Monday, November 14, 2005

Gone

To the people who are so precious to all of us:

We have been very cautious in the past few weeks to abide by Shelly’s wishes regarding the situation at hand. We will continue to abide by those wishes, no matter how hard they seem to us right now.

This morning, shortly after nine, we watched Shelly be welcomed into the arms of God. Although our hearts are beyond repair right now, we know that Shelly is rejoicing in being with the people she loved more than life itself.

Thank you so much for the support, prayers, words of encouragement and friendship over the past several months. It is greatly appreciated and certainly carried us through our ‘wars’.

During the past four years, we have learned so much from each of you. We are glad you have shared in our journey, but our grief will be private. Thru Shelly and before that, Shar, you all have been welcomed into our deepest trenches. We couldn’t have made it without all of your thoughts and prayers. Now, we ask that you continue to pray for those that love Shelly so much as we try to figure out life without the four people who made it worth living for.

It is with great sadness that I tell you this will be the last posting. Shelly took great pride in leaving Shar’s page untouched by anyone else and we would like to honor Shelly in that same manner. Her words and feelings will remain here, untouched by our sorrow in losing her.

God bless you all.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Upholding

Shelly has asked me to post whenever she's not available to. She's unavailable at the moment, and I apologize for not posting sooner. I never know what to say other than uphold the family in prayer. If Shelly could ask anything I am sure it would be to pray. I know you are. I know what it is like to feel helpless and not know what to do other than pray. Maybe just pray for strength (physically, mentally, and emotionally) and peace. I am not sure what else to say.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Zip

It's late/early and I can't sleep. No one is awake and I'm afraid to wake anyone. If I do, someone will worry that something is wrong. While something IS wrong...right now, I just needed to know I'm not sitting here alone. I want my loved ones to sleep, however, so I shall sit here and type to the cyber world.

I am sobbing, silently, as Tessa sleeps in a recliner not far from me. I can hear my Dad snoring in the den, with the sound of Hannity in the background. He has once again used that show to bore himself into sleep. While I cannot hear her, I know that Sophie is directly above me, probably curled up next to Orange, awake in her own thoughts. I know that my Abu is sleeping within distance to hear me, but yet, I still feel alone, too worried to wake anyone else. They need sleep, too, right?

I don't know where I am going with this. Just that I'm scared. Scared of living and scare of dying. Scared of staying and scared of leaving. Scared of holding on and scared of letting go. It's not important, I guess.

Ria gave me a couple of ideas to post when I couldn't post,but still wanted to write. For the past hour, I have been working on this. I think I am going to continue this as time permits, I learned several things about myself while composing it. Look for more postings this week, if a guest blogger is needed, there will be one. Someday, I can explain to you all what is going on here. As I said earlier...for now, just trust that I am being well cared for.

1. What time do you get up? Moments after the nightmares wake me.
2. If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be? Abu and George. Yup.
3. Gold or Silver? Silver.
4. What is your favorite TV show? Gilmore Girls. I’m a sap.
5. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Um. I have no idea. The Wedding Date?
6. What did you have for breakfast? Ice Chips
7. Who would you hate to get stuck in a room with? My Aunt Bonn. There would be blood loss.
8. What/who inspires you? Creative flow inspires me. Who? My family.
9. What is your middle name? Not on your life will I publicly share this.
10. Beach , City or Country? I am my mother’s daughter...beach. Always the beach.
11. Favorite ice cream? Cherry Garcia. Is there any other?
12. Buttered, plain or salted popcorn? Plain with Ranch Dressing powder on top.
13. Favorite color? At the moment...clear.
14. What kind of car do you drive? In America, a Navigator. In Germany, a Volvo.
15. Favorite Sandwich ? Tomato on white bread with salt, pepper, and dash of low-fat mayo.
16. What characteristic do you despise? Lying, to others and to yourself.
17. Favorite flower? Calla lilies and French Tulips
18. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Canada
19 What color is your bathroom? Here, it is black and white. Sara did it, I can’t change it.
20. Favorite brand of clothing? Anything made for the giant in me.
21. Where would you retire to? Somewhere with water and peace.
22. Favorite day of the week? Any day that doesn’t end in Y.
23. Favorite sport to watch? Football. Have you seen the tight ends of the Titans????
24. Where were you born? Newcastle, WY
25. What did you do for your last birthday? I cried with Kay. Christmas really sucks lately.
26. What fabric detergent do you use? Tide, Clean Breeze
27. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke with Lime
28. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Both, I think. Sleep isn’t nice anymore.
29. What is your shoe size? It’s in the double digits. Way up there.
30. Do you have any pets?
Zin thinks she owns me. Bella hates me. Orange bites me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Meme

A longer update at some point in the future. For now, just a note to thank you for your prayers, concern, and support. Someday, I will be able to bring myself to tell you what has happened in the past few days. For the moment, please know that I am being well cared for, we all are. I am in awe of the love that has been expressed for this family.

I wish this post could be longer, but it can’t be, point blank. Instead, I am taking Ria’s lead and posting this little get to know me entry. More to come later, I promise.

University:
Duke (Go Blue Devils!)
Song: Let It Be, The Beatles
Album: Smell the Color Nine, Chris Rice
Movie: Sweet November
TV Show: Gilmore Girls
Actor: Vin Diesel (JD is so wrong!)
College:
Wellesley
Cook Book: Any book that has a number to the local take-out.
Shampoo: Nexus
Store: Bed, Bath, & Beyond and/or Bath and Body Works
Starbucks Drink: Carmel Apple Cider
High School: Any school that I don’t have to teach in.
Bookstore: Barnes & Noble
Clothing store: AE
Smell: Romance, by Ralph Lauren or Angel Heavenly, by Victoria’s Secret
Sport: Soccer and tennis
Food: Sugar-free French Vanilla pudding
Form of art: Contemporary Abstract
Decade: The 00's haven’t been great...but I wouldn’t go back to any other decade.
Time to go to sleep: When I’m not alone.
City: Where my heart is...
Magazine: Cosmo or Redbook
Boy: Boy? Think Man.
Band: Casting Crowns
Doughnut:
Krispy Kreme New York Cheesecake
Record Store: Sam Goody
Beatles Album: Yellow Submarine
Method of Birth Control: Abstinence?
Kind of Computer: At the moment...Dell. Yesterday? Sony. Next Week? Toshiba
Little brother: Nada
Room: Sara’s room upstairs.
Writing utensil:
PaperMate™ Liquid Expresso Extra Fine
Bag: Coach
Pocket Satchel (The best money ever spent!)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Support

I am struggling with what words to say as I sit here and beg for prayer for my second mother. I don't think words are enough right now. I am sure you have read the comments on the previous post that Jane left. We need to be in prayer for Shelly. I am not at liberty to say much more than just to pray. The family needs our support, and if the only thing you can do it pray, please do.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Verizon

Thank you all for you patience and well wishes during this past week. While I have not been able to respond to the many e-mail messages sent, nor have I have been able to return any of your phone calls, I have been made aware how many of you are watching over me during this time. I can’t promise when I will be able to respond to each of you, just know I’m trying and I will at some point get back to all of you.

Life isn’t going so well here. My Dad and Sophie are hanging on with help from the mass of people that love us so much. We have daily visitors here that are helping to keep the house together and to keep those two fed in my absence. As for me . . . well, I can’t share what is going on with me, but I can ask you to please continue to pray for strength, not only for myself but for my Dad and Aunt Sophie as well. God is breaking us, our spirits are broken already, our hearts are shattered, but right now, we don’t have anything left to hang on for or to.

I wish I had more to say or the energy available to say it. I have spent the last few hours searching thru Mom’s computer looking for something. Instead of what I wanted, I found dozens of photos that brought me to my knees and many more things that flooded my eyes with tears. I miss my Mom so much. Right now, I need her more than anything. I need my sister. I need my Aunt Kay. I need to know I’m not alone on my path. I keep trying to remind myself of my Mom’s words that we are so blessed . . . but I can’t. Blessings do not seem so clear right now.

Again, just as last week, I cannot promise when the next one will come either. I will update as I can and again, if need be, a guest blogger is in place. As stated above, I am not doing many of the return phone calls, but they have been handling everything. Just as it was last week, if you need something, please feel free to call my Dad or Aunt Sophie’s cell phone(s).

As some of you may have noticed, there is a secondary post under this one. That is because I wanted to share two separate songs with you this evening. The first (listed in this post) is a song that describes exactly where I am tonight. The second (listed below) explains how much I just want this to be over. To listen to both, just press the forward arrow button.


Please listen. I need you to hear me.

Powered by Castpost

True

as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends

summer has come and passed
the innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends

ring out the bells again
like we did when spring began
wake me up when September ends
(press the play button to hear it)



Powered by Castpost

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Petrified

Never in my life have I felt more loved nor more alone than I do at this time. The past five days of my life haven’t been the toughest that I have dealt with, but they come very close in ranking at the top in the list of toughest times of my life. Thank you for all of your prayers, visits, calls, e-mails, and mail sent during the past few days.

Due to being so loved, we have had a houseful of company. Tessa, Denver, and Dustin made a flying trip here from Boston and will be returning home tomorrow evening. Jane, Ellie, and Rush made the four hour drive to be with us and left for home this evening. Our neighbors have once again showered us with thoughtfulness and love by doing simple chores for us, stocking the freezer with easy to prepare meals, and taking care of the animals during our absence. As my Mom would say, we are so blessed.

Our lives are upside down right now. I can’t share with you the trials we are currently facing, no one could understand. I miss my child, my husband, my life. However, my child is safe right now. My husband is doing what he loves, and my life? Well, my life as I once knew it is over and will never be the same again. I am hurting physically and as Jane stated in a comment left last week, I am hurting emotionally as well. I am trying to hold on to everything I can, but truthfully, the only thing that brings me joy is hearing from my Abu, knowing that someone is fighting as hard as I am, for me, simply because they care about what happens to me.

Tonight, my family and extended family attended a memorial service held at FPBC to honor all 9/11 victims. I had planned on going, had my tribute written, put on the waterproof mascara, but at the last minute, became unable to attend. Everyone else went instead at my insistence. I took the time to draw a bath, turn all the lights off, and cry while sitting in a tub of bubbles. I sat there until they came home, found me sitting in a tub of cold water with no bubbles remaining. As Sophie helped me to blow-dry my hair, she just let me cry and didn’t try to tell me everything is going to work out, that this will not destroy us any further. She knows enough by now to know that nothing is ever going to be all right, never again.

The posts will be erratic this week due to things that are beyond my control. There may even be a guest blogger if life demands it. I can’t control when the next post will be, just know I am aware of how much I am loved and thank you for the prayers.

Four


Four years and it seems like a lifetime.

Four years since Alex woke me from a sound sleep shouting the words "Our Country, Our Country."

Four years since I received an emergency phone call from Peter who told me he was about to call my parents, Karen was on that flight.

Four years since the last time I felt safe in my homeland.

Four years and it seems like yesterday.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Inexpressive

I promised a post tonight and it's not happening, I'm sorry.

It isn't a matter of not wanting to post, but rather a matter of not having the right things to say. I could try to come up with the words, but nothing could even come close to what I am feeling right now. While the post from yesterday was not intended to scare anyone, I am now aware it did. Please know that I am safe and be taken care of by the people that love me. While I am falling apart inside, I know that there are people standing here ready to pick up the shattered remains. I am safe from myself tonight, please don't worry.

I will be unavailable for posting, returning calls, or responding to e-mail until late this weekend. If you need anyone, someone will be available on Dad or Sophie's cell phone(s). I can't promise when the next post will be, just know it is coming. If something should happen that extends my absence, I am sure there will be a short update from Ria if need be (thanks in advance, Ria).

Monday, September 05, 2005

Alerts

We interrupt the regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you this late breaking news.

Shelly has cried herself into a state of emotional exhaustion and can’t find the strength to type a rational post. A normal post is expected by tomorrow.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Dissimulate

It’s been so long since I took the time to write a post, but one has been brewing in my head for days, if not weeks. I have so many topics to speak about and don’t have any idea of where to start or where to end. First topic? Betrayal . . . a funny word. Webster’s defines betray as the following:

Betray >verb 1 act treacherously towards (a person, country, etc.) by revealing information to or otherwise aiding an enemy. 2 be disloyal to. 3 unintentionally reveal; be evidence of.

I can define it in a much more simple manner. My Dad has had a long standing quote that sticks out to me at this very moment . . . "One lie will cause doubt to 1000 truths." In this case, it’s so fitting. Life will never be the same again and at my lowest, I was kicked in the gut by someone who loved me. I know now that I had mistaken love for misguided intentions of personal gain. There has been betrayal in the highest form and I am too weak to do anything about it. I don’t know who to reach out to, I don’t know what to ask for. What I do know is that we need help. I need someone to hold me and promise to never let go, even when I want to just drift off. We need help, not more hurt.

Life is full of curve balls and another has just been thrown at us, achieving a bull’s-eye hit upon impact. The last two weeks have been full of days that have been hard . . . Mom’s 61st birthday and the one month anniversary of Kay’s passing among the biggest . . . soon will be the anniversary of Karen’s passing and shortly after that, my Dad’s birthday.

I know most of you are wanting to know what was the cause of my sudden and unexplained absence. If only it was that simple . . . please know that I was safe and well-taken care of. So many of you called to check on my safety and became concerned upon not being able to reach anyone in the family. Please know that the remaining three of us are as safe as life will allow and we were together.

I would like to take a moment and thank all of you who left comments, instant messaged, or called in regards to my absence. My thanks to Ria who did a fine job of keeping the updates current as life and circumstances allowed.

I have so much left to say and not one more drop of energy to type it in. I promise, another update tomorrow.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Reconnaissant

Hi, another post from Ria, filling in for Shelly for the moment. Please continue praying for Shelly, Ben and Sophie. Your prayers and concerns are greatly appreciated. At the moment, Shelly wanted me to let you know that she will be posting as soon as time allows. There have been a few obstacles including storms that cut of the internet connection, that keep her from posting. As soon as things get sorted out she will be back. She realized that many of you would be concerned of her whereabouts, that is why she left me in charge of letting you know that she will be back.
Thank you from the bottom of my own heart (and I am sure I speak for the rest of the family as well) for your prayers and best wishes.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Proxy

This is just a short note to let you all know that Shelly will be posting as soon as she can. She asked me to leave a post letting you know that things are alright. Please keep her and the rest of the family in your thoughts and prayers. Another post is coming soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Borrowed

And the hits continue . . . day #? in what closely resembles hell.

Today’s subject other than the ever flowing tears? Today we are going to learn about trust and faith. Stay with me. I’m onto something. This week I have been given a huge lesson in both. A large many of you are aware that my reserve is nearly empty of both trust and faith.

I have learned this week that is okay to trust in the unknown, the untouched, and the unseen. It is okay to not know where to turn or what to do, but it is okay to trust in something you feel, but cannot see. Realizing of course that not all unseen things are real, I have learned to take the giant leap and open what remains of my heart and trust the untouched.

Faith? Faith is hard to come especially right now. However, I have been blessed enough to have someone love me enough to hold onto me when my faith is gone. They have faith for me, have instructed me on blind faith. (I thought long and hard about that phrase . . . blind faith. Isn’t all faith blind? No. I have learned this the hard way.) I am holding onto faith right now, blindly, but still holding on.

For more than 24 hours, I have been camping out on the sofa in the den, unable to sit up straight because my headache is ever present and a powerful one, to say the least. I’ve had a lot of time to think about this. I’ve also had some time to just be quiet and still and to listen to my heart. Throw in a few times that I craved noise and attempted to listen to music before the throbbing started . . . well, you can see I’ve had time.

I heard a song today regarding borrowing faith. That is what I have done to those who surround me right now. I have borrowed faith from them. I don’t have enough of my own right now. I have learned to accept help this week, or at least try to accept it. I am at the lowest point I have ever been in my life. Losing my sister was hard. Losing my Mom was hell. Losing Kay was horrendous. With that said, this is still the lowest point I have ever been in my life and I’m scared. I am reaching out and grabbing onto borrowed faith, so thank you for offering. I don’t have any other choice than to accept because at this point the only place I know to turn is death, my own. With that said, I accept.

I’m only hanging onto one thread of borrowed faith.

Please don’t let me go.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Vendetta

Sanity didn't remain intact. Life is crumbling. Drugged myself enough to be numb, just not enough to forget. More posting later tomorrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Minuscule

Sophie and I made it back home this evening. I am so tired I can’t think, much less post anything responsible and rational. I received a number of e-mails during the course of today asking if I am safe. Safe? Yeah, I guess so. Safe from myself? I guess so. Safe from the world?
No.

A better update tomorrow evening if my sanity remains intact.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Respite

If I could show you how broken my heart is at this very moment, you would run in fear. If I could show you the thoughts that have run across my mind recently, you would have me committed to the local psychiatric ward. I can’t show you these things, nor can I share them with you. Instead, let me tell you how we are doing here.

Sophie is struggling, but hanging onto everything she can. The day after we lost Kay, we had another bomb for our family to deal with and we are still reeling from it, Sophie most of all. If I were to tell you that it is harder to deal with than Kay’s death, it would be the truth. We have lost someone dear to our family, but not by death, rather by personal choice. We are left with a thousand and one questions that most likely will never be answered. Kay’s death was expected, losing this person was not.

My Dad is doing his very best to console everyone and handle everything. He is taking some time each evening to be with Andy and just enjoy what he can right now. Like Sophie and I, he is also struggling with the actions taken against this family in the past few weeks. He doesn’t understand anything more than we do and it is hard to realize that due to the hatefulness we have been shown, we may never have those answers.

They say what goes around comes around. I’m sure you are thinking that I might hope this person has the same heartbreak we have had. I don’t. I don’t want anyone, including my worst enemy to deal with this pain.

We are so very thankful for all of you. Your e-mails, phone calls, cards, letters, late night instant messaging, we love each of you for helping us thru this. We know that we are surrounded by love and yet, still feel horribly alone. Hearing that you are out there, for us, anytime . . . it does help. In a recent conversation, someone told me how inadequate she felt because she didn’t know how to help us. She told me this as she cried along with me. It helped, somehow. To know that we aren’t alone, helps.

Tomorrow I am taking Sophie to Tulsa for her monthly treatment and checkup. Another posting will follow tomorrow evening and again on Friday. I don’t know what the rest of this week will hold, for any of us. I do know that not one of us can hold on any longer, for any other blows.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Homesick


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Courage

After a very long, painful, and emotional week, we have returned to Missouri. I would love to be able to tell you that we are coping, but the truth is, we aren’t. We are simply trying to exist right now, and coping is too much to ask of us. We drove straight thru and arrived home yesterday evening. To say that we are tired would be a laugh. We are exhausted and have taken today to just be. Simply just be here.

Kay’s burial . . . I can’t find the words needed right now. Let’s just say I don’t want to ever do this ever again. Being back at the family home in Boston was very hard, it felt like my Mom was everywhere, no matter where I looked I could see her, feel her, hear her. This was not as comforting as it sounds and haunts my heart as I think about it now.

I have so much to say, and I’m too tired to say any of them right now. However, I’ve had so many e-mails wanting to know how we are doing, I thought it would be best if I just updated so everyone knows where we are. I will be updating several times in the next three days, I have so much to say and I’m sure it will be jumbled, but needs to be said.

I don’t have any song lyrics tonight, nor any photos to express what is going on here, but I would like to leave you with something that was said to me this week and I am trying to cling to it as I fight to find a reason to wake up again.

"Often the real test of courage is not to die, but to live."
- Conte Vittorio Alfieri

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Solar

In a few hours, the majority of my family will load into three vehicles and set out on a 1500 mile journey that will be complete only after Sophie and I join them on Monday evening. Kay will be flown separately tomorrow afternoon. Sophie and I will have (hopefully) arrived in time to meet her incoming flight and will join the rest of the family at my parent’s home in East Boston. To those of you who were unable to make it to the funeral, but instead have voiced the urge to join us at the burial on Tuesday, we welcome you with open arms.

We have made it thru a very emotional four-hour visitation service, several thousand hugs, and countless tears. We made it thru a very touching service yesterday morning, an eventful reception, and a night of catching up with distant friends who have flown from all across the land to express their sympathies. Our hardest times still lay ahead however, beginning with the burial of my Aunt Kay and ending with our journey as we figure out how to go on, yet again. (Side note: If one more person tells me that Kay is in a better place, I’m going to start throwing punches. Yes, she is in a better place, but our place just got a hell of a lot worse. I have nothing else to say on that line of thinking. I may sound rational at the moment, but I’m falling apart and I’m angry, so please don’t tell me how she is in a better place, just save us both pain, okay?)

This week has been one of the hardest times of my life. I have been knocked breathless, kicked in the stomach, and have fallen to my knees at the events that have occurred this week. Certain actions have taken place this week that should have never been voiced, much less acted on. Out of the respect for my Aunt Sophie and for the sake of my Dad’s sanity, I have respected their wishes that I not take the matter into my own hands. However, alongside of Kay’s death, I have just now, this late in my life, learned that you can lose someone who hasn’t died and it is very close to the same heartbreak of losing someone to death. I have lost respect for people this week and been sadly let down by actions taken against my family. My Mom and Dad raised me to stand before what I truly loved and not allow further harm to come to anyone involved. This week, harm has come and I will not stand for it. I don’t know exactly how to handle it and right now, am not in the rational state of mind to take care of it, but I promise you, no one will hurt my family like this ever again. I just won’t let it happen. None of us are strong enough to go thru any of this again.

I’ve tried to write this in my head several times throughout the course of yesterday evening and this morning and I wanted to write it just as sounds in my head, but I don’t know if I can. It is clear to me now, just how very much our Kay was and always will be loved. Her funeral was simply breathtaking. Every word that was spoken was from the heart from those that love her very much. Each song that was played or vocalized was a pure tribute to Kay and impact she had (and always will have) on our lives. At some point, I will be posting the songs that were played and the words that were spoken, but for now, I would like to just share the words to one that speaks volumes and was exactly how Kay felt as she faced her final days with us.

Ready to Fly-FFH
I've been here grounded far too long
I'm ready to see the open wide
Ready to sing a different song
I've seen my troubles 'long the way
I want to sail towards the sun
I want to turn another page
I'm on my way


I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to soar
I'm ready to leave this world behind.
I'm ready to open up the door
I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to spread my wings across the sky
I think it's time
I'm ready to go
I'm ready to fly.


You've told me I could rise above
Like an eagle on the wind
I can glide upon Your love
But I feel the pull of gravity
And it's a weight upon my shoulders
I can't stay here any longer
I've gotta be free


I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to soar
I'm ready to leave this world behind.
I'm ready to open up the door
I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to spread my wings across the sky
I think it's time
I'm ready to go
I'm ready to fly.


And it's been so long
Since I’ve seen the bright morning sun
Through the early morning horizon
And it's been so long
Since I’ve felt the air under my wings
And seen all of these things from above


I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to soar
I'm ready to leave this world behind.
I'm ready to open up the door I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to spread my wings across the sky
I think it's time
I'm ready to go
I'm ready to fly.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Needs

The days seem to last forever and blend together, all at once. This week has been one of the longest weeks of my life and yet, it seems everything is happening much too quickly. This afternoon we will be greeting guests who have flown halfway across the world to be with us at this time, to say goodbye to their beloved Kay, just as we are trying to do.

Yesterday, we were able to see Kay for the first time since they took her from us on Monday evening. I am sure everyone expects me to say how horrible it was to see her in the casket, but it truly wasn’t horrible. It was heartbreaking to know that she is really gone, but she looked so beautiful, so peaceful. For months, I have seen her in pain, this was one of the very few times I can honestly say she looked free from pain. Before she passed away, she made a request that a quilt be purchased and draped over her casket. At the close of the service, she requested a piece be cut from the quilt, placed with her, and the remainder of the quilt be with Sophie. Last night, we were able to drape the quilt over, just as Kay asked us to do.

The next few days will be very hard to cope with, for all of us, but especially for my Aunt Sophie. Not only has she lost her wife, but she is grieving another type of loss, a loss so complicated and heartbreaking that I can’t even write about it here. To say that she has had too much heartbreak this week would be an understatement. Please keep her in your prayers. Things are rough right now.

This evening we will be at Kay’s visitation. We made an impromptu decision to have some very special music playing tonight. Kay, just as my Mom did, enjoyed music greatly and it became a necessity during her final weeks. We had several cd’s playing thru the final week of her life, many of which my Mom also listened to. Tonight, during the calling hours, that same music will be playing. While this may not make sense to some of you, this is our way of bringing a part of Kay to all those who love her as much as we do.

I will write more later tonight, I have too much to say to hold it all in, but for now, I need to embrace the person who needs me. She needs to feel that she isn’t alone, just as I do. She needs me. I won’t let her down.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sunsets

I have been sitting here trying to figure out what to title this post. I decided on Sunsets because it sounded much better than my other ideas: Should’ve’s, Could’ve’s, Change, or my personal favorite, Things I want to yell violently, but will refrain from doing so for the sake of what is left of my sanity. Sunset is a perfect way to describe what is happening in our lives today. The sun has set on yet another of our loved ones and we are trying very hard to figure out how to face the next day without her. This is much harder than I thought it would be. No matter how ready any of us thought we were, we weren’t.

I could tell you how hard it was to watch them take Kay away Monday night. I could tell you how my Dad had to physically hold Sophie back or she would have held onto Kay forever. I could tell you how hard it was to sleep without her here. I could tell you how I rushed around frantically last night washing blankets and towels so that Sophie didn’t have to see any traces of Kay’s blood. I could tell you how much it broke my heart to be at the funeral home both yesterday and today. I could tell you about writing Kay’s obituary today. I could tell you about how this evening I will be taking time to pick out music to play at her services. I could, but I can’t.

I should tell you about the beautiful and very touching candlelight prayer service we attended this evening at F.P.B.C and how grateful we are for the congregation that held us in their arms tonight. I should tell you about the generous outpouring of love we have been witnesses to in the past few days. I should tell you about the immense feeling of gratitude that I have for the friends that have surrounded us throughout this journey. I should tell you about how I know for certain that Kay arrived safely to Heaven. I should tell you about how many people have come to us and shared their love for Kay with us. I should tell about how I seriously doubt that Kay knew she was this loved before she passed. I should, but I can’t.

Change happens. Hope changes, my Mom said. Time heals all wounds, they say. Life moves on. Change happens. Change is good, they say. It inspires us to try new things, find new pathways in life. Change happens. Change is a constant, you cannot stop it. No matter how much you rebel against it, you cannot prevent it. Change happens. I should be able to stop change, but I can't.

Things I want to yell violently, but will refrain from doing so for the sake of what is left of my sanity: I want to yell at you. Yes, you. Which you? Anyone who will listen, I suppose. I want to yell about how it felt to watch my Aunt Sophie come sobbing to me while waving an e-mail in my face. I want to yell what it felt like as I watched her physically collapse as the tears consumed her while I read the letter she was holding this morning. I want to yell what it felt like to know that my Aunt Sophie has been hit with a horrific blow and they just keep coming. I want to yell at you for leaving us when you were needed most, for not holding on for just a few more days. I want to yell at you for being so cowardly to not even say goodbye in person. I want to yell at you for taking away my hope, because now it is officially gone. I have no more hope. I want to yell at you, to tell you that I honestly don’t feel like going on anymore, that I don’t have the strength to keep doing this, that I don’t really want to be part of a life that is this hard to hold onto. I want to yell at you, but I can’t.

I can’t because I don’t have the strength to do. I can’t because I have cried until I honestly believed I could cry no more and yet, the tears keep falling. I can’t because I’m so angry, I’m not sure I could control my words. I can’t because I am so overwhelmed by simple grief that I can’t function. I can’t because . . . I can’t.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Eternity

I have sat here for the past two hours trying to figure out how to word this and everything I type comes out all wrong. I’ve typed the same sentence forty times over and it still isn’t right. I don’t how else to say this, so I will just say it.

This evening, the Angels were joined by my Aunt Kay. It was as peaceful as she wanted. Everything was just as she wanted.

"Dear Family & Friends,

There is no easy way, or words that could possibly tell express the sadness and abundance of tears as we regretfully tell you that Kay passed away this evening at 5:20pm. She took her last breath surrounded by her family, fulfilling another wish of hers, that she not be alone. Her passing was peaceful. She felt no pain.

Kay’s part in this journey has ended, she is at peace. For that, we are grateful. We thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. If it is not too much to ask, we would like to request that you please continue them for her family/friends, for strength, guidance, and whatever else you think will help us. We know too well, the difficult path that we are now facing, having been less than 9 months since we lost Shar.

Kay was 4 weeks overdue when she came into this world. Her mom told us of stories about how she would talk to Kay, encouraging her to come out into the world. She came into this world in her own way, she lived her life with that same unyielding manner, and she died in the manner she wanted. To say that she will be missed does not come close to what we are and will be feeling.

Kay died 18 years from the day that she and I (Sophie) met. As a close family member said "She wanted to write the perfect ending to her book of life, this was her way of closing out the last chapter on a high".

We apologize if you are hearing this for the first time, if this is the case, we were unable to contact you via phone. All efforts have been made to do so.

We will notify you as soon as arrangements have been made for her services. Again, many, many thanks to all of you.

With Love and Sorrow,
Sophie, Ben, Shelly"

I didn’t think life could break me any more than I am already broken. Yet again, I was wrong in my thinking. I will post more tomorrow.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Weak

I’m writing tonight the third hardest entry I've ever had to write and I can't stop thinking about my Mom's words . . . We are so blessed. Blessed to be loved, Blessed to be prayed over, Blessed to be surrounded by so many who care, and Blessed to have each other. Right now, being blessed is being outweighed by the fact that we are losing someone we all love very much. It feels as if we are cursed, not blessed. I know this is not the truth. It just feels this way.

Our dear friends arrived this evening from Boston. Tessa and Denver have been in our lives for several years and have stood by our family in the good times and in the bad. It was good to see them and we are grateful for their presence here in the next few days. Life is getting harder to deal with. Having someone else here helps, for the moment. Kay’s care is constant and around the clock, even with the changes you are about to read about. It takes a village . . .

I have so much to share and no more energy available to put forth into writing, so I am sharing an e-mail sent out today by my Aunt Sophie and a close family member.

"Our Dear Friends/Family,

Again, we would first like to thank you for all the support and concern shown for Kay, and our family through this very difficult time. We are so blessed with having all of you in our lives, and the outpouring of concern and love by way of emails, letters, phone calls, visits, food, (and others, so many to mention) has been overwhelming. Thank you, from the dark places where we have been, your support has given us constant light, something to keep encouraging us… much like a lighthouse in the middle of a horrendous storm, you have all guided us to where we are. THANK YOU.

Since we last emailed you, many things have transpired that we wanted you all to know about, and to keep you informed of. Every one of you is deserving of a phone call with this information. We hope and pray you understand that there isn’t time for this right now, nor do we have the strength to do this. So please, thank you for understanding all of what we are saying.

As of yesterday, Kay has been sedated to a state where she feels no pain. This was one of Kay’s requests. Because she was unable to communicate with us for a day, it was left to us to decide when that time would be. This has been difficult as you can imagine, she entrusted that we would do this, and we had no way of knowing if she would be able to communicate with us again. We certainly did not want to give up on the hope of that, but also, we did not, nor do we want her to be in pain. As a family, and we include Kay’s nurses in that description, we shared many thoughts and tears together. Caroline suggested that before sedation commenced, that perhaps we could lessen Kay’s pain meds to give her one more chance to respond. God granted us a gift, a tremendous gift. Kay was able to respond to questions by squeezing her hand, thus confirming that it was time. While this made the decision of "when" easier, it also has forced us to start grieving and start the letting go process. We are all doing the best we can. It is most difficult, and reminiscent of too many painful memories in our family.

Kay is getting the best care possible, as per her request, she is never alone. We are all very doing our best to make sure her wishes are being fulfilled. This involves much time and all of our energy. Sleep is a luxury that our bodies crave, but our hearts, minds and promises are making it difficult to get. As a result, we sleep in shifts, and are doing the best we can. We hope you understand that at this point, where we would like to ask you all, to please understand that unannounced visitations are too much for us now. We are SO very grateful for all of you, we do not want you to think we are anything but, please understand this request is helping Kay, and helping us to fulfill Kay’s wishes.

Her doctor believes that Kay will be receiving her wings this weekend. We believe this to be true as well. Only God knows. We would like to ask that you please continue all the prayers that have helped us get to this point. They are very much appreciated.

Now we would like to keep you up to date of another difficult subject. We will do our best to notify you all personally when Kay passes, if that cannot happen, we will email you again. As soon as the arrangements for her services are made, we will let you know, however we can. As per Kay’s request, we will be allowing as much time as we can prior to her service, for those of you traveling.

Thank you so much for being in our lives, for supporting us, for your prayers, and all the kind and wonderful random acts of kindness shown to us. We hope that you, like us, find relief in knowing that she is in no pain, and is in very peaceful sleep now. We are very grateful for that.

With much love and gratitude,
Sophie, Ben, & Shelly"

The tears are clouding my view of the screen, so I am going to share our appreciation with you all and say thank you for everything you have done and continue to do. I am leaving you with a quote that is guiding our lives right now. We are trying to realize this is the truth and we are trying to apply it to Kay’s final hours with us.

"Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go."
-Sylvia Robinson

Monday, July 25, 2005

Nothing

I’m posting this because I feel you all need to know where things are at tonight. As I said in the previous posting, Kay has declined any further transfusions. However, last night she began to cough up blood and agreed to going in for transfusion reasons only. We were at the hospital with Kay in the early morning hours due to her inability to form blood clots. She needed two platelet transfusions and one blood transfusion in order to get things under control and her blood levels stable enough to come home (which is where she insisted on being).

We did have the chance to speak with her oncologist at great length. Our greatest fears were confirmed. I am enclosing a copy of the e-mail that another family member composed for Aunt Sophie so that you will know exactly what I am trying so hard to say and just can’t.

July 25, 2005
Our Dear Friends/Family,

First, thank you all for the emails, letters, and phone calls concerning Kay. All are very much appreciated, and it is helpful to know that we have so many wonderful friends/family in our lives who love us, who love Kay.

This is a very difficult time, and a very difficult email to write, so please forgive me if this is brief and to the point. You are all so deserving of individual responses unfortunately I/we have not the time, to do that right now. I apologize for the impersonal manner in which you are finding out this news, I wish I had time to tell each of you in person, and then again, I wish I had better news to tell you. Sadly, this is not the case.

We were told this morning by Kay’s oncologist that Kay’s time with us is very short. We have mere days, most probably she will receive her wings and be flying home with the angels by the end of this week. I, we, would like to ask that you please pray for her. Please, as hard as this is to say, I’m sure this is as hard to hear. We are asking that you please pray that this happens quickly for her. While I/we are not, nor are any of us ready to say goodbye to her, it is only out of Love and wanting to spare her from suffering that I/we ask this of you. Prayers for strength for all of us who are caring for her, would be very much appreciated as well.

I/we regret that I/we were unable to contact many of you sooner. It was Kay’s wish that it be this way. I/we are sorry if this hurts you, please know, I am letting you know now because you are so important to us, and for whatever Kay’s reasoning, we are doing our best to honor her wishes.

As far as visits go, there is so much going on, her care is consuming, please trust that we are doing all we can to make this as painless as possible for her, and her wishes are being followed.

I/we will be in touch when we can. Again, I’m so sorry that you are finding out like this, and your prayers mean so much to us.

With Love,
Sophie, Ben, & Shelly

I don’t have many other words to add, and the e-mail says it all. I was given the gift of two songs today, two songs that sum up life pretty well right now. A portion of each appears below:

This Is a Call
Thousand Foot Krutch
"She fooled all of her friends into thinking she's so strong
But she still sleeps with the light on
And she acts like it's all right on, as she smiles again
And her mother lies there sick with cancer
And her friends don't understand her
She's a question without answers
Who feels like falling apart.
She knows, she's so much more than worthless
She needs to find a purpose,
She wonders what she did to deserve this."

Sometimes He Calms the Storm
Scott Krippayne
"Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child."

For those of you that have offered to help me with the photo project, thank you. It’s been placed on the back burner for now, but is something that I need to do. (Also, I understand I posted the wrong address for Flickr, but HERE is the corrected link.)

That’s all I have. I have nothing left to offer. I can’t make the tears stop in order to type any other words.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Rocks

An overdue post, but this is the best I can do given the circumstances right now. Since the last update, several things have happened. I have tried to catch up on e-mail in the last 24 hours. If you are still waiting for a response from something you sent, I promise I am trying to respond to each of you as much as time allows. (Tessa, don’t give up hope yet, I’m working on it.) I have also been trying to set up a Flicker or Zoto account (does anyone know about this?) in order to share some wonderful photos that I shot during events this week.

Sophie did come home on Monday has anticipated. She is tired, but the treatment seems to be working. She tells us each day of the changes she can see and we are noticing them more and more as well. We are grateful that this has worked and pray it continues.

Kay has had one very good day this week and the rest have been just as bad as Sunday was. Let’s start with her good day. That was Wednesday, the day of her rededication. She was bright eyed the morning of the service and she looked amazingly beautiful. The service could not have been more peaceful nor more personal, for which we are all grateful. Our utmost appreciation to all of the Pastoral staff and members of F.P.B.C. for a truly inspiring memory that none of us will be able to forget. (Photos coming once I figure out the previous mentioned Zoto and Flicker issues.)

After the service, Kay had already planned on going to speak with the funeral director, the same director who handled Sara’s service here and who handled all the arrangements of getting Mom to Boston after her death. He remembered us all too well and seemed very saddened to see us there. We felt the same about seeing him. She and Aunt Sophie handled the majority of arrangements, but it was extremely difficult to be there and to realize what we were doing. Kay was courageous enough to venture into the casket room and choose her own casket. This is something that I could never do for myself and have no interest in ever doing for anyone else as long as I live.

She has made her wishes very clear and as God as my witness, they will be followed. Sophie has dedicated her life to taking care of Kay and I truly believe she will harm the first person who tries to go against anything Kay has asked of us. We will be following her wishes exactly, no matter how hard they seem to us.

The rest of her days have been truly horrible. Between the frequent seizures, the increase in pain, and the near constant tears, Kay has said several times that she is ready for this to be over. As much as we don’t want to lose her, we are ready for her to be at peace. She has been sleeping for the greater portion of the last 24 hours. Again, it is much needed rest as the previous two nights were sleepless. This week has been the first week that she has actually asked for an increase in her pain medications. We are hoping and praying that the increase in medication is the cause of the extended sleep. Our minds tend to wander back to the afternoon of November 7th, 2004 and we begin to fear that life is repeating, yet again.

Much like my Mother did in her final weeks, Kay has reached a point that she has declined further clinical help in the form of transfusions. We have accepted this and respect her wishes. She has started to have moments of incoherent rambling. She clutches and grabs for things we can’t see and becomes filled with hysteria when we try to calm her. We have learned it is best to just observe at these times. I don’t think any of us have any hesitation about believing her when she tells us things such as "Shar was here" or "Shar told me."

A perfect example of this took place on Monday evening. We had torrential downpours and loud rolling thunder that continued for hours. During a brief pause in the downpour, we realized that there were five rainbows surrounding the house and took Kay outside to view them. She sat on the deck swing and quietly told us how she knew there would be rainbows because my Mom came to her and spoke of them. It is my ever hopeful prayer that Kay is given the same gift of "visitors" that my Mom had. I pray Kay is given the same angels to help her home with my Mom, the best one, holding her hand as she is called back to God.

I don’t know what the next few days will bring. My intellectual side knows what the last few days are pointing at, but my heart refuses to believe it. Kay is slipping from us, quickly. Her pain is no longer tolerable, for any of us and we all are praying for the same things that we prayed for with both my Mom and with Sara . . . peace. Peace is hard to come by these days.

To quote Forest Gump . . . "Sometimes, there are not enough rocks." There aren’t enough rocks to knock down the pain of watching this happen again. There just are not enough rocks to handle the pain I feel at this very moment.