could barely get out of my recliner to make dinner or a cake. (I think we had frozen crab cakes (that he does like). I don’t remember having cake.)

WED, FEB 19th – Rick and I go to meet with his cancer team at Inova Schar Cancer Institute which I highly recommend.

SUN, FEB 23rd and MON, FEB 24th – We hold the viewing and funeral for Dad. There was another funeral in the home for a doctor which was mobbed, so that made it stressful at first to find parking and to get into the building, but the attendant did a great job, and we were led directly into the room at first on the elevator/dumbwaiter which was above the morgue. In reality, this was a fun distraction for me…laugh or you will cry. Later the doors were assigned for different “guests” of the funeral home, so only we at the beginning “rode” the morgue dumbwaiter.

THURS, MAR 12th – MON, MAR 16th – I travel back to New Jersey to begin to go through my parents’ home. This will take a long time as my dad was a hoarder, but we can start with his things. The evenings are spent watching the news about the virus starting to show in America. (Like an idiot, when I started teaching English online to children in China, I had no idea that the coronavirus would become a pandemic. I just know I love my teaching gig and my sweet students.)

TUES, MAR 17th – We “celebrate” St. Patrick’s Day at home and have a toast to Dad on his one month in Heaven anniversary. Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day will now forever have extra-special meanings. We will NOT be sad though as these are days of love for family and travel, and we love our trips to Ireland.

THURS, MAR 19th (the 1st day of Spring this year) – My big brother goes into the hospital with multiple symptoms. He had open heart surgery last year, has diabetes and has kidney disease.

FRI, MAR 20th (the 19th anniversary of my Nana’s death) – My mom leaves the rehab center to go to the hospital with pneumonia.

MON, MAR 23rd – My husband has surgery to remove the melanoma leaving an 8-inch scar on his back. He also has lymph nodes removed from two different areas of his body. I cannot go into the hospital but drive around VA for over 5 hours.

WED, MAR 25th – We are called and told that the people at the hospital are only making my mom comfortable. THANK GOD I was able to Facetime and talk to her.

THURS, MAR 26th – We get the call that Mom died between calls from my sister (when she just maybe listened) and my brother. Oh, my God!

FRI, MAR 27th – We are called with news that Rick’s cancer did not travel to the lymph nodes or blood. He is cancer free!

***I promised to end with a positive note. God is still good. He has a plan. We do not know what it is, but He will continue to hold me in His hands. I will not give up. I had faith in my husband’s results the whole time, and He rewarded me for my faith. I am not sure many have gone through more than we have gone through in such a short amount of time. If I can help anyone, please ask…and please, check in with me. This is almost unbearable, but I am strong, and I have supports in place, including Spark People teams and friends. Thank you. Be safe and be well. Two sons (and another about to) were laid off, but my husband was able to work from home on the day after his surgery because he is that strong, and his job is that important to helping our country. Pray that we are allowed to travel to my mother’s burial. There are limits to travel and people, but my mom has been essential all my life. My God is most essential to my emotional, spiritual and physical health.

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