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.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Absent

Too much going on here to post right now, brief update instead.

Aunt Sophie remains in the hospital tonight. I really thought she would be released to come home today, but now we are shooting for tomorrow (Monday). We pray that she is able to find the strength that she so badly needs right now and that her current course of treatment will continue to help her.

Kay is rapidly going downhill. This has been the worst of her days thus far. My Dad is with Aunt Sophie, I am here with Kay. Tonight, I called both of her nurses and they have come to stay with her overnight so that I can try to get a few hours of sleep. After a very long day, horrible afternoon, and heartbreaking evening, she is finally resting. I am so glad, she was fighting the rest that she needs so much, it finally has overtaken her and she has no choice but to rest.

I have come to you all several times in the past few months and begged you to pray. Tonight, I am doing the same. If you pray, please do so right now. If you worship a higher power, please offer up a plea for our family, Kay and Sophie most of all. Whatever you do, please do it.

I am watching someone die in front of me again. I am not sure I can do this. I don't know what else to do but plead for your help.
Thanks to each of you from our family for everything that you are doing to help us during this time. I will post when I can.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Liberated

Thank you all for your e-mail(s) of concern. I know I said I would post more on Friday, but I just couldn’t force myself to do it at that time. So much has happened (as usual), it is near impossible to know where to start.

Friday I took Kay to the clinic for her near weekly blood transfusions. Before clinic, she had the scan that I posted about in the previous entry. My Aunt Sophie was to come in later in the afternoon to speak with the doctor about the results. The doctor stopped by to see Kay in the clinic before Aunt Sophie got there. I had stepped out for what was the second food run of the day (I will go on a million food runs as long as she is eating something). Per Kay’s request, the results of the scan were not given to her. Kay just simply told her that she had plans of things to do with the next few weeks and if she had less time, she would need to know. She was told to go forth with her plans. I came in as the doctor was leaving and she told me about the conversation. I didn’t know if I wanted to know the results of the scan either, so I just asked if her time frame was inaccurate based on the scans. She told me no, she didn’t believe it to be so.

This weekend held many memories in the making, both with Kay and with my husband Alex being here. Sophie started taking a new medication on Friday night which made her feel ill all day Saturday. Kay was exhausted from her week of busy outings, so we took the time to catch up on some movie viewing. We first watched Diary of a Mad Black Woman. If you have not seen this movie, I suggest you stop reading this and go get it . . . RIGHT NOW. This movie had a very profound impact on my life and I am not sure I will be forgetting it anytime soon. While the main plot was about love, it was also about losing something you love very much. A quote stands out in my head that applies to our daily lives right now; "We fight so hard to hold on to the things that God, Himself, is trying to tear apart ." So true, so very true to life right now.

We also took time to watch Coach Carter. It was also another great movie with a wonderful message. Pick it up when you go to rent the other, okay? One of my favorite authors was cited in the movie as to what our deepest fear is.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine, as children do. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Something to think about, I say. You can check out more by Marianne Williamson by clicking here. She has a wide variety of material out there and is worth taking a look at.

Sunday we as a family went to services. Kay made the choice to speak with the Pastor about being rededicated. We have spoken with him and that is set for the next service. Kay has always been a deeply devoted Christian, but as the Pastor said, it is perfectly acceptable at this stage of her life to want to know that all is straight with God. While Kay is perfectly content in this, the rest of us know what it means and aren’t taking it as well as we could be.

Monday morning Kay surprised us by asking to leave the house for the day. My in-laws were bringing Emily in for the day when they picked up Alex. I just assumed that Kay would want to be here. However, she decided that she just didn’t want to be here and I can’t blame her, it was rather chaotic for several hours. She took it upon herself to ask us to dial the phone for her, and she wanted to talk to Barb. After asking Barb if they could go out, she told us she was going out, to not wait up! She ended up spending the night at Barb and Andy’s and then helped to cook us breakfast the next morning. She even helped to bake cookies for Sophie!

On Tuesday evening, Kay had a massive seizure following several mild type seizures (undetermined type at this point). We spent the greater part of the morning at the hospital trying to determine the cause(s) of this incident. Basically all we know is that a stroke isn’t the cause and a bleed isn’t likely. Her Decadron levels were slightly lower than the therapeutic levels, so we are praying that this was the cause. It has been increased, so over the course of the next few days, we should be able to see a difference and a decrease (or a complete stop!)in seizure activity.

That about sums up our week thus far. Tomorrow I am taking Sophie to her follow-up appointment in Tulsa. Alex has made it safely back to Germany and Emily is with her grandparents in Ohio. I am very sad at this, having several days with Alex has been wonderful. Emily is growing up and I am missing it. She is just an absolute doll and it was hard to put her in the car and watch them drive away on Monday night. However, I need to be here and am just very grateful that Emily is so well taken care of right now.

I will post more by the end of the weekend, I won’t promise when. I literally have about two hours each day to spare and trust me, sleep is generally at the top of my list of things to do. Your e-mail has been a blessing. I can’t tell you what your support does for all of us, it is good to be so loved.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Repeating


The days are a blur. Today is Friday? Monday? Thursday? Each moment seems to fly by and I can’t make the minutes stop. I want to hold onto every precious second I can, but they seem to slipping from my grasp. My Aunt Kay seems to be slipping from my grasp as well. The tighter I hold on, the more fiercely I realize she is fighting to let go. We have been forced this week to come to terms with that. I admit none of us are doing well.

Many things have happened since my last posting, as usual. Kay has had several bad moments/hours and even more moments that she scared us all. She has had a limited amount of good hours, yesterday being a day full of them. (More on that in a moment.) At my Aunt Sophie’s request, Kay will be undergoing a very quick and minimally pain free scan tomorrow morning before she gets her weekly transfusion. Kay has agreed to this, her only request is that we don’t share the results with her.

My Aunt Sophie is having some guilt over putting Kay through an obviously pointless scan, but we all support her. In all honesty, I am grateful she is doing this, asking that this be done. So many things have been happening this week and while we have all been assured it is normally given where Kay is right now, I think we all would like proof positive of this. It changes nothing. Kay will remain on hospice and we will support her wishes against no further treatment. She is tolerating our request that she go in for weekly transfusions, and we will honor her request to not know where things are right now.

Monday evening we were sitting with Kay when her breathing changed, suddenly. Since the first surgery and the lung infection that followed it, Kay has had minimal problems in the breathing department. She is on constant oxygen, and this does help. However, Monday evening, it was different. She went from being labored to panting, to barely being able to breathe at all no matter how much oxygen she was getting. It was scary for all of us, terrifying for her. We don’t know why this happened. We are told that it isn’t a sign of imminent death, but rather a sign that things are progressing at the rate that we were told they would be.

On Tuesday, after the scare Monday night, my Aunt Sophie was urged by not only us, but by a close friend to speak with Kay’s physician. She did this and walked away with a bit of comfort in knowing that Kay’s death is not going to be today or tomorrow, but will most likely follow the time frame closely. She was again reminded that there will be more signs such as this one and that as the time gets closer, we will be acutely aware of when to follow thru with Kay’s wishes. Although none of this is easy to hear or to comprehend, it is easier to realize that certain things (i.e., change in respirations coupled with Kay’s outrageously high heart rate from the night before) do not necessarily mean upcoming death.

Kay has started to ask for things that we can’t A)understand, B) help her with, or C) do anything about. These include asking for people we don’t recognize, talking about things we don’t understand (ex. crossing a pond to get to where she is going. Does anyone understand this?), and finally, telling us that she saw my Mom. While none of us are certain if it is medication induced or exhaustion induced, we are remembering that in my Mom’s final days, she had many "visitors" that she found great comfort in. While my Mom didn’t speak of many things that we didn’t understand, she did ask for things that we couldn’t help her with. Kay has started to do the same. It is becoming very clear to all of us that Kay’s doctor has been very accurate in what will happen to Kay.

My Dad and I spent yesterday in Tulsa with my Aunt Sophie. As stated in a previous posting, Sophie has MS. In the past few months, her MS has gone from Relapsing-Remitting to what it is now, Secondary-Progressive. She has two treatment options at this point. The first, is limited in the quantity that she can receive in her lifetime. Novantrone is potentially life threatening if used over and over again. It is, in all simplicity, a chemotherapy agent. Her other treatment option is to remain on a course of Cytoxan indefinitely. That is not an option she is ready to take at this point in her life, so Novantrone it is for now. She had her first dose almost three months ago and the second yesterday. We were prepared for the same side effects as the first dose. What we got instead were the same side effects magnified by 10. To say that she is suffering right now is an understatement.

She is currently taking two of the same drugs that Kay is taking, Zofran and Ativan, in order to control some of the side effects. Thankfully, the use of these drugs will be short term for Aunt Sophie. (They are both parts of Kay’s daily medication regimen.) Right now, she is sleeping off the afternoon dose of her meds. We have been diligent in checking for any sign of fever or infection. Both which could be dangerous for her at this time. Many of the restrictions that are in place for Kay will be in place for Sophie for a few days as well.

(As always, please do NOT come if you have been sick at all in the past 72 hours or have been exposed to ANYTHING that could be contagious or infectious. This rule is always in effect! While we are not at a point that we require scrubbing in at the backdoor, if it comes to that again as it did with Mom, we will be making it a mandatory rule. It is not an option! It is for Kay’s, as well as Sophie’s, health that we ask you to follow the rules. Any infection to Kay could be fatal, and we will not be taking that the risk. If you have any questions about your current health status being acceptable, please call and speak to either my Dad or myself. We would much rather you ask than expose either Aunt to something that they can’t fight.)

Yesterday, while we were in Tulsa, we left Kay in the company of Caroline and Julie. For those of you unaware, Julie is Kay’s overseeing hospice nurse. They are slowly forming a bond, but Kay is most certainly more comfortable with Caroline right now. If you knew Kay pre-diagnosis, you know she has never met a stranger. That all changed after the diagnosis. Cancer does that to a person, I suppose. Sara became a little introverted (totally unlike herself) after her diagnosis and in the final months, I think my Mom did as well. Perhaps it wasn’t the diagnosis of cancer, but the realization that terminal cancer will take your life? Since the diagnosis and certainly since April, Kay has a very hard time with new people. It takes her a while to get adjusted, she seems to get overwhelmed, very quickly. Once she gets to know a person, she warms up and a little of old Kay begins to emerge. Although hard on her, she does very well once she becomes comfortable with new people.

We expected that Kay would have a semi-good day, but we were still very concerned with leaving her. We were shocked to hear all of what she did yesterday! From going shopping at her favorite store, to eating out at one of her favorite places, to swinging at a local park, we were amazed! (Not to mention she bought me this incredibly beautiful item! I’m a sucker for a bargain!) She was so worn out from her big day that she slept 11 hours straight, an unheard of record! Today she is spending it alongside my Aunt Sophie, both medicated to the point of being able to sleep.

Tomorrow holds a number of unknown(s) for all of us. Please say a prayer as we face uncertain news. I will post more tomorrow, for now, this short novel should be enough to let you know where we are in life.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Tally


I have tried to find time to write this several times in the past few days. Each time, I get two sentences written and something happens to make me realize I can’t take the time to do it. However, tonight, I am putting everything on hold to play catch up both here and in my e-mail, so if you are waiting on an e-mail from me, surprise, it’s coming!

As always, life at the Linda is hectic. Let’s take a score for the whole family, shall we?

Past ten days:
Clinic visits = 1
Emergency room visits = 1
Hanging baskets purchased = 15
Dogs missing = 1
Hours of collective sleep = 12
Number of people now sleeping in the den to be closer to Kay = 5
Number of casseroles people have brought to our home in the past 5 days = 21

This is just a small glimpse, but you can see where I am going with this. Every day it is something else, with someone. Kay has had several good mornings/days in the past few days. I can’t say the same for the rest of us. Sophie is having some major health concerns right now, which she is having a hard time coping with the fact that she needs to take care of herself, we have Kay covered right now.

I wanted to write tonight and tell you of all the things we have done this week with Kay. I wanted to tell you about hanging basket shopping, lunches out, church outings, long drives. I wanted to capture how much fun we have had this week, just living out Kay’s every desire. Instead, tonight, I want to share with you something that will help you know exactly what we are dealing with right now. I want to tell you that we are all afraid we may not have the time estimated with Kay. I want to tell you that I am not sure I am strong enough to let go of yet another person I love. I want to tell you, this is hell.

This evening, during a particularly bad hour for Kay, she required restraint in order not to harm herself. My Aunt Sophie was on one side, and I was on the other. My Dad held Kay’s legs firmly as we waited for the moment to pass. As we stood there, unable to speak, I noticed that Sophie had tears streaming down her cheeks as she looked down at her own hands firmly holding Kay down. It was then that she said the words that may haunt me for the rest of my life.

"Where is God while I am forced to hold down the arms of my wife? Where is God as she reacts to the fear of not knowing what is going on? Where is God, Shelly?"

I was unable to speak and forced myself to choke out a lame "I don’t know." I want to believe He was there, holding onto Kay to bring her comfort. I want to believe that He is preparing a place for her in Heaven alongside so many others that have joined Him recently. I want to believe that he was whispering to Kay’s soul soothing words. The truth is, I don’t know.

A few nights ago, I received an e-mail from someone my Mom was very close to during her final year. Since my Mom’s passing, I have been keeping in touch with this person. In her e-mail to me a few nights ago, she said to me, "I still have enough faith in God to believe there still may be hope." I wish I could say I thought of it first and that I had hope all the way through, but somewhere along the way, the little bit of hope I reaffirmed in my life, I lost. Hearing this simple sentence from someone who was devoted to my Mom, helped me to realize that I can’t lose faith now. Things may not turn out as I wish, but I can’t lose hope. I need to hold onto hope until He reveals His plan to us. So, hope I will hold as close to my heart as I can for as long as I can.

I have much, much more to write about, but tonight, my eyes and heart aren’t working together. It is time for me to close. Next time, I will share all about Kay’s journey to church and her renewed love of a little place we like to call Starbuck’s. Wait, I’m mistaken, that’s me. Oh well, I will share that little tidbit next time as well. I promise next time will be sooner than this time.