Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Votum*

If you have ever been to this point, if you have ever felt there was no way out, if you have ever thrown up your hands and given everything you have up, you know where my family is right now. Please pray.
I had another entry ready to post, it will come later. This is so much more important. My family is breaking, hearts are being shattered, hope is being taken away. Please pray. Voveo Vovi Votum.
*Votom=Latin, to pray, to plead, to desire.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Magnificent

As someone pointed out to me earlier this week, I have several things that can be considered good news and I should willingly share them. (You know who you are. Thank you. I did need to hear it from your point of view.) I should be shouting from the mountaintops that Kay has beaten every odd given to her. She has made it through more surgeries than anyone ever expected. She makes strides every day to show us she wants to recover. This is good.

Tonight, however, I have news that even I know is good. Four simple words, shouted from the heavens, to show that my very soul is down on both knees thanking God for the ability to say this.

We are ALL home.

There will be more later. For now, I have two Aunts who are tuckered out and need to be settled, one Father who is rummaging around for food and needs to be fed, two cats who are prancing around here and need to be tamed, and one dog who is very, very spoiled and needs to be rubbed.

Four more simple words:

Life is so good.

Finally, four more words that I am learning are not so simple, yet so magnificent:

God is so great.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Unspoken

I know it has been almost two weeks since my last post and I would love to tell you that everything is great, no reason to update. However, that isn’t the case. Life just has a way of making some duties more important than others and leaving little or no time for the rest. This is what has happened as of late. Also, I am running out of good news to share, so it feels like all I have done is blog to complain. How I long to share with you great news, perhaps I can find some in this posting?

In the past two weeks, I have made a trip back to the Linda, have flown to Boston and back in less than 24 hours for a funeral of a family friend, and have witnessed the intensity of the love that my family shares. I have sobbed many tears, treasured each moment of laughter, and cheered on my Aunties as they both fight the biggest battles of their lives.

Kay is still in Tulsa. She has been in the ICU twice in the past two weeks. She has almost finished a ten-day round of radiation and has done semi-well with it. She had chemotherapy on Monday and again on Friday. We have added a new chemotherapy agent to the mix and we are praying for the expected results. There is talk of releasing her to come home this week, we are hoping it is more than just talk, but rather the truth. She will need intense help once she gets home, but as we all know, home is the best place to be at times like this.

Sophie has had a rough few days, but is doing a bit better. She is pushing herself far too much, and it is not healthy for her right now. She wants to be with Kay every waking moment and that isn’t what is best for her health right now. We are in the processing of making realistic goals for the both of them, I hope it helps. They are both very devoted to each other and will push themselves as much as necessary to help the other. This is not always the best scenario and we are trying to teach them that.

My Dad and I are hanging onto whatever we can these days. Right now, we are trying to prepare for both Aunties to return to the Linda. Lots of things will need to be done and be completed quickly before Kay gets to come home. I know we have a team of what I like to call "Shar’s Angels" who are now preparing for Kay’s return in the same manner they prepared each time my Mom came home. I suppose I should name them Kay’s Angels, but truly, they are all devoted to my Mother and her memory. We love you all and thank each of you! As my Mom stated numerous times, we are blessed.

Specific prayer requests are following:
For Kay’s continued progress in physical therapy.
For Kay’s course of radiation to show positive effects.
For Kay’s chemotherapy to continue to be available to her.
For Sophie’s recovery from this latest setback.
For Sophie’s sanity as she deals with certain emotions right now.
For Mom’s best friend as she travels to Florida, I know it will be hard for her to be far from us.
For Tessa and Denver’s family as they deal with the loss of a very close family member.
For Dad as he faces the upcoming Father’s Day-another without Sara.
For Alex and Emily as they travel to the States next week.

I am going to close this for now, there will be more to report tomorrow. For now, I am going to tuck in Auntie Sophie and find a place to stretch out for a few hours. Please keep praying for the many mentioned requests and the hundreds of unspoken requests that we send up each day.
Thank you all. We love each of you, far and near.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Bittersweet

Another post in less than 24 hours. It must be a record as of late. My heart is heavy as I write this. For weeks, I have been dreading this day. Today is the anniversary of my Mother’s death. Six months she has been an angel, and 180 days she has been gone. Today is also Mother’s Day as you all know. This day is bittersweet, more bitter than anything.

This is my second year as a mother and my first without my own mother. The sweetness of the moment is carried away by the immense sadness as I realize I have no more Mother’s Days with my own mother. I should be celebrating with joy that I am a mother to a beautiful little being. Somehow, it hurts too much to celebrate that fact right now.

Last year when this day rolled around, my Mom refused to even acknowledge the day. My heart was broken and I didn’t understand how she could just not celebrate it. Yes, Sara had died, but she still had me, right? This year, I understand it. I don’t want to celebrate it, acknowledge it, or take part in it. Someday, I hope Emily will forgive me for not being the mother I should be.

Someone shared with me a few nights ago the pride that my Mom had for me after Emily was born. While I don’t know that she had a reason to be proud, it made my heart go pitter patter as I was hearing this being told to me. Everything I am, everything I do, everything I hope to be as a mother, I learned from my Mother. She was the best anyone could ever ask for. My Mother was superhuman, an angel with no wings. I don’t say this to brag, I say this because it is true.

If I am half of the mother to Emily that my Mother was to me . . . Emily will be incredibly lucky. My Mom was an amazing woman. Everything that I am, she taught me to be. She taught me how to love with all of my heart, to look for the good in mankind, to search within myself for the truth. I want to teach all that and more to Emily. I want her to know about her Grandmother, to know the legacy Mom left behind. Most of all, I want Emily to be as proud of me as I am of my Mom.

Several songs and lines of poetry come to mind today as I search for the right words. The morning that my Mom passed, my Dad sat next to her as I stretched out on the floor next to the bed. The lights were dimmed and it was shortly before the sunrise. Out of the darkness, I heard my Dad’s beautiful baritone voice begin to sing this chorus to my Mom:

"If you get there before I do,
Don't give up on me.
I'll meet you when my chores are through.
I don't know how long I'll be.
But I'm not gonna let you down.
Darling, wait and see.
And between now and then,
Until I see you again,
I'll be loving you . . .
Love, Me"

My Mom got there before all of us. Someday soon we will all be together, which is a day I look forward to with each passing moment. In the meantime, not one of us will ever stop loving her, not for one second. She is with us, always. If I stop and let myself, I can almost hear the sounds of her laughter echoing within my heart. I can almost feel her holding onto me when I need it most, like right now.

You’ll Never Be Forgotten"
Jessica Andrews

"I’ll always see your face
The corner of your smile
And all the little things that no one will ever know
Like it was yesterday, won’t ever fade away
Goodbye is just a word that I will never say

You will never be forgotten
A million days could pass us by
But what is time but just a dream
Oh I still feel you here with me
You’re more than just a memory
Oh you will never be forgotten

I can’t hold your hand
Or look into your eyes
And when I talk to you
It just echoes in my mind
But it hearts are made of dust
And if we fell from the stars
I look up tonight and know just where you are

You will never be forgotten
A million days could pass us by
But what is time but just a dream
Oh I still feel you here with me
You’re more than just a memory
Oh, you will never be forgotten

And the world just keeps on going
It has no way of knowing
That you’re gone.

You will never be forgotten
A million days could pass us by
But what is time but just a dream
Oh I still feel you here with me
You’re more than just a memory
Oh you will never be forgotten."

How I wish I had one more time to hold you, Mom. One more time to feel your arms wrap around me, how safe I always felt in your embrace. Someday, we will have that chance again. For the time being, not one moment passes me by that I don’t ache for your presence in my life once more. I know you are with Sara, kiss her for me. Run and chase her through those fields of daisies and know that you gave everything you had to your girls. I know how much you sacrificed for us, how you did without time and time again, just so we would have the best you could give us. On this, the 181st day of your physical absence, please know that we are wishing you a Happy Mother's Day, but even more so, wishing we could tell you it in person. I love you, Mom.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Dazed

This will be another sporadic entry. Yesterday was a very emotionally draining day as we were working on the logistics of all problems concerning both Kay and Sophie. They both still remain out of the ICU. Kay is in a secondary care unit, not quite ICU, not quite a normal room. Sophie is in a normal room and looks like she will be released sometime today or early tomorrow morning.

Sophie is doing well, she is very anxious to leave the hospital. Each day she improves in some area, it is a slow process, but a hopeful one. She is ready to jump back in and help with Kay, but this will not possible quite yet. She still needs time to recuperate from this latest medical setback. I know I have not shared much concerning the details of Sophie’s hospitalization. This was due to the fact that I didn’t have permission to do so. However, I have been told that I can feel free to say something, so I will.

Sophie has Multiple Sclerosis. If you live in Canada or abroad, you know that May is National Multiple Sclerosis month. However, if you live in the States, it is in March. Whenever the month is, our family doesn’t need the reminder because we are already too aware of MS. Sophie has dealt with this disease for several years, always amazing us with her strength in facing it. She lives by a simple philosophy: "I do not live with this disease, it lives with me." That philosophy has kept her going when most of us would have given up.

For the past few years, she has been in a clinical drug trial, a trial she was doing really well in. However, due to other factors, she was abruptly taken from this trial a few weeks ago. This, combined with intense stressors of the current situation, caused her body to have an exacerbation or a flare. After much rest, several medications, and allowing her body to de-stress, she is doing very well and has allowed me to share exactly why she can’t be with Kay right now. I know she is anxious to be with Kay again, but we are more anxious just to have her back on a smooth road once more. That soon shall come to pass and we are looking forward to that day.

Kay is doing slightly better. Her first two nights out of ICU have been eventful. So far, it looks like she will remain out of ICU for the time being. There is always a chance she will need to go back, but we are praying against it. We are still waiting for the complete pathology report before any set treatment plans are in place.

My Dad and I are hanging onto whatever hope we can manage to find these days. This morning, it was hope because Kay was able to complete the physical therapy treatment with not having to stop mid-way through. She did this and pushed herself a little further. We are proud of her, she is amazingly strong. She has given us back hope.

I am in the middle of working on another post, a post that weighs very heavy upon my heart. I will do my best to get it posted before the end of the weekend. Please keep praying.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Progress

I know I said I would write last night. I intended to do so, but once again, life got in the way of my intentions. Tonight, I am too tired to write the long post I had planned. Instead, I have good news.

BOTH AUNTIES ARE OUT OF THE ICU!

This is huge news as Kay has been in the ICU for 36 days straight. I am getting ready to head back over to stay the night with her during her first night out of ICU. She is struggling with many emotions and also struggling with the lack of understanding that she has right now. We are trying to learn to cope with this as it comes.

Sophie is doing better, not best, but better. There is talk of her being released from the hospital very soon. We will see.

I will write more tomorrow. For now, I am taking my pajama clad body back to the hospital to sit with Kay while she sleeps as she said she didn’t want to be alone. That I can do.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Rumors

Added on: Donna, I can’t get into YM. I left my cell phone on the counter back at the Linda. Please call my Dad’s cell as he has everything that you need.

This will be a short entry as I honestly am worn to the bone and don’t have much to offer tonight. Kay is still in Intensive Care. She is doing fairly well. The biggest concerns right now are infections and controlling pain. Both are being handled with the best care we could ever ask for. She is still struggling with the emotional side of things. She has just now started to realize that Sophie isn’t available and that is hitting hard as well. There had been rumors of her being moved from the ICU by today. I think those rumors are now trying for Friday if all goes well.

On the subject of Sophie, she is doing better. She was placed in Intensive Care yesterday for precaution purposes only. Her blood pressure fell extremely low and she began to feel less than great. Her stay there was short lived. She was moved back to her room this afternoon as she doing fine now. There is no real reason as to why this happened, but we are just happy it’s over. I joke with her that I just couldn’t handle two Aunties in the ICU, so she needed to hurry her little butt right out of there. I suppose she took heed to my suggestion.

My e-mail is broken. Broken and not working. Broken and frustrating me beyond belief. Understood? Let me explain. ALEXANDER, IF YOU DON’T FIX IT SOON, I SWEAR I AM GOING TO START GIVING EVERYONE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS. I hope you like spam, because if my e-mail isn’t fixed soon, you are going to get a double serving of it. Got it? Now, sweetie, I love you and thank you in advance. Kisses.

I told you I was worn. I am slightly irritable and I am just exhausted. Little things are beginning to frustrate me as in the lack of working e-mail or the lack of being able to log into YM.

I will post again tomorrow night. It will be a post full of thank you’s and apologies. In the meantime, please know that we know that you are all praying. Please don’t stop.