Life is a Vapor

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It’s been almost 2-years since I’ve posted on this blog!

Life has taken me down a different road for about three years.  My Mother went to her heavenly home 3-years ago this coming July 1, 2017.  My Dad came to live with us and was not happy leaving Missouri, but he didn’t have a choice.  He could not take care of himself and his dementia was getting worse.  He was almost totally blind and couldn’t hear.  But his stubbornness came with him.  He was 24/7 care for us.  He did accept going to a PACE program for a few hours a day 3-4 days a week.  This gave Bud (my husband) some relief from caregiving.  He completely took over the physical care of my Dad without complaining. (I work M-F 8:45a – 5:00p to keep the home fires burning.)

 GOD has a way of working things out before you even anticipate them.

Bud retired from Erlanger Hospital in April of 2009 (not by choice, they had a big lay-off and since he was only there for 10-years and paid more for his experience, he was included in the lay-off).  While we struggled financially, little did we know that this would come as an advantage to us a few years later.  This made it possible for Bud to be here for my Dad.  Otherwise, he would have to go into a nursing home.  We did not want that and neither did he.

We had some rough times with his dementia but we survived them.   He had a heart attack that wasn’t diagnosed for several hours.  At first, everyone thought it was his gallbladder and were getting ready to schedule gallbladder surgery.  Then his labs came back!!  Heart Attack!  He stayed 4-days in the hospital and then was moved to Hospice care.  One of us was with him 24 hours a day.  He was never left alone. Everyone was so kind to us at both places.  I have no complaints.   Dad left this world  Sunday, February 5, 2017 1:15am.  He would have been 92 on the 25th of July this year.

It still seems unreal that both my parents are gone.  They were always there!  I still look in the rearview mirror expecting to see Dad’s face.   I still have their phone number on my phone.  It took me a long time before I didn’t think about calling my Mom.  I really didn’t have time to grieve my Mother’s death while taking care of Dad.  Now I grieve for both. Grief strikes at the strangest times.

I know this is a SEASON of Life, but one I don’t think we’re ever ready for.  When we’re young and raising our own children with our own commitments and responsibilities we don’t even let it enter our minds that LIFE is really just a vapor.

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Missing them!

Only ONE LIFE to live…

We received a call early FRIDAY morning on the 19th of December.  Judy (sister-in-law) had called an ambulance to take Fred (my husband’s younger brother) to the hospital Thursday evening.  His Oxygen level was down drastically and he was very weak.  Fred received a diagnoses, I believe this past April,  of renal cancer that had metastasized.   He fought a hard fight and had 8-months to be with family.  Everything was organized and in place for his family.  He took great care of his family.  He passed from this life on Friday evening around 6:30pm EST.

Just an example of Fred’s “thinking ahead”.  While there I noticed a beautiful vase of roses and a card leaning against the vase.   He had ordered these flowers the day before going into the hospital for Judy’s birthday on the 26th.  That’s Fred, always thinking ahead, always thoughtful.  Here is what Fred wrote on the card:

FredsBDtoJudy2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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He desired an informal funeral/memorial service and that’s what we did.  His older brother, my husband, spoke and then Robin his daughter gave her memories and thoughts (more than a eulogy) but spoke from her heart of what her DAD meant to her.

Teresa and Bob (his sister and brother) spoke of fond “family” memories.  Marc talked about his Uncle Fred.  And there were others who spoke fondly of Fred.

We cried, we laughed, and we cried some more.  But we did laugh and that I know is what Fred wanted us to do.  He loved family get-togethers.

Round the table.. Micah, Marc, Eva, Kaylee, A_____, Brynn, Shenyle, and Gavin. P1010042

On the left is Judy, Teresa, Eva, and Craig.

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Uncle Bob and I, keeping the kids occupied.

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Papa Bud with Micah and Gavin(our handsome youngest grandsons).

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Judy, Fred’s wife, looking at the memories of their life together, 41-years!  Best Friends for longer than that!

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Scott, Fred’s son, in quiet thoughtfulness.  A brother’s moment of contemplation.

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Fred’s military (Navy) medals and a signed photo with President Reagan.

 

 

 

 

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21 Gun Salute.

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Taps… such a solemn, sad sound.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fred’s HAT… 

 

 

 

 

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Judy and me.  Judy is stronger than she realizes and while I know there will be “sad” days and moments of grief and just missing him..the memories of a loving husband and father will carry her through.  She has family that loves her very much and will keep her daily in their prayers. 

Maggie will miss him too!  P1010026

 

 

 

 

 

The end of one day in our lives and one life, P1010104but Fred will never be forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If Fred were watching us today, he would have been pleased.  He would have laughed with us and cried with us and enjoyed the grandchildren at play.  He would have added his own special memories of times past.  His spirit was there with us!  He left us with a “smile” on his face. We can only give him a “smile” in return.

 

Another Life leaves this world…

MomSunroom copy Mom, my own heart stopped for a few seconds and the tears fell unashamedly when I heard you were gone.

Never more will I catch a glimpse of your mischievous smile or the ornery twinkle in  your eyes.MomSmile08-2008

Never more will I sip a cup of coffee over trivial chatter or “go out” to lunch after shopping.

Never more will I watch you carefully choosing your fresh baby spinach at the Farmer’s Market and bartering for the best price.

Never more will I read a favorite recipe hurriedly written in your tight little script.

Never more will I watch you fix a meal, and oh,  how you loved to feed us.

Never more will I walk with you in the yard, checking out your newly planted spring flowers.

I will forever hold those precious memories in my heart!

I know your body was tired Mom, but I miss your spirit already!

Your daughter (in law),

Pam

Link to Obituary:

http://www.legacy.com/TheSouthern/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=106274040