Another Angel Takes Flight

Tonight Heaven gained another angel. My cousin Linda passed away at the age of 69 years and twelve days due to cancer. She fought long and hard without complaint.

She was a woman of great faith and I will miss her so much even though I had not seen her in more than ten years.

The cousins met up every summer when we were much younger. The Dads would drive halfway between Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Virginia kids spent two weeks in PA and we would meet again at the same spot so the PA kids could spend two weeks in VA. It was such a special time to be a kid.

I loved the time in PA because it was country living and so different from my hometown. I saw cows, skunks and chickens. Linda’s younger sister would sometimes jump a fence to cross a pasture. Twice she was chased by the owner’s bull.

There are so many memories. As a teen, she dated the man who would become her husband. They dated on the sly. We all piled in the car as teens to go to the ice cream shop. Suddenly we had to duck down. Yep. Our parents had decided to visit the same ice cream shop. We got away with it. Linda married her sweetheart. He passed away in January.

She grew up to become an RN. She was always helping others. She was a caregiver for her Dad and also for her husband.

The cancer returned and spread. She made it to the cousin reunion in June. I was unable to attend. I wish I could have gone. She did not complain about pain. She just wanted to be treated normally. She entered the hospice recently. Her caregivers apparently were amazing.

I will miss her terribly. Her faith was incredible. She is now cancer free, pain free and with her family who preceded her. God took her home and some day the rest of us will join her.

I am thankful for the love and the memories. Rest in peace, Linda.

Ladies get your mammograms.

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Weary

I’ve been feeling a bit weary of late. I believe it’s the accumulation of a pandemic, missing my family and grieving what hubby and I had in the first half of our marriage. We’ve now been married four years and we’re “elderly” according to the medical folks.

When we married, I left my home state and traveled far from my family. I miss them tremendously.

We had a rule early on. One person cooks and the other cleans the mess. It was fun. He loved to cook. I do not. I now do everything.

We used to attend free summer concerts in town, parades and festivals. Sometimes we would go to one of the many beaches and do a little clamming. We sailed or at least spent time on the boat relaxing. We visited his Mom once a week. We also attended holiday dinners with family. We traveled so I could see family. I’ve been home twice in three years. When hubby went home with me in 2018 he was in constant pain and apologized to Mom. She understood. She said Pop was in constant pain. We still do not have a diagnosis. He could walk back then. Hubby is now barely mobile so his big outing is sitting on the deck or seeing a doctor.

I do not regret marrying him. I love him and will do whatever I am capable of doing to help him. I have offered to cut his hair and/or trim the beard enough so it can be shaved but he has this fear of me holding something sharp so close to his carotid arteries. Can’t imagine why.

We make the effort to find something humorous in all this. Some days are more successful than others. One thing that is evident to anyone who sees us (from a safe distance) is that we are committed to one another and our love is forever.

He does not always ask for help when he needs it because he does not want to be a burden. I do not mind most days. Sometimes I’m just tired. I’m the one getting medical help now. It’s minor and something I inherited from Pop so I’m getting it taken care of. We’re both due for routine appointments in July. Our doctor left the big hospital affiliation. The best part of that is he’ll be 3 miles away instead of 17.

I’m grieving what Multiple Sclerosis or whatever it is is doing to him and to us. Once we have a proper diagnosis I can gather resources and see about how to properly modify the bathroom or have the town build a handicap ramp. I have forms for the doctor to fill out but we need the diagnosis.

We still wait. Psalm 46: Be still and KNOW I am God. God truly knows my patience meter shattered more than a year ago. Praying for answers.

Grieving

We had a lovely time at Christmas and I was able to get to church for the pageant. It lifted my spirits. We had fun with the little ones and I was able to speak to my family back home.

Since Christmas hubby has had his first gel injection for his knee. He will have two more soon. It should help lessen the pain so he can walk again. He also had his repeat MRIs of his neck and brain. When we saw his PCP today he had the report. There are no new lesions but Doc said it looks like MS and be prepared in case the neurologist wants to do a lumbar puncture.

It’s starting to sink in for us both. I have had moments when I just want to blubber. I haven’t yet. I believe I’m grieving. I’ve grieved many deaths but this is different. I’m grieving the fun we were having early in our young marriage. He hasn’t been to his Mom’s house since early October. We don’t go out to eat or take advantage of the small town happenings. I don’t want to go alone.

I haven’t seen my family in 19 months. Mom calls. I miss my family. I am so tired but it’s more emotional than physical. I have no problem falling asleep at night. I’m not rising early lately. One morning I slept until 9:45 a.m. That never happened before.

I’m also apprehensive. I don’t know what to expect. I imagine the neurologist will give us some resources. First we need to know what type of MS it is after the official diagnosis. Hopefully there is treatment. He’s 67 and there’s not a lot of information online about those diagnosed after age 50. We’re on the easternmost part of the island and the closest support group is more than an hour away by interstate. It’s a 30 minute drive to get to the interstate.

Do I need to get a walker? Will we need a handicap ramp? We’ll need to remodel the bathroom to have a step-in shower with safety rails rather than a tub. If a wheelchair is in the future I’ll need to measure for the proper width to get in and out of the house. My head is spinning.

I’ve loved this man since I was 21 years old. We had a gap of more than 30 years before we reconnected. I’m not leaving him. That’s not in my DNA.

I’m hopeful the knee will improve enough that we can drive south to see family. We just can’t make plans.

I miss my husband being healthy and having fun together. I miss my family and don’t know when I’ll be able to see them again. I have no one here to help unless someone from church can when I need the extra hand.

In the meantime we await answers. Still.