Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's been an extremely eventful last few weeks for us and I have tons of things that I want to get around to sharing: Timmy's first time swimming, fun at the park, our trip to the philadelphia please touch museum, my horrible run-in with the IKEA customer service rep from hell, and funny interviews with katie (as the interviewer AND the interviewee).

But, before I get to all that (IF I get to all that) I want to unload a bit. It's been a rough 2 weeks with a lot of loss and a lot of bad news and it's made me sad: for our good friends, our family, and for myself.

Last week, Chris's best friend buried his father. I had only met him once myself, but my heart breaks for our friend. His father had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer on Christmas Eve and lost his battle 2 weeks ago. Our friend stayed with us a lot while his dad was in the hospital and we talked because talking helps. I went through a similar experience when I lost my dad to cancer and tried to be as hopeful as possible for him, all the while supporting him in his decision to take time off of work and spend every moment he could with his dad. I learned so much about his father at his funeral service. His children wrote such touching words to him. I left telling Chris that I was disappointed that I had never gotten to hang out with him because he sounded like a terrific person to know and hang out with. He had just retired this past fall - just a few months before his diagnosis.

The day after that funeral, we found out that the mother of 2 of our good friends from college had passed away. She had a heart attack. An amazing mother to 5 rowdy boys, she finally had a few granddaughters to round out the brood and had been looking forward to retirement this spring. I had met her a few times - she was so warm and friendly and treated us like part of the family.

To our friends - I am so sorry for your losses. I know you'll never even read this, but my prayers are with you and your families.

Last Friday my grandmother was taken to the hospital. We don't really know exactly what's happened other than that she may have had a severe reaction to an antibiotic. She is currently in a rehab facility, trying to relearn simple tasks. We are praying for her recovery, but at the same time still don't know what the cause is or whether recovery is possible.

In the midst of lots of running around, my aunt took off yesterday and today to get some extra visiting time with my grandmom, to help out with her laundry and to catch a breather. My mom called me Thursday morning to let me know that my aunt's father-in-law was being taken to the hospital. He had suffered a bleeding stroke during the night. I was even further saddened to find out that he passed early Friday. This may seem like a distant relation, but I consider my Uncle Chuck's parents to be like grandparents to me. My Aunt Renee (my mom's sister) and I are very close, she was my matron of honor in my wedding. She and my Uncle Chuck began dating when I was in elementary school and when they married, his family became just another extension of our already very large family. I grew up around his parents and love them so much. Mr. W will be missed by all of us. I was delighted to find out that he was able to pass on at least one of his organs to save someone else's life...but not really suprised because he was such a wonderful and generous person. He lived a happy life. My heart breaks for Mrs. W who has lost her mate of, I think I was told 57 years. My W cousins were extremely blessed to have this man as their grandfather and I am happy for them that they've really gotten to enjoy living with him the last year or so. My aunt was just telling me tonight about one of their jokes that developed after they started living together. I find myself a little jealous of their relationship, but so grateful to at least have had known him.

And as if all of this isn't enough grief, I found out yesterday that a dear friend is terminally sick. A group of us mom's from The Little Gym have become pretty close. After last Spring's semester we aren't all together in class anymore, but just this winter have all started getting together again. I have really enjoyed spending more time with our friend C and her little boy. We kind of only knew each other casually from McDonald's or Friendly's visits before class, but after this winter's get togethers, I was really excited to become closer. C is an AMAZING single mom. She decided to adopt from Guatamala and soon after the adoption found out that she had breast cancer. While caring for her new baby boy, she beat its ass - but just this week in a regular 6-month scan found out that she has stage 4 lung cancer. With out going into details - there is no treatment for her. She is left to enjoy the next few months with her 4 year old, the best that she can. This story sounds horrific just in hearing the facts, but to KNOW this woman and her little boy is where the pain really lies for me. She has a support structure, but on a day to day basis it's just the two of them and I never met another parent-child twosome more perfectly fit to one another. God definately fit them together. They both crack me the hell up and other than the fact that I know he's adopted and the little fact of them looking nothing alike on the surface - you just need to hear her tell a story about him or watch an exchange between the two of them to know he is her son through and through. I'm sad that I have just only gotten to know C. She is funny and warmhearted and a heck of a good time.

All of this makes me realize how much I take for granted. I am so greatful for my mom and family. I am greatful for my friends. I am greatful for my husband and I am SO greatful for my children. I'm not really sure what to make of all this happening - one on top of another. Is there supposed to be a lesson for me to learn? For some reason, when I was in high school I used to lay in bed at night scaring myself silly and questioning my mortality. I find myself there again. I have lived my life so far feeling like terrible things couldn't touch me or at least I don't expect it for a very very long time. Even though I felt the end was near as I turned 30, at 31 I have recently felt freshly young. After these few weeks, I'm back to pondering the big questions and I hate it!


Anonymous,  March 28, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

i think i know which one of chris's friend's dad it was, but send me an email to let me know for sure. you know, when i called the other day, you said that nothing much was going on...liar! i'm so sorry that all this seems to be happening at once. its A LOT. :(

debi9kids March 29, 2009 at 2:33 AM  

holy cow Julie. I am so sorry you have all of this going on. Tomorrow when i come up to drop Gabi off, please let me know thier names so that I can pray for them.

Mummy McTavish March 29, 2009 at 8:59 AM  


Sugar Boogers & Tantrums April 3, 2009 at 10:46 AM  

I'm sorry about your friends and family. I know it's hard when alot of people you know and love are passing away all around you. I've been there myself. And I know how it feels to be scared it's going to happen to you (me). I've been like that more here lately myself. I worry more I think because I have kids and because I've been reading blogs about kids dying and adults as well. It's very overwhelming. The only comfort I can ever find is in God. I read my bible alot. I have a scripture for you. It's Philippians Chapter 4:6-9. They are such comforting words for me in times like these. I hope this will help you. HUGS

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