Thursday, July 14, 2011

So Thin

Every once in a while, I will see Mike like I haven't seen him before. Yes, I am with him every day and I'm not blinded as to his decline. Tonight though, he just looked and felt really thin. My thumb and middle finger can wrap around his ankle. When I rub his back, I feel his spine. His shoulders are all bones. His arms are like match sticks. I see him every day, but only sometimes do I really pay attention. I'm usually so busy turning him, rolling him, lifting him, positioning him, that I just go through the motions without noticing. But tonight I noticed and it's heartbreaking. When he used to hold my hand, his was so much larger than mine - I felt safe and connected. Now, his hands are so tiny, his fingers so small. His body is slowly disappearing, fading away from us just like his mind.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Traveller

Courtney has been in London for 5 days now and she's having a blast. She's gotten to see: Big Ben, Trifalgor Square, Picadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, Kings Cross (and Platform 9 3/4 - yay Harry Potter fans!), and the London Eye. She hasn't gone on it yet, as each time she went it was sold out. She plans on going on Thursday before she attends the midnight premier of the very last Harry Potter movie ever - and she is THRILLED beyond belief that she will be seeing it in London!

Her actual classes start today, so now the actual fun (not) begins. I'm sure she'll do fine and still have time off to explore.

Betsy's wake was Friday and it was quite emotional. There as a line out the door and standing room only. The Deacon who said the prayer was a personal friend and he did an amazing job. He asked people to yell out words or stories that best reflected Betsy and they were all perfect. I couldn't come up with anything different, until I was driving home. I didn't get to share it there, but I thought I would share it here.

When Mike got sick, Betsy took charge. She arranged so much for us: having our living room painted, having dinners delivered and prayers said. She would mail cards every now and then just to let me know that she was thinking of me and cared how I was. Then she got sick, yet she STILL would bring me dinners. One night, Tom (her husband) rang our doorbell. She was not able to walk and she made him bring us dinner. When I asked him quite shockingly, what he was doing, he said, "You know Betsy. She's not happy unless she's helping someone".

That's the type of person she was and that's what I didn't get to share that night. We should all have a friend like Betsy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Courtney In London

Courtney landed safely today in London for a 5 week study abroad program studying the films of Alfred Hithcock. We have been extremely blessed to have been able to borrow this money in order to make this happen. It's a one in a lifetime chance, that I would have hated for her to miss.
She was extremely nervous about flying on her own AND being away from Mike for 5 weeks. That fear of being away became even more intense after our friend Betsy passed away. Her son was away at Boy Scout camp when she passed and Courtney's mind went into overdrive. Once again I explained to her that Mike would have NEVER wanted her to pass up an opportunity like this, and that we need to go on living our lives. Mike has been sick for ten years. Imagine if we didn't do anything during that time because we "were afraid" something would happen. We have no control, we just have to have faith.
She got in today when her other three roomates got in last night (they are randomly picked to room together by the school). Apparently, the roomates partied so hard and were so loud, the apartment management locked the terrace so they cannot use it anymore. Courtney said it's gorgeous, but she will never get to go out on it because her three roomates took advantage on their first night in London. She's also in a room with girls who brag about doing ecstacy and acid. I suggested that Courtney see if she can switch rooms. I do NOT want her to be around that stuff and I want her to have a good time. While she's watching every penny (or should I say pound) she spends, her trouble maker roomate is bragging about maxing out her dad's credit card. Talk about being at opposite ends of the spectrum!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thank You Linda

Two weeks ago I went to visit my friend Betsy. She was a guiding force behind a lot of the help were received over the years. I was contemplating going to see her again this weekend, but I thought about all I had already done (and how tired I was from it) and all I still had left to do. I thought that maybe I could just rest today.
Then last night I caught up on my friend Linda's blog. She had an entry about a friend of hers and how she came across his phone message from a year ago. Life happens and she got busy and realized she never called him back. Shortly thereafter, she found out he passed away. She never got to return that call.
After readng that I decided I was going to see Betsy today no matter what. I saw it as a "sign". Another friend had also visited her on Saturday and she said Betsy was not doing well. I made the 45 minutes drive this morning with Courtney. When I got to her room, her husband was there, with his stuff all around from being camped out overnight. When I hugged Betsy and gave her a kiss, I realized her hands were freezing. Courtney and I rubbed them with lotion but no matter what we did, her hands were just so cold. I asked her husband to check her feet, and when he realized they were also so cold, he put socks on them and extra blankets. We sat with her for about an hour, I held her hand the entire time, letting her know I was there. She made a few sounds when she saw us and when we left, her other friend said it was her way of letting us know that she knew we were there. Her husband walked us out and we went home and went about our day.
I got a call from Betsy's husband a few hours ago, telling me that she had passed away shortly after we left her.
Please DO NOT always count on tomorrow - it may never come, and an opportunity you thought you would have, may never come to be. Thank you Linda for sharing your story and helping me make my decision to go out and see my friend.
Rest in Peace Betsy. Your spirit, friendship and generosity will always be remembered.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

We Love Ellen!!!

Last night Brandon was at his friend's graduation party, so Courtney and I had free reign of the TV. Believe it or not, with hundreds of channels on cable, there was NOTHING on. So... we had an "Ellen" marathon. We try to watch her show every day to get our daily dose of laughter, but there are MANY days we don't get to it, so we record it. Well...our days are often busy and unpredictable, so we have A LOT to catch up on.
This is a picture of just some of the Ellen's we had to catch up on. Needless to say, we went to bed happy. We LOVE Ellen!!!