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Thread: A Heavenly Reunion For Jim and Our Boys

  1. #41
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Donna ~

    Oh, your delicious food! I can imagine the aroma wafting through your home. I'm hungry!

    I'd love to read your OpEd, and thank you for writing it. This really should be where an exception can be made. Yet, I can understand how people, who have hospitalized loved ones, who aren't disabled, might feel that their presence is equally essential. For example, the exception would let me be with Jonathan or Michael, but not Jim. It's a horrible situation for everyone and too often tragic.

    While there doesn't appear to be much flattening of the curve happening currently, some states/cities are either opening up or considering doing so assorted businesses. A bowling alley? Are people supposed to wash their hands for 20 seconds after every communal ball they throw? Rent shoes that thousands have worn? How does someone give a person a haircut, a tattoo, or a manicure from 6 feet away? The Mayor of Las Vegas wants to open up casinos! Germs on slot machines, and crowded black jack and crap tables. That sounds safe.

    Dr. Fauci says that we'll have another round of COVID-19 in The Fall. I'm sure that will be true, especially if we start opening up everything to the public too soon. Shouldn't there be something between saving our economy or potential death from an out of control virus? I'm just stunned that no country in the world was prepared for a pandemic. One has been predicted for years. It was bound to happen.

    People are getting antsy now about isolation, which is understandable. But, to counter that, they have to remember that there is a plague among us, which is far worse than being stuck in your home. And those of us, who have a home, should be grateful that we do. Many don't.

    A few days ago, it was 100 degrees here. Ignoring the state mandate that we self-isolate, people flocked to the beaches. Gov. Newsom had a stern response to that in today's address to the state. Staying at home means not risking your life or the lives of others. What part of staying away from each other, so you don't spread the virus, do people not understand?

    Anyway ... sorry to go off on a rant. Fear of COVID-19 is on my stressor list.

    So pleased to hear of your brother in law's improvement. Perhaps his hormone levels drop in the afternoon. I hope he's being followed by phone or internet by his surgeon. Many prayers on the way for his healing and complete recovery.

    I wish I could borrow Daisy for my walks. I won't get a dog, because a pet requires a lot of care, and I am going to be quite occupied for a long time putting my home back together.

    Sending my love to you, Jim, Nick, Natalie, and your entire family ~

    Be well, be safe, and thank you for everything.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  3. #42
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    Default Jim Is Home

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    At 10 this morning, John called and said he was on his way to "bring Jimmy home.”

    John brought Jim’s urn into the “Sanctuary,” formerly known as Michael’s room, then Michael’s and Jon’s Room. The Warrior urn was inside a dark red velvet bag. John lifted it out and said that it was heavy.

    I made room on the credenza, where Michael’s bronze urn is, for Jim’s urn. I wanted them to be together with Jon’s and Michael’s urns, but I don’t think the tray could hold the weight.

    With my hand on Jim’s urn, I wept, “Welcome Home, My Darling. I miss you so much.”

    John is always uncomfortable, when I cry, because it makes him emotional, and he doesn’t want to feel that way. He’s the “Look on the Bright Side” Guy. So, I gathered myself, and we talked about the remaining work on the closet.

    I told him that I had been busy with gathering and throwing out things throughout the house and intended to continue doing that today. So we postponed the closet until tomorrow afternoon.

    CLEANING/ORGANIZING

    Our upstairs bedroom is nearly cleared, except for my walking clothes. I have to have access to the bedroom to get my clothes, so I may need to bring them downstairs, where I have nowhere to put them. Dilemma.

    I threw out old make up and saved current makeup, which cleaned out a drawer in the upstairs. Then I cleaned out the downstairs bathroom drawer for what I’d saved. Years and years of clutter. Gone.

    I gathered up assorted things in Jim’s bedroom. Took out bag after bag of trash. Emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen.

    In the office, I had a pile of stuff from ravaging through the filing cabinet for manuals for various things needing repair. I also found old timesheets from the boys’ programs, and manuals for things we no longer have. I separated them between shredding and recycling. I’m going to have thousands of pounds of shredding, when I finally finish gathering it all up. I don’t intend to do that now. But this is part of the process to prepare for the mold removal.

    I laundered some clothes for me, and have a couple more loads to do.

    Why is this important to me now? Because our home has been chaotic for over 3 years, but really much longer. I didn’t have the time or energy to organize, to keep up with laundry, to clean the house properly, to get rid of clutter. In the year since Jonathan’s passing, I have been caring for Jim 24/7, so I had no time to dispose of Jon’s files.

    And, since I am an organized person by nature, this clutter represented the chaos and reinforced my limitations. I remember telling Jim not long ago, “You should be glad that you can’t climb the stairs, because you wouldn’t want to see the condition of our bedroom or the office right now.”

    As always, Jim took my hand and said, “Honey, you can only do so much. I know it bothers you. But in the end, it will all work out somehow.”

    In a way, this makes me feel like I’m taking control of that chaos, where I couldn’t for Jonathan or Jim. I cared for them and gave them my everything, but I couldn’t cure them or take away their physical maladies. But, I can tend to our home and bring it to the place, where it should be, after being neglected for so many years.

    There is a cure for mold in a home. There are remedies for upgrading our home, trimming our tree, putting in new gutters, etc. Eventually, the garage will be emptied with donations and just throwing out what we can’t even remember is there.

    Our home is where we lived, loved, and died. And now I’m going to take care of our home.

    MY DREAM

    After I ate last night, I curled up in Jon’s recliner and watched a movie. Earlier in the day, I watched “Magnificent Obsession,” a melodrama from the 50’s with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman. Cried and cried. I fell asleep, and when I woke up at 10 p.m., I decided to get ready for bed.

    I woke up at 4:10 a.m., which is the exact time the mortuary van pulled away from our home and drove down our street with Jim last Monday.

    Unexpectedly, I fell asleep again, and when I woke up at dawn, it was from a dream where Jim appeared.

    Jim didn’t speak. He just stood there silently smiling at me. In the dream, I blinked and looked again, and he was still there. I ran to him arms open, and then I woke up.

    I’ve been having so many dreams, and I can’t remember them, when I wake up. But this was vivid.

    I’m so grateful Jim visited me, and I pray that he will continue to do so, because I need his strength to see me through this passage.

    Jim is home.

    For Jim, who loves Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings ~

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RDuQfSwKfY

    Thank you all so much for your love, prayers, comfort, kindness, and enduring friendship. I love you and pray for you and your loved ones everyday.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  5. #43
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    OH Rose, you are my mentor. YOU ARE MY MENTOR!!!! You wrote, "Our home is where we lived, loved, and died. And now I’m going to take care of our home." Rose you have always been a caregiver and you continue to be one. Whatever, whomever needs care, you give it. In order to keep going, to preserve and to nurture. Oh, Rose, I am in tears. You are just the most lovely, loving person that I know. Thank you for sharing. We are all watching and learning.
    xoxo Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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  7. #44

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    So very, very sorry to read this news Rose. I visit BT semi regularly to see how Jim is doing and I am so, so sorry to read this update. Sending you all my love and strength in this time. As many others have said you are an incredible person with amazing strength. Thank you for sharing your family’s journey with us. Please keep reaching out for support here. We are with you, even if not everyone posts. Thinking of you.

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  9. #45
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    Default Peace Divine

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Donna ~

    Oh my goodness! I don't feel deserving of this high praise. Thank you, and I am honored and speechless. (Imagine that! ) Jonathan and Michael are the ones to be praised, as they taught me the meaning of unconditional love. And then Jim entered our lives with his unconditional love. That foundation kept us going through all of the crises, and it keeps me going now.

    By taking care of our home now, I am taking care of myself. I believe that our home is who we are. If it's cluttered, in chaos, then we are cluttered and in chaos. Our home has been cluttered and in chaos for a very long time. I was unable to maintain it, because all of my focus was on Jonathan and Jim, as it should be. Still, it bothered me that I couldn't maintain it. And, now I have the time, and now, I need to feel organized and prepared. Now, I need a clean home, a tidier home.

    And while it is exhausting physically, I do take breaks. And seeing the results does make me feel better. I've accomplished quite a bit, and it shows. I can look at our home and see it in better shape than it was, with much more needing to be done. Major work all over it. But I can't do that major work right now, so I'm doing the work I can.

    Today, I swiffered the floors upstairs, and the dust I gathered was unbelievable. Then, I dusted all of the furniture. Again, astonishing. I just left the upstairs go for so long, because I was concentrating on Jim and the downstairs.

    I actually put two accent pillows on our bed in the master bedroom. They had been hidden on the chest at the bottom of our bed under my piles of clothes. Yes, the closet doors are still broken. Yes, the paint and wallpaper are 26 years old. Yes, it needs a complete make over. But it's neat and clean for now.

    Why am I doing all of this, when a crew of workers will be coming in to tear apart our home to fix the mold problem? Because, right now, this is what I need. I need the rooms to be clean for just awhile, after being filthy for so long. I need order, organization, readiness. When I look at the office and bedroom now, I don't feel so helpless, so futile, so depressed. I'm proud of myself for making the effort and satisfied with the result. That gives me inner strength to face whatever awaits.

    I've always been this way. When Jon or Michael were in the hospital, I spent my hours with them tidying their room, putting away their linens, putting a towel on their tray and arranging all of the supplies on it, wiping down the surfaces with disinfectant, gathering the trash. It may sound compulsive, but to me, it is a way of doing something, when I feel helpless to do anything. At least I could give them a clean and cozier room.

    In a way, I'm doing that now for myself.

    EQUIPMENT RETURN

    This morning, I called the vendor, which supplied Jim's O2 concentrator and tanks. The person, to whom I spoke, was nice, and said she was sorry for my loss and told me to take care of myself. She said the driver would call me to let me know his ETA, but he didn't. The time frame was 10:30-5:30. I'm here anyway, so it's no big deal waiting.

    The tanks were in the garage, so I put the concentrator with them. I told the lady that I didn't want the driver to come into my home. There's no need for that. COVID-19.

    The driver arrived about 2:30, and he knocked loudly on the front door, despite the sign on it, which I have not removed: "Please do not knock. Residents are sleeping. Thank you."

    "Who is it?" I called through the front door. He answered with his company's name, and I peeked out the front window and saw his van.

    I told him that I would open the garage door, where the tanks and concentrator are located. No contact with him at all. And that is a good thing, because he was not wearing a mask. He delivers respiratory equipment. And no mask?

    JOHN'S VISIT

    John called at 3:45, and he sounded very tired. He's had a lot going on at his home with repainting the interior and new furniture arranging. His wife is in her realm, because she loves decorating and anything creative. So we called off today's final clean out of Jon's closet. I'm pretty knackered too, so it's just as well. We'll work on it tomorrow.

    COMPUTER FRIGHT!

    As I was checking email this afternoon, my computer went "boop," and the screen went black. I clicked the mouse, and the screen came back white, with the rotating gear. Oh, no, here we go again!

    I ran downstairs to see if we'd had a power outage, but we hadn't. So, back to the computer. White screen, rotating gear, then a funky grey patch thing on the bottom left of the screen. All familiar to other shut downs my dear computer has experienced.

    I just shook my head. It would be laughable, if I weren't already so overwhelmed with grief and major repairs to our home. Timing is everything.

    I prayed that the computer would not give out on me, and give it the same old college try it has in the past. I left it to recover, while I did laundry.

    A few hours later, there was my Owl asking for my password. I gave abundant thanks. I had the iPad out, and I plugged it in to recharge it. But it is my last resort.

    CPChick ~

    Thank you so much for your love and support. I've missed you, and I pray that you are well and safe. I hope you'll drop in again soon and bring us an update on you and your world.

    This evening, I leave you with a performance by the incredible Jackson Browne, a survivor of COVID-19, recorded during or after his recovery. "Peace Divine:"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otGe9hmFDpU

    Thank you all so much for your continuing love, prayers, support, encouragement and kindness. I love you and pray for you and your loved ones everyday.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  11. #46
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    Default The Plumbing Crisis

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    This morning, I called my insurance agent about the leak/mold. I spoke to his assistant first. She explained the process of putting in a claim and having an inspector come out to assess the problem. The inspector will determine whether it's a sudden problem or one resulting from me not properly maintaining our home. The fact that there is mold will tell the claims department that this isn't a sudden problem or a new occurrence.

    Of course, I told her our story about losing Jon and Jim, and why I couldn't address this sooner. She said "I'm sorry for your loss, but ... it's possible that this won't be covered by your policy."

    After 42 1/2 years with this insurance company covering my home, with only 2 claims in that time, and this is what I get? I'm elderly, and my husband just died.

    "I know, and I'm sorry, but you have to maintain your home."

    "Was I supposed to have a plumber visit every 3 months to check to see if I might have a sudden leak somewhere? What does that mean? I have maintained my home, that's why I have a trusted plumbing company, which has done a lot of work in our home, including putting a new toilet upstairs. They didn't see a problem then. We had a leak in the bedroom closet, where my husband was dying. I was taking 24 hour care of him. No help. Just me. I couldn't do anything about it, because, as I said several times, he was dying. Now he's gone, and I'm addressing the problem. NINE DAYS after his passing."

    I told her that I wanted to speak to my agent. She texted him, as they're all working from home under the state orders. He called me an hour later, and I told him my whole story. He was also so sorry for my losses. This was beginning to feel like patronizing, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate to be patronized.

    He gave me the same line about sudden, unexpected, and something that had been brewing for awhile. For crying out loud! My home is 42 1/2 years old with original plumbing! What do they expect? Was I supposed to upgrade the pipes during the last 20 years to avoid this from happening? Well, I was a bit busy, what with Jonathan being in and out of ICU 6 times between 2004-2012, and caring for him in our own ICU at home. In 2014, we had a huge earthquake. Then, Jim had an RA flare in 2015 and a lump on his breast, which was benign. In 2016, Jim started coughing up blood. In 2017, on his birthday, he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. From thereon, it was caring for Jon and Jim until they both passed. Golly, I'm so sorry that I didn't make time to have all the plumbing replaced during that time!

    My agent advised me to call my trusted plumbers to have them assess the situation and give me an estimate for repair. Okay. But what about the mold? Don't mention the mold to the inspector, the agent said to me. Well, the treatment of the mold will come before the plumbers work, so I'll have to get an estimate on that too.

    He said if the plumbers can fix it for less than my deductible, then I shouldn't file a claim.

    I was simply stunned. My deductible is $500. A faucet costs nearly that much, when a plumber installs it! I should know, and our plumber gives us discounts on everything, because they are a compassionate family, who really care about their customers.

    We have MOLD, for crying out loud! Whether I tell the inspector or I don't, we have mold. I don't want to be jerked around by the insurance company to get work started on this job, while my home becomes engulfed in mold. Get the plumber out, get the mold people out, get estimates, file a claim, have an inspector come out from the insurance company, submit findings, wait for claims department to make a decision, then if they deny it, I have to go back to the mold company and the plumber and pay out of my own pocket.

    I'm living here, while the mold is growing, but that didn't seem to concern my agent. It should be drying out and not that much. I was shaking at this point. I told him I'd call my plumber. And, I am prepared for him to tell me that the cost of repairing all of this will be astronomic.

    I hung up the phone and burst into tears.

    JOHN'S VISIT

    I texted John and told him we didn't have to clean out the closet or Jon's room today and asked him to call me. He did, and I told him everything that I've just told you. He was shocked at how poorly I am being treated. He said, "Breathe. We'll take this one step at a time."

    Then, I told John that the pump isn't working in Michael's pond, and I don't want the water to stagnate. He said he'd come over to check it out, which he did. We have power to the pumps, but the pump appears to be broken. That little pump did a yeoman's job for many years, and Jim always commented on how good our pond pumps were. But tons of debris and no clean out for years has done its number on them.

    John took the pump to find a replacement and was trying to determine how we can use it with a hose to pump the water out of the pond onto the greenbelt behind our fence. Jim connected PVC pipes to the pump, but I don't know how or where they are now. I watched him do it many times. We irrigated the greenbelt with pond water, so there was no waste.

    John is determined to figure this out. "We'll drain it and let it dry out completely, then we'll get all of the gunk out of it, hose it down, pump that out, and put in fresh water and a new pump."

    We chatted for awhile about his parents, Jim, Jon, Michael and this being his 20th wedding anniversary. His wife said that they were ordering in, because she wasn't in the mood to cook on their anniversary. They are still in the middle of having the interior of their home painted.

    He said he never realized what a big job it is to paint the interior of a home. "I do," I said. "I painted every square inch of this home in the 80s. By myself. I repainted the kitchen and the downstairs bathroom in the 90s, while Jim was laying floors and installing windows and doors."

    John just looked at me, smiling, shaking his head. "That does not surprise me, Rose."

    John left with a heavy bag full of applesauce and juice boxes for his 4 year old niece. John's sister will be stopping by this evening to finalize paperwork related to their mom. She's Grandma, so she will deliver the goodies to this sweet little pumpkin I have yet to meet. I see her pictures, and I'm kept up to date on her. I told John's sister that I hope to meet her before she goes to college.

    WHERE I AM

    Just when I think I might have some control over something, that is lost. Just when I think I may not have more tears to shed, I weep. Just when I think that everything will be all right and go smoothly, it doesn't.

    I honestly do not know how strong I am now. How much more I can endure. It's just a succession of crises, or problems to be sorted out, during a pandemic. I try to rest, to eat, to find moments of peace and calm, to believe that all will work out, to connect with Jim, Jonathan and Michael, but reality is wearing me down.

    But, I must persevere and find my way through this muck and mire and have all of my ducks in a row.

    Thank you all so much for your love, prayers, and support. I love you and pray for you and your loved ones every day. Blessings upon you all. Be safe. Stay home. Be well.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Last edited by Earth Mother 2 Angels; 04-29-2020 at 06:01 PM.
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  13. #47
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    You got this Rose. Like John says, 'breathe'. You got this just like you have everything else. Cry, cry hard and long if you must but you got this.

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  15. #48
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    Oh Rose, I am so sorry you are being put through so much stress. Life really stinks some days. Insurance companies are the worse. You pay for years and they still try to shaft you when you have to make a claim. So much for the oversight on these industries. Sure wish once again that we lived closer together. We would love to help you through all this. Continued prayers for your strength, comfort and sanity during all this additional stress.
    grandmother of Tyler (24): Ohtahara Syndrome/SCN2a gene mutation, cortically visually impaired, quadriplegic, severely developmentally delayed, no speech, severe intractable seizures, frontal and temporal lobe atrophy, progressive scoliosis/kyphosis, chronic kidney stones & UTI's, gastroparesis, 100% tube fed, autonomic dysreflexia, but what a precious gift from God. "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change."

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  17. #49
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    Default Ten Days

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Chris ~

    Thank you so much for that vote of confidence! I am trying to breathe. I'm just concerned that I'm breathing in mold!

    I called my plumber this morning, and the owner (Dad) answered the phone. I was surprised. I told him my story, and he was genuinely sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He also said that I should have just told my insurance agent that I just discovered this leak, because homeowner's insurance usually only covers a sudden plumbing problem.

    Jim used to tell me that I was "honest to a fault." Well, if being honest is a fault, then, I'm guilty of that fault. I'm supposed to lie to my insurance company? And then, when they figure out that I'm lying, what happens? I lose my insurance? I am just not built that way.

    I wasn't being negligent or not maintaining my home. I wanted to address it right away, and Jim even told me that I should. But, he was dying. There was no way that he could have handled all of that commotion and disruption, and there was no place to put him in the house out of Jon's room. Even if there was, he was dying and needed peace and quiet.

    What inspector would believe that I didn't notice this until just a day or two ago? There's MOLD here, and that doesn't happen overnight. And, if I didn't notice it, then I'm not doing a very good job of maintaining my home, am I?

    This is infuriating! Punished for telling the truth!!! Ack!!!

    Unfortunately, the plumber was booked for today and scheduled a 12-2 appointment for tomorrow. He said he'd call me if they had an opening today. I waited all day, no call.

    He said that he hoped that I was taking care of myself, and I said that I was trying to do the best I could, but this situation isn't helping my stress level. He assured me that he'd be here for me and help me any way that he could. He remembers Jon, Jon's room, and of course, he was fond of Jim, as was everyone. When I said that I was just gathering up what little strength I had remaining to address this problem, he said, "You'll be okay. You're a tough cookie."

    It's been 10 days since Jim's passing, and I'm doing what I have to do, only because it has to be done now. If it weren't for this plumbing crisis, I would be spending my days in reflection, grieving, absorbing the pain of my losses, and rebuilding my strength to move forward. If it weren't for COVID-19, I would be planning a celebration of life service for Jonathan and Jim. But even if we didn't have COVID-19, I would still have this blasted plumbing problem, so I wouldn't be able to do that either.

    I hope that I've got this. Time will tell.

    Tamie ~

    So wonderful to see you here again. How are you, Tyler, and Jerry? I pray for you all with hope that you are well. I've always wished that we lived closer too, so that I could help you. Thank you for your prayers, especially for my sanity, which sometimes feels like it's on the edge of a cliff.

    You are so right about insurance, and this royally perturbs me, given my loyalty to this company for over 42 years. No compassion. Just tell me to lie to the inspector. Really? My agent said that he'd support me with the claims department by explaining our extraordinary circumstances. Yeah, that'll be helpful. All they see is the bottom line, and my problems mean nothing to them. I can't spend days or weeks hassling with them. That will absolutely affect my sanity status.

    My plumber will be straight forward and tell me an estimate of how much all of this will cost. Then, I'll call my agent. Won't he be surprised when I tell him that's it's a lot more than $500! He said to me, "Maybe it's just a small pin leak." While I'm not a plumber, I'm not ignorant. This isn't a pin leak.

    JOHN'S VISIT

    What would I do without John? Thank God, I don't have to know the answer.

    He came over after dinner with his wife and daughter to test out the new pump for Michael's pond. It worked, and he hooked it up to a hose and pumped the dirty water out of the pond onto the greenbelt behind us.

    He's going to get another pump to hook up the waterfall, and this pump will be used as the fountain. On Sunday, he will bring his wet/dry vac and suck up the remaining water, then all of the debris inside the pond and on the falls. We're going to try to get rid of the algae around the pond, which might be easier once it's all dried out.

    Once it's all clean, he will install the pumps and fill it with fresh water. I can't think of anything right now that will comfort me more than to have Michael's pond/waterfall clean and functioning properly. I did my best over the past several years to scoop out heavy algae and debris, refill it to overflowing to get some of the guck out, clean the pumps, etc. But we've had wind, rain, and many leaves and debris dropping into for a long time. I couldn't do the maintenance that Jim did. Now, I'm sure that Jim, Jon and Michael are smiling upon John for making this a priority.

    With all of the rain we've had, our backyard dirt is now a forest of weeds. So, I will ask our gardeners to tend to it next week. At least it's green. And weeds are actually pretty in their own way. Weeds are plants, and they don't get enough respect!

    On our front patio, our roses are blooming, red Europena, and lavender Blue Girl, with agapanthis, which only blooms in late Spring. Thank you rain.

    As John was preparing to leave, he asked if there was anything else I needed. He'd already taken out the trash bins to the street for me. I said, "No," and then I noticed 9 cases of bottled water at our front door!

    I have been listening and looking for the water delivery guy all day. I opened and closed the garage door, which is where the cases are left, if I don't catch the delivery guy, so many times today, and no water. No, of course not! He put them at the front door. Now, who has enough room in their home to store 9 cases of water?

    John carried them all into the garage, and he took two cases for his family. John said to me, "You know, you should probably cut down on the amount of water you get now."

    "I was going to do that today, but I didn't hear or see the delivery guy! I sat in the living room watching for his truck. How did I miss this?"

    With Jim gone, the water need is reduced significantly. We always had a surplus, because that's what I do. I prepare for a disaster. We had a major earthquake. We live where fires are a risk. And, there is a pandemic. I could probably supply most of my neighbors with water in a disaster right now. So, yes, I will cut back on my next order. Or maybe cancel it altogether.

    And that is not a big deal. It's just another thing that I need to do. My head is spinning sometimes, just thinking about all that I need to do.

    John continues to tell me to "take on step at a time, one thing at a time." Well, I've lived my entire life taking hundreds of things at a time, and this is no exception. If I could parcel out all of the things that need my attention that easily, it would be surreal. Life, at least in my experience, doesn't happen "one thing at a time."

    He is worried about me, and he is doting. I wanted to say to him today, "You must be getting tired of dealing with me all of the time, with everything you have going on in your life." But I didn't, because he showed up with that pump smiling and cheerful. He loved figuring out how to make it work, and he was happy to see the success of his effort.

    John wants to do whatever he can to make this easier for me. He intuitively knows that I will feel better with Michael's pond/waterfall refurbished and the yard cleaned up. This is the view from every room in our home, the backyard. Michael's, Jonathan's and Jim's gardens are sacred places. So, I believe that John is doing this to help me have that serenity with their gardens.

    And, yes, it does help me so much. Because the yard is chaos, and the pumps going out at the same time is more chaos. Then I feel helpless and overwhelmed, and John steps in to take over.

    John is an "essential front line worker," because he ensures that stores in his region are stocked with a wide variety of products. He begins every workday at dawn. When his workday is finished, he continues giving to his family and his friends. Whatever they need, John is there.

    John is a hero.

    Thank you all for reading my lengthy post, and for your love, prayers, constant friendship, understanding, compassion and ... everything. I love you and pray for you and your loved ones. Be safe. Be well. Stay home. We're all in this together. We are all heroes.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  19. #50
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    Default Plumbing Update

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    This afternoon, the owner of our wonderful plumbing company, “Dad,” came to my rescue. He told me that he’s 65, and his sons think he should retire. “But I’d have nothing to do then! So, they give me the easy jobs to humor me."

    First, he checked the closet in Jon’s room. I noticed that the mold had spread on the baseboard. Then, we went upstairs to the bathroom. He began inspecting, and he said that he might have to take the board off of the ceiling in the bedroom to see what’s going on there, in case it is the toilet. I asked if that would disturb the mold and cause spreading, and he said it could. Also, I’m thinking that he’s 65, and although wearing a mask, he doesn’t need to be exposed to the mold.

    He sat on the side of the tub, as I explained to him that the spout and the shower head started leaking over a month ago (maybe longer, I just can’t remember). The dripping got on my nerves. When I told Jim about it, he told me to unscrew the spout, which I couldn’t do, because my hands aren't strong enough to turn it. And then what? Well, there came the real rub.

    Upon further investigation, Dad traced a wet path from the top of the tub, down the side to the floor. "It’s wet, here, here, here. I’m 99% sure that I’ve found your leak. I’ll fix it.”

    Stunned, I stammered, “Really? That’s the problem? Really?”

    “I’m 99% sure it is.”

    “I’m so relieved! I envisioned my entire home being ripped apart with new plumbing and weeks of repairs.”

    He was here for nearly 2 hours, at one point calling his son to bring him something. So, it wasn’t just a matter of screwing on a new spout, as it appears he replaced the pipes for both the faucet and the spout.

    Once done, we went to the garage for him to look at a mold spot on the wall directly underneath the bathroom. “Yep, that’s most likely from the leak. It’s an accumulation.”

    He instructed me to call the mold restoration company, to which his son had referred me last year for the mold under the kitchen sink.

    “Tell him your situation, about your husband and son, and why you couldn’t take care of this until now. Ask him to come out to evaluate the damage and give you an estimate. He can contact your insurance in an attempt to get them to pay. He knows how to do that. If they deny your claim, he will charge you less than he would charge the insurance company. We’ve worked with them on quite a few projects over the last several years, and they are trustworthy and efficient. I’m sure that he will treat you right, or I wouldn’t recommend him.”

    He asked me what year my house was built. It was funny, because he followed the question with another: “Do you know?”

    I laughed, “I do know, because I’m the original owner. I bought dirt and watched my home being constructed.”

    He said he hoped I didn’t have asbestos in the drywall, because that would mean a hazardous materials company would have to do the work. If my house had been built one year later, there wouldn’t be a concern about asbestos in the dry wall. That’s when it was banned.

    I told him about our slab leak, and that they scraped the ceiling and tested the “cottage cheese” as I call it. They found a minute trace of asbestos, and we had men in space suits and a staging area in the front yard.

    And yet, every home in our neighborhood, which has been remodeled/sold, has scraped ceilings. No haz mat people scraping those ceilings ever. These houses have had additions, and the entire interior altered, with walls removed. No haz mat ever.

    What about us? Living here with asbestos in our ceilings and walls? Why wasn’t there something done to mitigate that after the law was passed in 1978?

    On Monday, I will call the mold restoration company to schedule their visit. I would like for John to be here for that meeting.

    Dad was hesitant to charge me, but I insisted. He gave me a hefty discount. They always give us a discount on every job they’ve done for us. This is a good, kind, caring, loving family.

    I’ll never forget his son sitting down in our living room, when Jim was still on the futon, to unclog the garbage disposer the day after Christmas 2019. He knew there was mold and didn’t want to go under the sink, but he wore a mask and did it for us. Then, he didn’t want to charge us, but we insisted.

    When he finished, Jim asked him lots of questions about his family, because that’s Jim. He loves people, all people, and everyone is interesting and has a story. So, he opened up to us about his family, and it was beautiful. This is our plumber, and he’s sharing his personal life with us, like a friend. Because he is our friend, they are our friends now.

    With our masks on today, Dad and I made a lot of eye contact as we talked. He has such kind, sweet eyes. Crystal blue. A sense of humor and compassion. He raised his boys to be just like him, and they are.

    In the garage, I gestured toward the massive stacks of boxes, “These are all medical supplies. Many of which I purchased, because Medicare wouldn’t pay for them.”

    "Out in front by the garage door, we have bags of clothes we removed from the closet. I don’t know if it’s safe to donate them because of the mold in the closet.”

    “This pile is all of the alternating mattresses and covers we collected through the years for Jonathan."

    “Moving on through the cascade of laundry to your right,” I gestured at the enormous stacks and stacks of laundry. “As you can see, I haven’t had time to do much of anything other than care for Jim and the essentials.”

    I looked at him, and his eyes were glazing.

    As I thanked him at his truck, he gave me the receipt and told me to show it to the mold restoration guy. Then, he told me to take good care of myself. He said I should check periodically to see if the moisture around the tub is dissipating. “If it’s still wet, just call. I can stop by on my way home to check it for you. Don’t ever hesitate to call us for anything. You’ve had a very difficult life, and we understand and want to help you.”

    I brought in the trash bins from the street, which I’m sure pleased our neighbors, as I sometimes don’t do that until Saturday night. Oh, the horror!

    When I came in and sat down, I cried. All of this could have been prevented, if I had just called our plumbers to fix the leaking faucet and spout in the tub. I’ve been telling myself since then not to go there. I have to remember everything that was happening with Jim and why that wasn’t feasible at that time.

    I am prone to Guilt Trips, so I have to continue to keep things in perspective. I made that decision at that time for Jim, and now, I will deal with the outcome of that decision.

    As Dad was preparing to leave, I opened our mailbox. There, in an manila envelope, are Jim’s death certificates. I began crying then, but reined it in until I got back into the house. Also in the mail, a Medicare Summary of Jim’s claims and Jim’s Consumer Reports issue.

    This will continue for some time, and I know that, because I still receive mail addressed to Jonathan. It’s like a constant reminder that your loved one is no longer physically living here or in need of mail of any kind.

    I need to take tomorrow “off” and try to regroup. Sunday, John will be here to work on Michael’s pond clean up. Monday, I will call mold removal, and it will all start again.

    I give thanks for Jim, Jonathan and Michael watching over me, answers to prayers, our plumbers, an easy repair, and for this beautiful day and weather.

    To all of you, I give thanks for your love, prayers, kindness and support. And I pray for you and your loved ones. Be strong. Stay safe. Be well. I love you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vgfBJhlEEo

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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