Well, what can I say? Life happens. After a long time of neglecting the blogs I even read, I stumbled across one of my favorite blogs The Glamorous Life Association and was inspired – for the first time in a long time – to write a post myself.
Imagine my shock when I went to my own blog and saw a huge blinking snowman wishing me Christmas hugs. Has it really been that long since I posted? And truthfully, this is not a “real” post, is it? It’s merely an image I submitted in a post weeks before, with a planned date of Christmas for the reading pleasure of all my zillion blog followers.
Truth is, I haven’t felt much like posting on the blog. I haven’t really had a lot of positive things to say, and my urge to write just hasn’t been there – which is quite unusual for me.
Those of you who are close might know some of the things I’ve been through. For the others….
My in-laws were on their way here only a few days before Christmas. Their intent was to move into a house in a retirement community and spend the rest of their days here in sunny and warm Arizona rather than snowy and frigid Western New York. Unfortunately somewhere along the way my father-in-law had a heart attack.
My mother-in-law Suzy (who has Alzheimer’s) continued driving, guided by my FIL’s keen sense of direction, even in his poor state of health. His heart attack was not too apparent actually, and once they got here on the 23rd we knew he was sick, but did not realize how badly.
On Christmas Eve, it became apparent he was in need of professional medical help and Terry brought him to the Emergency room. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff, Ray’s vital organs failed him one by one – first his heart, then his liver, his kidneys, and finally his lungs. On December 28th the family made the difficult decision to remove him from artificial life support. That evening he quietly passed away at hospice with Suzy, his first and fifth sons (Terry and Ted respectively) and myself closely by his side.
The next few weeks were spent in the frozen tundra that was Rochester, NY (remember those horrible storms in the northeast over New Year’s?) dominated by funeral home and memorial service arrangements, learning about the process of cremation, dealing with differing family opinions and personalities, and taking care of logistics like bills, mail, figuring out the financial situation, legal issues, etc., all throughout the mourning process.
Our saving grace was being able to stay at the home of a true angel, Bunny Mannix. No matter how difficult our day was, she made sure that we were always comfortable and cared for, and had somewhere safe and warm to sleep after an exhausting day.
Once all that died down and we were back in Arizona, there was still the issue of what to do with Terry’s mom Suzy. Although she is not yet at the “serious” stage of Alzheimer’s, it was apparent she was not able to care for herself. Lord knows how she got by over the past couple of months in New York. Ted stayed with Sue in the home she and Ray had leased for January and February, while the two of them and Terry searched for assisted living facilities for her. After weeks and weeks, visits to countless places, they finally found a suitable place that would work for her financially and she moved in last week.
And of course while all this is going on, life does not stop. We exchanged presents but never really had a “Christmas”. I had three business trips including two conferences I had to run, my assistant quit, Justin broke his wrist, the dog had two different ailments (one causing me to take him to doggie urgent care) and various degrees of colds have passed through our home. We just kept thinking, when will this all stop?
Fortunately things are better. Now that Terry’s mom is in a safe and truly nice place, it will be easier to tie up the loose ends. But it’s still not easy, and for that I ask for your prayers.
It has been a difficult time for us, but we’ve gotten through it. The support of our friends was immensely helpful and I am personally forever grateful to my sister Danielle who was there for me when I had to be there for everyone else.
I normally don’t like to post on the blog about things that might bring the mood down, but I did think it was important to put the information here for those who might not already know. It was also somewhat therapeutic to write as well.
My prayers to God to give us strength and clarity to get through this situation have been answered and for that I am forever thankful. It’s going to be okay.