Yes, life does go on whether we want it to or not. I have my days lately that I’m not sure I want to go with it. I know it’s just all part of the grieving process and will eventually go away but it’s the part in between that I’m not handling well at the moment.
I have a MRI scheduled for tomorrow, just as a precaution, looking for any activity showing that I’ve come out of remission.
Stress is one of the worst & most dangerous things for people with MS. I think I qualify for stress overload this year. Here we are at 5 months in and let’s just take a tally:
Jan. 11th, lost my soulmate Mark;
Jan. 17th, funeral services;
Jan. 23rd, total right hip replacement;
February 8th, buried Mark’s ashes;
March 28th, learn that mom (88 w/pancreatic cancer), still in Florida, is in the hospital due to dehydration so bad that my aunt thought she had suffered a stroke. The hospital kept her there for several days rehydrating & evaluating. They sent her to a nursing home after release for physical & speech therapy due to lingering effects dehydration but also for pneumonia.
April 3rd, total left hip replacement.
May 12th, lost my balance and fell down in the kitchen landing on my left hip. Didn’t hurt too awfully bad so I figured I was ok as far as injuring my new joint but I did pull the groin muscles pretty good.
May 13th, lost my balance again and fell down in the basement while doing laundry. The good Lord took pity on me and I landed on a 30 gallon trash bag full of Mark’s clothes to be washed, however my confidence was destroyed. I went back to using the walker when I had just begun to walk around the house without assistance.
May 16th, lost my balance in the wet grass, doing a bad Charlie Chaplin imitation, I managed to catch myself without actually falling but I badly pulled the groin muscles on my right side.
Later that day we found out that mom’s cancer has grown and they found a tiny new spot on her liver.
May 17th, visited with neurologist to discuss possible relapse signs that I’ve been experiencing since late Feb. or early March. At first I thought they were just the usual flare-ups, now I’m not so sure. I haven’t relapsed since May of 2005 but the symptoms that I’m dealing with now are not those of my “usual”.
I’m a little scared. I don’t know how I’m gonna handle it if anything happens to mom this soon after Mark or if the news is bad for me.
In my never ending task of clear out Mark’s things. or so it seems, and the thinning out of mine, I came across the little picture album that Shawna gave me when I got home from my first hip replacement.
As I looked through it again, of course, I couldn’t help but to start crying. There was a reason for this meltdown though, I had just realized that Mark wasn’t feeling too well that day and didn’t really want to go. I begged him to do it for me stating that if he wanted to leave sooner than I did he could and I would have one the kids bring Bass & I home later. He made a last, half-hearted protest and then said ok.
God must have been trying to warn me but, as no surprise, I got the message mixed up. I had texted the members of my little family stating that I wanted for us all to get together with during the holidays to take some family pictures in case anything happened to me during surgery. Of course, objecting to my reason for it, they agreed to meet at my son’s house.
I could never have guessed in a million years they would be last pictures taken of Mark. He was in the hospital within the next couple of days after.
I’m so glad that I talked him into it! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, leaving me a good last memory of him.
There are still a bunch of emotions that I am having to deal with day in and day out, but I’m getting there.
I thought I wouldn’t ever stop grieving after losing my BFF Penny (3 or 4 years ago) but even as close as we were, it pales in comparison to losing Mark!
I was doing that one thing we all love to do when seasons change, pack up the Fall and Winter coats and clothes into the totes you just emptied of Spring and Summer clothes. Carefully inspecting each of Sebastian’s items for the size label (usually non-existent because it was cut off before handed down from his autistic cousin or he demanded the tag be removed himself) to determine if I pack it or send it off to either the rag bag or another worthy wearer.
Nah, the second part of that is always what I intend to do but my the time I get there, I’m too worn out from unpacking, sorting and repacking the totes that I’m needing a break from the monotony but yesterday I needed a break from the angry grief just long enough to completely fall apart, sobbing like this is February and we just buried his ashes! Why? What set me off? A little green tee-shirt that said “Daddy’s little helper”.
Grief really sucks! When I start thinking I’ve moved past all its stages, something small, just a minor little thing, socks me in the gut with one uncontrollable emotion of another!!
It’s been a rough time these last five years.
We lost Mark’s dad, Al, from cancer in Nov. of 2017.
We lost my dad, Rich, when he broke his pelvis in a fall after Thanksgiving of 2018 and caught pneumonia at the age of 89. He went home before Christmas.
Afterwards, I happened to have found sort of a poem that he had written on a piece of paper and tucked away in a book. I presumed he wrote since there was no author noted. My dad was much too honorable for plagiarism. I thought I’d share it with you today.
“Do not cry for me for I am dead and I cannot hear you.
But smile and laugh of the good memories and times that we shared.
Death is not the end. The end comes when memories are no longer.
Love is said over and over as if to convince the speaker as well as the listener. If there is no listener why speak of love?
My life was not wasted, the waste was my lack of saying the things that I heard in my head but never put to word.”
I loved all three of these proud, strong and quiet spoken men with all my heart. They don’t make too many of them like that any more.
As I cleaned today I found your lisence Gazed at your picture with great reluctance Tears rolled down my face to my annoyance Turning heavenward with due reverence Questioned God’s belief in my resilience Began cursing you for the arrogance Of leaving me here to suffer existence How could you ever hear in the silence The cries of my soul in pain’s conveyance Never to regain love’s exuberance How do I go on if life makes no sence?
Teresa Marie 4/28/19 I miss you every single day my love!
I truly thought that 2017 & 2018 were the worst years I’d had in a very long time. In Nov. 2017, just before Thanksgiving, we lost Mark’s father, whom I dearly loved, to cancer. It it had been a drawn out fight that we thought he was winning with the chemo treatments. Unfortunately he allowed them to talk him into radiation therapy for the small spot on his brain. That’s what ultimately took away our hopes & his life.
In the spring of 2018 we were informed that my mother (87) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She cared for my father (88) with severe dementia. Mark & I cared for him while she went to chemo. It was a demanding task but there were 2 of us to share the load. One day he asked me why he was here. I said, “Here in this bed or still living here on earth?” His reply of on earth was no surprise. My father was a man’s man, proud & 100% Irish in blood and character. He had been praying for God to take him home for many years. On Thanksgiving that same year my father fell and broke his pelvis. When they moved him from the hospital to a nursing home for rehab, they also diagnosed him with pneumonia. I told my grown children to prepare for the worst because I knew in my soul that he was not coming out of there alive. He passed away early December, actually on Mark’s dad’s birthday.
I was so looking forward to 2019; I was scheduled to get my right hip replace on 1/2/19 (there was no socket left, just bone on bone, excruciating pain) and then 3 to 4 months later they would do my left hip.
I thought it would be a arduous process and would probably take at least 6 months to recover from. However, I was ready to get started (the pain was getting worse every day and I could barely walk at a snail’s pace across the room while producing a snap-crackle-pop sound with each step.) With Mark’s help though I knew I could do it.
My beloved husband, Mark Brewer 8/26/61 – 1/11/19.
On Dec. 26th Mark, Sebastian & I went to Urgent Care; I was sure that I had a sinus infection, Bass had an ear infection and I was almost positive that Mark had had pneumonia for at least a week.
I wish I had been mistaken. After examining Bass & I, the doctor went to check Mark. I don’t think he was gone more than a couple minutes when he came back to tell me, “Your husband is a very sick man! His oxygen level is 60%, BP 80/60. I honestly don’t know how he ever walked in here. I wanted to send for an ambulance but he said you’d drive him to the hospital.” I told him to get the ambulance.
I knew he was bad but not that bad. Within 2 days of admission he was moved to the ICU, put on life support and induced coma, which we had discussed many times. However, we had no living will and he told no members of his family about his wishes.
I rescheduled my surgery until 1/23/19.
A word to the wise, get a will or living will!
It was the tortures of the damned for 8 days because I could not stop them from putting all the tubes on him & down his throat, exactly what I vowed with all my heart to never allow! The doctors said it was their duty to use every method at their disposal to save his life without any wills. I researched state law & consulted our attorney, then prepared myself for any resistance and waited .
On day 9 they called the family in for a conference. Thank God the Nurse Practitioner was bluntly honest with the rest of the family. She began by telling us that a ventilator can only be used for 14 days & then they have to do some procedure Idd can’t remember the name of (tracheoscopy?) where they’d cut an opening in his throat to feed the tubes down. They needed my signature and I refused. There weren’t any objections after she informed us that he’d be transferred to an acute care facility, kept in the induced coma & wait for his heart or liver to shut down. Death was inevitable. Again I refused, stating that he never wanted what was already done to him and I wasn’t going to allow it to go any further. God blessed us with one lucid day before he passed where he recognized everyone & ,although his speech was slurred from the brain damage, I knew what he was saying most of the time. Finally, a tear fell down his cheek as he said, “I’m so sorry!” I told him I was sorry too but it was alright for him to go, it was gonna be hard but Bass & I would be okay. It was stated with way more confidence than I possessed. Actually I was terrified. Before this all happened, I had no clue how desperately I depended on him!
So here I am: widowed at 60, had MS for 14 years, the adoptive mother of my 3.5 year old grandson, recuperating from two total hip replacements, and grieving the loss of my true soulmate. I realize now that, considering the longevity of the maternal side of the family, I could spend another 20 to 30 years living alone. The prospect of which is not thrilling, however, the thought of finding a new husband is even less so.
So I will immerse myself in the raising of Bass, the love of my three children & 5 other grandchildren.