Sunday, September 4, 2016


It has been over two years since I have felt like writing…and it has been a very long two years, filled with sadness.  But the time has come to share stories once again, and I am hoping that the times to come will be filled with tales of happiness and joy once more.  But first, I must remember our last two years…

You may remember Robert’s sister, Susan.  She had been fighting cancer off and on throughout the years.  We were all so delighted when she was able to attend her oldest son’s wedding in March 2014!

Susan, with Paisley and Grandma Lynda:

I am so sad to say that on August 17, 2014, Susan lost her battle with cancer.  Everyone is grateful that she lived long enough to see her son married and happy, and to see her first grandchild (by another son), and to see her daughter (the last child at home) graduate from high school.  That being said, she was not even out of her forties yet, and she still had so much living to do!  Her absence will be felt forever by those who loved her and many hearts are indeed broken.

Susan loved to write poetry (and was quite good!), and the poem that was shared at her funeral certainly sums up Susan and her philosophy on life:

During this time, Mom had been feeling better than she had in awhile, and that girl was wanting to take a trip!  She and I had actually planned on going to Yellowstone to see Alan, but we had delayed our trip when it became apparent that Susan was not doing so well.  After some time had passed, we were going to give it another shot, but suddenly Mom was having trouble walking.  She was sure that it was a really bad case of arthritis flare, but she wasn’t getting any better, so on August 28, 2014, Robert and I drove her to see her doctor at the VA hospital.  Even the doctor was shocked when the X-ray came back – the woman had been hobbling around on a broken leg:

It was such a shock because Mom had not fallen, she had not bumped her leg, and there was no traumatic event that we could think of to explain it.  Her leg had just spontaneously BROKEN!

She was sent to a local hospital for surgery – the VA said they weren’t equipped to do it.  A metal rod was inserted and the pins were in place:

Mom was sent to a facility for about 13 days of rehab, and then she came home.  Once she was here, she complained that it really hurt, and she was not healing as well as we hoped.  When I took her for her 6-week checkup, the X-ray told the story:

Two of the screws had backed out!  It was only later that doctors determined that her bones were just like potato chips.  Surgery was done the very next day, and we were hopeful that this recovery would “take”, but unfortunately it was just the beginning of her problems.  Infections of all types, pneumonia, and just general ill health followed.  Her health was so bad that it was determined that she needed to be in a nursing home instead of coming back with us.  We were all so disappointed!
There were times that she had some really bad infections that were highly contagious, so she did not want us to come see her.  Those times were the hardest.  But there were also stretches of time that she was clear, and she was more than happy to see us.  We did what we could to bring some measure of happiness and joy into her life, but I don’t think that anything that we did could ever make up for her not being home in her own little room…toddling out to the kitchen to make some tea now and then.

Still, that woman fought!  There were at least five times that she was so sick that both her family and her doctors were sure than she would not survive…and yet, she did!  There were so many miracles!  However, on a Sunday morning, May 29 of this year, Mom was having to wear the bi-pap mask constantly just to breathe.  Through the mask she told the nurse, “I want to go home.”
“Do you mean your house or the nursing home?” the nurse asked.

Mom pointed up to the ceiling.  “Do you mean Heaven?” the nurse asked.
Mom said, “Yes.  Tell my daughters.”

The nurse called me and I hurried over...Robert came, too.  My sister lived further away, so it took a little longer for her to get there.  Mom waited, though, and within 30 minutes of having us all there, Mom slipped away.  We talked to her, sang to her, and held her hand.  I watched the machines that were monitoring her vital signs count down, and I knew the exact moment that she was gone.

It was so very, very sad, yet so very peaceful, all at the same time.  This woman, who had fought so hard and had overcome so much, had decided it was time…she most definitely went out on her own terms.  Although I am so sad for us, I am actually comforted by the fact that I am so happy for her.  Her last year-and-a-half on Earth was so miserable, and I can only be glad that she doesn’t have to endure all of that any more.

Still, I will miss her forever, and our house is just not the same…


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