Sunday, November 8, 2009

Redefining Normal

We had Sandy's memorial service yesterday and it was perfect! I was so happy with every aspect of the service. Pastor McDonald did such a wonderful job of portraying Sandy's life and the music and slide show were so moving. Thank you to everyone that attended. Thank you to the great people of Calvary Assembly of God for providing the family with so much wonderful food, both before and after the service.

Nothing is ever going to be the same without Sandy here. I already miss her so much! Somehow I managed to get through the viewing on Friday night and the memorial service yesterday without her being there to do all of the talking. But I do believe that she was right there with me, giving me the words to say. I have hugged more people in the past two days than I think I had hugged in my entire life prior to that! Sandy was always a hugger, and I know that she would have been hugging everyone in sight too!

I am now beginning to think about what normal is going to be from this point forward in my life. I know that I will return to the old routine of going to work, coming home, doing yard work and housework...but it just won't ever be the same without Sandy. She and I worked in the same building - just down the hall from each other - for the past couple of years. I could just walk down the hall to her office, or she might just pop in the door of my office throughout the day. Now the building just seems emptier, lonelier, and sadder than it ever has. I remember times that I would hear her talking and laughing from her office and I'd just smile. I won't hear that anymore. Of course, it goes without saying that our home will never be the same. There will forever be an emptiness there that cannot be filled. Have I mentioned how much I miss her?

But I know that Sandy would not want anyone that she cared about to hurt, so I will press on. I will keep her memory alive for as long as I possibly can and I will love her for the rest of my life.

I owe so many Thank You's to so many people for so much benevolence! I don't even know where to begin. You all know what you have done...please accept my undying gratitude for all of it. I have said repeatedly that I can't tell you how much it means to me, and that is the truth. I am in awe of the goodness of people! From the very bottom of my heart, Thank You!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sandy's Tribute

I would love for everyone to visit the tribute to Sandy by clicking on the "Sandy's Tribute" link above, (the title to this post). This will take you to the page that Ellis Funeral Home set up for Sandy. On the right-hand side of the page there is a "Movie" link. Click on that to watch a slide show of pictures of Sandy through the years. (Depending on your connection to the Internet it can take quite awhile to load. I have a broadband connection and it still took a few minutes to load. So please be patient.)

I am sorry that I have not faithfully been posting to the blog the past couple of days. I hope that everyone will understand that I am trying to cope with the loss of Sandy and I just haven't been in the mood to talk or type about it too much. I am so thankful for having family with me...we have been coping and healing together. As always, I appreciate so much all of the love that so many have shown by bringing so much food, drinks, and supplies to the house to take that burden off of us while we grieve. I can never find the words to adequately express how much it means to all of us. So please accept my heartfelt "Thank You!!" as a feeble substitute.

As a reminder, the family will be at Ellis Funeral Home from 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. Friday evening for the viewing of Sandy's body. The memorial service and celebration of Sandy's life will be at 1:00 P.M. Saturday at Calvary Assembly of God, located at Florida Avenue and Johnston Street.
We went yesterday and made the final arrangements for Sandy. You can view her at Ellis Funeral Home on Andrews Hwy anytime between now and Saturday night when they close. Gina did Sandy's hair and makeup yesterday and she looks so beautiful! Thank you, did a great job! The family will be at the funeral home on Friday, November 6th, from 6:00 - 8:00 P.M.

The memorial service for Sandy will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, November 7th, at Calvary Assembly of God, located at 908 S. Johnston. That is on the corner of W. Florida Ave. and Johnston St. in Midland.

Please forgive my brevity this morning, but the words fail me. I will write again a little later to thank all of those who have done so much!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Feeling Empty

"All the pictures that hung in my memory before I knew you have faded and given place to our radiant moments together. Now I cannot live apart from you...your words are my food, your breath my wine. You are everything to me."
~Sarah Bernhardt

I woke up very early this morning to the realization that this will be the first full day without the joy and comfort that was my loving wife Sandy. She completed me in so many ways. All of those qualities that I lack she possessed in abundance. I relied so heavily on her, especially at times like these that we are about to go through in the next several days. I don't know how I will make it through them without her by my side.

I love you, Sandy, and I miss you so much already. My world will forever be incomplete without you. I am comforted that you are no longer in pain. My solace comes from the smile that I know has returned to your face.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Victory is Won

It is with a broken heart that I write tonight and tell you that Sandy passed away today at about 1:00 PM. She was at peace and surrounded by her family. She did not achieve the victory that we had held out for and that she fought so hard for, but she is victorious nonetheless. She is completely out of pain now and can be happy once again. We must all take solace in that.

We haven't finalized any of the arrangements yet, but right now we are planning on having the funeral on Saturday, November 7th at Calvary Assembly of God. It is located at 908 S. Johnston, which is at the corner of Florida St. and Johnston. I will post the details after we have met with the funeral home tomorrow morning.

Today is a blur. There was so much happening and so many people coming to show their support and bring food and drinks. Thanks to Margie for bringing lots and lots of food! Thanks to Molly for bringing supplies to help get us through the next several days. Thanks to Debbie for bringing drinks. Thanks to Sam and Rebecca for bringing food and supplies. Thanks to Roy and Debbie for bringing food. I hope that I haven't missed anyone...please forgive me if I have.

Please pray for safe travel for all of the family and friends as they come in for the funeral. Please pray for all of Sandy's family as we try to process and cope with this painful loss of our wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt and friend.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Constant Vigil

I am sitting here at Sandy's bedside watching her rest more comfortably than she has for the past couple of days. But even at that it's still not the peace that I wish for her at this point. The on-call Hospice nurse came about 15 minutes ago and gave her a shot of Thorazine and Gina gave her more OxyFast and Xanax. Even with all of that she still moans and groans and talks periodically.

Sandy's Hospice nurse came by earlier today to check on her. She said that she doesn't expect Sandy to make it to the end of the week. While that is devastating enough news in its own right, the remainder of the day has been every bit as painful. Sandy has been under heavy medication throughout the day but has not been able to stay comfortable or to rest for more than 15 to 30 minutes at a time. She wakes up with an urgency that she needs to get up and go somewhere or do something. We try to convince her that she just needs to lay back down and rest. But she gets combative and she begs and pleads and cries and fights to get out of bed. I know that whatever is going through her mind during these times is very real to her and needs to be tended to immediately. This makes it that much harder for those of us trying to keep her in bed. It has been an almost constant battle and has brought all of us to tears on more than one occasion today. We finally had to stop visitors from going back to see her because it has been so hard to get her to rest.

Please pray that she can have that peace that she deserves. No one should have the torment that she has experienced today!

Thanks to Terri for bringing us lasagna, garlic bread and salad for supper and cookies for dessert tonight. It was delicious and enjoyed by all. Thanks to Jack and Pam for bringing a basket full of goodies and a plate of brownies. I did sample the brownies, Jack, and you did good! I apologize that I wasn't able to visit while you were here, but that was during one of those times we were trying to get Sandy settled down and back in bed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Set Your Clocks Back

Today is the day we set our clocks back and get our hour back that we gave up earlier this year. How I wish we could set our clocks back a couple of years. I'd love to have all of that time back with Sandy. Maybe we could do something different that wouldn't bring us to where we are today.

My heart is really broken today for Sandy. She is at such an awful place with this disease. Her pain is increasing and we're having to give her more medication to control it. The cough is as relentless as it has ever been, so she's getting increased breathing treatments and cough medicine. And now she is going through some sort of mental torment that is just tearing out my heart. Even with the increased meds she doesn't sleep as much as she used to. She is awake more, but more disconnected from reality. She is seeing people and having conversations with people that aren't there. She is looking for things that she thinks she dropped but she never had in her hands. She says she wants to go home when she's already at home. She tries to get up to do things that she obviously doesn't need to do. It is so sad to see her in this state of mind. I just want her to be able to rest peacefully.

Thanks to Sharon who brought us some delicious soup and hot cornbread for supper tonight and some chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Thank you to everyone who has sent their support and love and prayers via cards, emails, letters and phone. I know there are so many supporting and praying for Sandy every single day.