Tag: death

How it all started…The Journey Leading up to 12/6/2014…Final Chapter

Catch up here…Through the next few months and a few sessions, I think that we were making some progress. The Friday before our original wedding date in May, we get the worst news ever…Robert has cancer…stage 4 cancer. A little background for a minute…earlier in the year, Robert started feeling funny and having stomach pains. After about a week of me pushing him to go get it checked out, he finally went. The doctors chalked it up as GERD and gave him a few prescriptions and sent him on his way. The meds made his symptoms worse and another month or so he went back. After getting an upper endoscopy done, there was still nothing. Not really having much relief and a new symptom on deck, he went back again a few weeks later. His primary ran some tests and did more blood work. That’s when we got the news. After the gut wrenching blow of news, we found ourselves in the hospital with our first issue…a blood clot. Outside of a few “love handles” Robert was in good health; now we find ourselves looking for answers.

Hospitalized for over a week, he endured more tests and scans to pinpoint the exact form of cancer even though they had a preliminary diagnosis. Hearing cancer, one of our top concerns was planning our future and what that meant. We decided to preserve our family before radiation and chemotherapy was started. Our decisions from here on out were the hardest one’s ever made. With too many details to share, we started radiation, gone through a second surgical biopsy procedure (this one from his kidney), and a round of chemo all by August. With a true diagnosis on deck, we took another blow; a rare form of kidney cancer that had little to no research and knowing life expectancy averaged 15-18 weeks from diagnosis.

Through it all, we still worked on our communication and decided to get married. The day was perfect! A nice cool Connecticut Saturday morning, nothing but close family and friends, we had our moment. Outside under the trees near the lake, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It was an off week for chemo treatments and a good day for Robert so it was a great day for me. I was happy that in that moment on September 20th he was happy again and not worried or scared.

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Reality struck us and a week later he was once again hospitalized. Not knowing it at the time, this would be his last stay. He was admitted because of breathing issues stemming from fluid on his lungs. We took each day in strides in hopes of going home with some few extra pieces of equipment. We celebrated two months’ worth of anniversaries and spent Thanksgiving there. After two trips to ICU and intubation, he said he was ready. He was no longer scared, had no more worries, and was secure in his faith. He said his earthly goodbyes and on December 6, 2014 transitioned. A day to remember; only one year earlier I said yes to forever!

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How it all started…The Journey Leading up to 12/6/2014

Catch up here…Such an amazing night and weekend I was sad to see him off to the airport. Our time spent with each other is important since it’s only a few days a month, but we’re making it do what it do! Can we say WEDDING PLANNING TIME!!!!! So exciting to actually be planning my own, I mean I’ve been involved with plenty from planning, decorating and setting up, to a bridesmaid. Not wanting to leave my boo out and wanting him to be involved on some things we started going over thoughts and ideas of what type of experience we wanted to have. Of course, I wanted to be different and unique and of course outside, so we ended up agreeing on our venue being the Museum of Life and Science in their butterfly garden. Can we say gorgeous! To road to May 25, 2014 was off to a great start.

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It was a great feeling in the planning process from viewing the venue and picking out our specific location to selecting our food…which was a food truck! How can you not have an outdoor wedding as unique as a museum and butterfly garden and not having unique food?!?!?!?! And to top it all off, in addition to a traditional desserts, we’re having a shaved ice truck! Yummy!!! A nice intimate setting with a touch of fun, how could we pass it up? Along the way, I found the perfect dress (or at least the look and style that I wanted but not the price tag lol). So me and one of the girlfriends were on a mission to find a similar dress and style but cheaper and came across a close match for a fraction of the cost. Now the catch was it’s coming from China! We all know how shaky some of these websites can be, so before ordering it, we prayed on that thing hard that it would arrive in a timely manner and compare to the picture that’s posted online. Prayers were answered because the dress arrived fairly quickly (maybe 4 weeks) AND it was EXACTLY the same as in the picture posted online. STOKED!!!!!!!!!!!!

With all the excitement in wedding planning, reality still exist and during that time our reality was serious communication issues. With limited face to face time, conversations were being misinterpreted and we both were frustrated with our poor communication in an otherwise healthy relationship. For me, this is a deal breaker. It got to the point where I wasn’t comfortable starting a marriage on a rocky foundation. So I did what I felt was right in my heart which was to cancel/postpone the wedding. Did some disapprove, yes. Were some supportive, yes. At that time, what mattered was that Robert and I have the best start on this journey as possible because I know that there will not always be good days and we needed to know how to navigate that if/when it arise. So we navigated our way through pre-marital and relationship counseling. Final chapter… coming soon!

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Determined

So truth be told, I was not up for writing a blog post today (hey! I’m just being honest). It’s a cold, rainy morning here in the Carolinas. And lately I’ve been in a ragged state of mind – where I’ve lost my motivation. I haven’t hungered to do the things that I so dearly love. I haven’t felt like I’m good enough to pursue my creative talents. I’ve just been in a daze watching the people of this world around me. “Wow, that’s nice! Wish I could do something like that.” Are the types of statements I’ve been saying. Just on this “WISH” factor lately, as if things are just too impossible to happen to and for me. And yes, I know this is not the talk of a believer. But we’re all human right? And my feelings and emotions are that of human nature. I know God is dealing with me because He keeps giving/sending me the Word that enlightens and reassures me of His promises. That at the very moments He sends them, I’m all amped up – only to come crashing back down. I’m writing you from a state of “Work In Progress,” because that’s truly where I am in life right now. I’m focusing on my future believer goals, career goals, wifey goals, and parenting goals. And to some, I know that may seem like a lot, but each ties into the other so it’s not as daunting of a list. I do have faith that I will reach my full potential, develop my creative talents, and reach each of my goals. I’m not giving up or giving in. The enemy may have slowed me down but not for long. I’m determined to be that which God has called me. My prayer today is that you and I never give up! We learn to fight back harder than ever. We believe that what we see is not the end result, God has promised us so much more. We honor and seek after Him daily. And that we speak life and not death.

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Girlfriends, enjoy the rest of your week and have a wonderfully blessed weekend!

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Year One…

christmas-ornament-1042543_1280Hello luvs!!! I hope everyone enjoyed time with family and friends and maybe even did a little shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday. So I started my post a few weeks ago (and struggled with it ever since) when I read a blog post from another blogger who also happens to be my natural hair stylist; and it was exactly how I was feeling that day and towards others (friends/family) who i deal with on a daily basis and them interacting with me. I pray that my posts is shared with others who may be in this reality right now or can give you a glimpse of what it’s like for others walking in this journey.

This post by Iaminfectiouslyhappy.com was right on time! Thank you Kelley for sharing your transparency.

Struggling to write a blog post for today (and every other Tuesday) this is what the past 11 months have been for me and continues to be. Grieving is never an easy task, but navigate it at you own pace. It gets easier with time and that time differs from person to person.  Don’t let society or anyone else dictate when you should move on. When one is diagnosed with cancer we both are diagnosed. Living the life of a cancer patient is hard work. The endless nights of no sleep, the never-missing a scheduled dose of pain meds, comforting when there’s nothing you can physically do to help, sleeping in a hospital chair for 8 weeks, listening to monitors beep and go off 24/7, explaining things over-and-over because their sense of time is off due to a long hospital stay…and the list could continue forever, but it is absolutely depleting. Now take that, rev it up, and say goodbye all in about six months. Welcome to the life…

Our society expects us to always keep going and stay busy. Whether it’s working countless hours to provide for your home, taking care of your family, being a friend, sister, auntie, God-mother…or whatever it is that keeps you on the move. I’ve come to a point where I need to tap out…I need a minute from life to just sit still. When you stay continuously moving, you get burned out; sheer exhaustion. Work is a blur and my focus is all over the place except where it needs to be. How do you press pause on life when you depend on it so heavily? As each day goes by, I try to understand what that might look like for me. How can I live/survive, take care of my home and responsibilities; how to live in simplicity…

As I approach the end of the year, I try to stay uplifted and positive as I continue to do for others. Keeping busy helps redirect the emotions that it’s almost been a year. Some days it feels as if I’m still in the first 24 hours and others seems like an eternity ago; but I keep pressing on. As we’re in the season and spirit of giving, don’t just give tangibly. Love up on those around you, mend those broken or not talked about relationships, extend your time and energy to someone that might need it for whatever reason. We’re placed here with plan and purpose. Let’s fulfill it without regret.

I pray that everyone has a wonderfully blessed remaining 2015. I’ll see you in 2016!!!!!

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Year One…

Happy Tuesday! As usual, I hope the weekend was good to you. My weekend was a little different this time. It was my first trip back to Connecticut since December 2014. The winter was harsh, so I decided to wait until warmer weather to visit. Let me just say that year one can be extremely hard…from holidays to “triggers” that brings back memories. Everyone and every situation are different. My visit was planned and had a purpose…sorting through belongings 🙁 . Because we were a long distant couple and our marriage started out that way as well, we never lived together. So everything was at his moms. Not totally ideal for me, but I do what I need to, what I know is right, and what I know Robert would want. So I cleared my weekend took TWO days off of work to travel only for me to feel like it was a waste of time 🙁 . I spent all of about 3 hours with his mom on Saturday and lunch on Sunday just to figure out that I now need to rent a cargo van, travel back to CT to get a few boxes. Definitely not my ideal situation. Not only did this weekend cost me about $800, but I now have to spend MORE $$$$$ to go back up there. Just a little ranting from frustration, but this is my reality… my year one!

I had the chance to visit his grave site for the first time. He still doesn’t have a permanent marker, but it’s on the way. It was very emotional to say the least. On my second visit the next day, I did take some flowers (had a little purple in there, which is my favorite color 🙂 ).  It was better than the first visit, a lot easier.

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After my trip to CT, to make me a warm and fuzzy again, I went to see my little tink tink who’s only 7 weeks old!!!! Y’all know I luh da kids 🙂 . I found out one of the besties wasn’t feeling to hot and went to see her too (which she drove herself to the ED)!!! Now I’m all for supporting my loves when I know about it and when I can, but I ONLY go to hospitals now for the important people. Hospitals are definitely a trigger for me. Since I spent over 7 weeks day in and day out in a hospital, it’s just a sensitive place. Though she wasn’t hooked up to anything, I could still envision tubes, IVs, beeps, nurses in and out, being cognizant to what they were saying and just the look and feel of the rooms…just the habits that I picked up during that time. It helped some that I was talking to redirect my focus a little. But I held it together as I always try to do. Some days are easier than others; but I know she’s going to feel some type of way when she finds out, but she’ll be ok lol. Like I said, I’ll do what I can when I can!

My Year One series is just my thoughts, feelings and journey of the first year post-death of my hubby. I hope that it allows you to capture a view point from a young couple battling terminal cancer that was in the early part of their relationship. An outlook on the good, the bad and indifferent when dealing with grief, in-laws, legal matters, and just raw emotions.

Until next time…

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Year One…

Happy Tuesday!!!!!! I hope that everyone enjoyed their weekend and spent it celebrating the father figure in your life! For those that know me know that I don’t necessarily “celebrate” holidays. I might do something simple like a card, but nothing major. I believe I acknowledge people and shower them with love all throughout the year; so why just dedicate one day?!?!?!? This rings true with Father’s Day. Being raised in a single parent home, Father’s Day was almost like just another day. Didn’t do many activities (that I can remember) or really celebrated it. Now don’t get me wrong or it twisted, I know who my daddy is and love him dearly, he just wasn’t around as much as I may have wanted him to be growing up. You know having two girls, you would want to be a daddy’s girl, but I didn’t get that lol my sister did since she was first-born! Needless to say, I’m still a mama’s girl 🙂 Maybe my perception will change when I am married again and have children. With that being said, it only adds to the process of grief. Knowing that your husband will never have the opportunity to experience having children of his own, see his reaction in the delivery room, read them bedtime stories, be their saving grace when they’ve done something wrong, and all the things in between is always a hard pill to swallow.  I pray that God continue to keep angels around me and allow me to raise children one day. Though I’m without a husband, the village that I have, I know they’ll be in good hands!

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Psalm 127:3

They say “It takes a village to raise a child”! Until next time…

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A Piece of Me

Happy Friday ladies!

Today is certainly bittersweet, well actually this time of the year is simply bittersweet to put it lightly. So May 7th is my mom’s birthday, May 8th is my (paternal) grandmother’s birthday, and then of course its always followed by Mother’s Day weekend. My (maternal) grandmother passed away 17yrs ago and things changed quite abit for us when it came to celebrating Mother’s Day. My mom just didn’t have the urge to want to celebrate anymore, we didn’t visit the grave, we didn’t go to church, we really didn’t talk much about the fact that it was “Mother’s Day.” Some number of years passed and my dad’s family started a family beach tradition that took place during Mother’s Day weekend. Well since my mom’s and grandma’s birthdays were a day apart, my mom was finally convinced to start joining the beach trip. And as time and life would have it, my (paternal) grandmother passed away October 2012. So today I share with you a few words I have written for her…

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And I would also like to take this moment to wish all the moms and especially my backbone, my rock, my everything (even though I don’t let her know it lol), my MOM the most wonderful and Happy Mother’s Day!

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Angel of Mine

Time of death 2:15pm….April 26, 2014 will be a day that I will never forget. I’m going to be honest; this will probably be the most difficult post to write thus far. April 26, 2014 at 2:15pm my world changed forever. This was the date and time that my Grandmother transitioned from labor to rest…

Growing up, and even as an adult, it was always the highlight of my weekend when my mom told my sister and me that we were going to travel to see Grandma. We knew that when we got there she would greet us with her loving embrace, a smile, a “Hello Plum” (her nickname for her grand-daughters ) and would send us on our way at the end of the visit with a dollar or two to put in our pocket (she even did this to us as adults lol).  We would spend the afternoon engulfed in laughter as she told us different things going on in her world, or what happened on the latest episode of the Young and the Restless. It was always a good time when we would go to visit, or even better when she would come here to stay with Mama for a few weeks. I guess I always thought that she would be around forever, or at least I’d hope that she would.

All of that changed April 15, 2014 when I received a call from my cousin at work letting me know that Grandma had been rushed to the hospital. Immediately my heart dropped and anxiety started to kick in as I didn’t know what was about to happen next. Thoughts of no God not yet, please spare her life…we need her here…among other things ran through my mind. That was the longest 45 minute drive to get to the hospital where they had admitted her. Once my mom, sister and I arrived, after a few hours it seemed that she was going to be okay and they were just going to keep her for observation. On the drive back home we received another call that she was being airlifted to Duke as a blood vessel had burst on her brain and they needed to do surgery immediately. Now my Grandma has always been a fighter. She endured a lot in her 87 years of life, and I prayed that this time would be no different. She made it through the surgery without any complications but need to remain in ICU for observation. It wasn’t until that next morning that my mother informed me that she had a stroke overnight and had been placed in a medically induced coma, where she remained for the next week. Words really cannot describe all that my family went thru that week. It was so hard walking in her room, holding her hand, talking to her while watching a machine breath for her. Nothing was as hard as having to say the final goodbye….

After being on the ventilator for a week my family made the decision to remove her from the machine and allow the Lord’s will to be done. This particular Saturday, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. There were minimal clouds, a nice breeze, just an all-around peaceful day. We arrived at the hospital that morning for the doctors to remove the tube. It was nothing but the Lord that allowed Grandma to regain consciousness after they removed the tube so that she could see and talk to her family one last time. The final 2 hours of her life she was filled with and surrounded by love of her 6 children, 11 grandchildren and 1 of her great grands. We each were able to go in to talk to her, let her know that we loved her and was able to give her one last kiss. I will never forget the way she looked up at me and was able to mouth the word “beautiful” as one tear fell from her eye. I will hold that moment deep in my heart for the rest of my life. Her face was filled with so much joy when I brought Sweet Pea in the room and placed her hand in Grandma’s hand…one last time…

I was not in the room when she took her last breath, but once I made it inside the room it was filled with my entire family. We all sat in silence, some weeping as the matriarch of our family had completed her journey here on earth and had transitioned to her Heavenly home. I’ve never experienced death in this manner before, especially not with someone so close to my heart. Hearing the doctor announce her time of death seemed unreal and I knew that at any moment someone was going to pinch me and wake me up from this bad dream.

Here we are a year later and I still feel like this is just a bad dream that I can’t wake up from. I have not been able to go to her gravesite since I watched them lower her casket into the vault. I just don’t know when I will be ready. I guess a part of me still doesn’t want to face the reality that she’s gone. If only I was able to hear her voice again, see her smile again, hold her hand, give her a great big hug and promise that I would see her again soon. Some say that it will get better with time, but I haven’t been able to prove this theory to be true yet. This wound is still very fresh in my heart and sometimes it’s just easier to not think about.

So as I gaze out of my office window, looking into the sky I know that somewhere up there my angel is gazing back at me smiling and saying “Tesha I’m okay.” Just as I told you that day, April 26, 2014, as that tear fell from your eye, and today as tears fall from mine…”I love you and I’m going to make you proud.”

Rest in Paradise Grandma. I love you and miss you so much.

Your Plum

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How it all started…The Journey Leading up to 12/6/2014

How it all started…The Journey Leading up to 12/6/2014

Catch up here…So after the first few messages and some phone conversations, we decided to meet in person. Being the gentleman, he came to see me in North Carolina. We had a planned but not really planned out weekend (or at least Saturday). We like to call it our marathon of dates lol. We always joked about how we had 3 dates in one day. We did breakfast at IHOP, walked downtown to an art gallery, bowling, and later dinner. Things went pretty well, I beat him in a few games of bowling (I’m not that great and neither was he lol). The weekend went by and he went back home. I had a really good time and not too many quiet moments. We really started talking on the phone every day for hours and texting all throughout the day. Getting to know each other, having those goofy moments, finding out that you share things in common…things like that. Because we both were open and honest people, we talked about it all. We decided about a week or two after our first face-to-face meeting to date exclusively to see where it would go. Would you have thought that after the initial text message?!?!?!? Continue reading…

 

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