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Thread: A Heavenly Reunion For Jim and Our Boys

  1. #21
    Distinguished Community Member houghchrst's Avatar
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    Rose I am humbled by your strength and fortitude and by your ability to share your grief which in turn helps us grieve with you. We all loved you and your family and though I didn't comment I read. I can't wait to share that sand between your toes with you though you might see that as a long way off right now. Prayers for you all and ((((gentlerockinghugs))))

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  3. #22
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    Rose, you are constantly on my mind. Thanks for posting how your day two went. We are all here and want to know that you are alright. You are such a major part of our community and will continue to be part of our family, just as you have been for the past 20 or so years.

    I am thankful for John and his family. We have always said "God Bless John". He is your family there and we are your family here. You are not alone. There are so many people who care about you. You have made an impression on many people during the years and have helped so many through the years. There is not a lot we can do in a tangible way, but we can and will support you virtually.

    ((((((Hugs))))))
    Virginia

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  5. #23
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Default Day Three

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

    Today, I had a nice long phone chat with Johnís sister and brother-in-law, who called to tell me that they want to do whatever I need to help me. She said, ďIt will make us feel better, if you let us help you. And you donít need to do everything by yourself. Youíve done enough of that in your lifetime.Ē

    They offered to help clean out Jonís closet. When John arrived today, he was pleased that they were offering their help. We went to Jonís room so he could scope out the project, and he smiled. ďRose, to you this is overwhelming. I get it. But to me this is about an hourís worth of time to clean it all out. You sit over there, and weíll get in big bags, one for Keep and one for Trash. You tell me which bag. Iíll take the donation stuff to Goodwill, and the trash bags will go into the big dumpsters for the small condos below our house.Ē

    We start tomorrow, and if we need more time to finish, weíll do the rest on Sunday afternoon. Then, Monday, I call the plumbers.

    He went upstairs to look at the bathroom, and he said, ďYes, we have to get this done very soon, Rose.Ē

    Iíve been moving my toiletries to the downstairs bathroom throughout the day. First, I had to remove all of Jimís toiletries, including his dentures. I was crying, and I could hear him saying, ďItís okay, Rose. I donít need them anymore. You need to get the plumbing repaired.Ē

    So, Iíll be showering in the downstairs bathroom, which is fine. Iím still sleeping on the futon anyway to be near the toilet.

    John also checked the hinge on the front door, which Jim had asked him to fix in January, I think, before isolation began. He tightened all the screws on the hinge, and discovered that 2 screws were stripped. So, heíll replace them with a bit larger, longer screws tomorrow.

    He left with 2 cases of water, a bag of fresh oranges, and he was here to bring in the box on the porch. Yesterday, I gave him Jimís remaining Body Armor for his daughter, and apple juice boxes (unopened pack) for his 4 year old niece. I have more juice, as well as lots of unopened packs of applesauce, which heíll take tomorrow.

    The mortician called today to let me know that all the paperwork has been submitted. He expects Jimís cremation to occur tomorrow. Dr. K was very quick to sign the death certificate and return it to the mortuary. One more example of what a kind man he is.

    When the urn arrives, John will take it to the mortuary, and it will be filled, while he waits in his car. Curb side mortuary service during a pandemic.

    I located a local estate attorney, so the will is now on my Must Do list. Iíve got to get this massive plumbing problem repaired first. I can only do so much every day, before I'm wiped out and over stressed.

    The plumbing canít wait until Iím ďready.Ē It needs to be done now.

    Thank you all so much for your love, compassion, and kindness. Youíre giving me strength and comfort, which I need most right now. I love you.

    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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  7. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earth Mother 2 Angels View Post
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Today, I had a nice long phone chat with John’s sister and brother-in-law, who called to tell me that they want to do whatever I need to help me. She said, “It will make us feel better, if you let us help you. And you don’t need to do everything by yourself. You’ve done enough of that in your lifetime.”

    They offered to help clean out Jon’s closet. When John arrived today, he was pleased that they were offering their help. We went to Jon’s room so he could scope out the project, and he smiled. “Rose, to you this is overwhelming. I get it. But to me this is about an hour’s worth of time to clean it all out. You sit over there, and we’ll get in big bags, one for Keep and one for Trash. You tell me which bag. I’ll take the donation stuff to Goodwill, and the trash bags will go into the big dumpsters for the small condos below our house.”

    We start tomorrow, and if we need more time to finish, we’ll do the rest on Sunday afternoon. Then, Monday, I call the plumbers.

    He went upstairs to look at the bathroom, and he said, “Yes, we have to get this done very soon, Rose.”

    I’ve been moving my toiletries to the downstairs bathroom throughout the day. First, I had to remove all of Jim’s toiletries, including his dentures. I was crying, and I could hear him saying, “It’s okay, Rose. I don’t need them anymore. You need to get the plumbing repaired.”

    So, I’ll be showering in the downstairs bathroom, which is fine. I’m still sleeping on the futon anyway to be near the toilet.

    John also checked the hinge on the front door, which Jim had asked him to fix in January, I think, before isolation began. He tightened all the screws on the hinge, and discovered that 2 screws were stripped. So, he’ll replace them with a bit larger, longer screws tomorrow.

    He left with 2 cases of water, a bag of fresh oranges, and he was here to bring in the box on the porch. Yesterday, I gave him Jim’s remaining Body Armor for his daughter, and apple juice boxes (unopened pack) for his 4 year old niece. I have more juice, as well as lots of unopened packs of applesauce, which he’ll take tomorrow.

    The mortician called today to let me know that all the paperwork has been submitted. He expects Jim’s cremation to occur tomorrow. Dr. K was very quick to sign the death certificate and return it to the mortuary. One more example of what a kind man he is.

    When the urn arrives, John will take it to the mortuary, and it will be filled, while he waits in his car. Curb side mortuary service during a pandemic.

    I located a local estate attorney, so the will is now on my Must Do list. I’ve got to get this massive plumbing problem repaired first. I can only do so much every day, before I'm wiped out and over stressed.

    The plumbing can’t wait until I’m “ready.” It needs to be done now.

    Thank you all so much for your love, compassion, and kindness. You’re giving me strength and comfort, which I need most right now. I love you.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Hi Rose, I'm so so glad John is there with you so you don't feel so alone in your grief. Lots of virus innovations even for end of life, wow! I pray for you! Keep in contact with people somehow, cry as much as you need and vent here as much as you need. xo me.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php

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  9. #25
    Distinguished Community Member SuzE-Q's Avatar
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    Wow, I can't believe how much you got done, Rose! You truly are amazing, although I understand the need to get it done before it gets worse.

    Please take John's family up on their offer to help. It helps them to know they were of service to you, it is their way of giving back in Jim's name and in his memory. I imagine it helps John process his feelings by spending this time being near you and helping get the room ready for the plumber.

    I'm sure John appreciates all the stuff you're giving him. And knowing you are doing okay is a concern off his shoulders too. I'm glad you've been able to get outside.

    Thinking of you, Rose.
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  11. #26
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    Default Day Four

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

    Thank you all for your continuing love and support. You are holding me up during a very stressful, painful passage in my life, as you have always done, and I donít know where Iíd be without you.

    CLEARING OUT

    I spent the morning moving things out of Jonís room, and throwing out Jimís stuff. A huge collection of med bottles filled to the brim remains on his tray. I still have all of Jonís meds, which I havenít figured out how to dispose of in the last year. I could open a mini-pharmacy. I wish I could donate these meds to people, who need them and canít afford them. I hate to see this go to waste, but it must.

    What am I going to do with all of the underpads, britches, menís guards, condom catheters? I feared running out, so I made sure we didnít. Now, there is this surplus.

    Jimís rollator is in the dining room. I donít know where to put it. I swept the patio this morning, after a strong wind storm, and there is Jimís floor pedaler. He never used it.

    I cleaned the downstairs bathroom, and I threw out all of Jimís stuff. I had only thrown out a few things yesterday, because itís just so painful. But it must be done. Now that bathroom has changed from a manís bathroom to a ladyís bathroom. It was the boysí bathroom, then, Jimís bathroom. Always a manís bathroom. Now, itís mine. And that is a stark reality for me.

    I reprogrammed the front yard sprinklers after our less than a minute electrical outage a couple of weeks ago. It was raining then, so I wasnít concerned. Now, weíre expecting hot weather. Iíve done this so many times over the last 30 years, but I had to search for the instructions to remember how to do it. I succeeded.

    THE CLOSET

    Masked and gloved, John and I attacked Jonís closet this afternoon. As we peeled away layer after layer of the boysí jackets, countless piles of cloth underpads from countless hospital visits, and sheets, and blankets, and pillows, and on and on and on, I tried to distance myself from it all.

    John pulled them out, and I held the giant trash bag open for him to stuff them in. Then, it was the boysí jackets, shirts, ties (for rare special occasions) on hangers. All damaged, filthy, havenít been worn in over 20 years into the bag. No time for me to look at them and weep.

    Although I did tell John about the galactic glow in the dark jackets. Theyíre made of some outer space material, and the boys wore them to a Doobie Brothersí concert in the 80s. When we were on stage with the band. It was awesome and fantastic, and Jon and Michael looked so cool in their jackets.

    John found their Boy Scout shirts. Oh, Jon and Michael were proud Boy Scouts! Michael joined a couple of years after Jon did, so Jonís shirt has more badges. In our living room, above the fireplace mantle, is a beautiful photo of Jon, standing, so proud of his Boy Scout uniform, with his hands behind his back, and a sweet smile on his lovely face. And, yes, I am keeping their shirts. John agreed.

    In the middle in the back against the wall, we had a huge wicker laundry basket. It was filled with shoes. Jonís slippers, sneakers, and a basketball, which John requested to give to his daughter. OF COURSE!

    Once John brought out the basket, we had a full view of the damage to the wall and the extent of the mold on the floor.

    THE MOLD PROBLEM

    I just sank into Jonís chairbed and looked up at John, tears streaming down my cheeks. ďOh John. Theyíre going to tear apart the whole house! Oh dear! Why now? Why this? Oh no ÖĒ

    John, always calm and rational, said, ďOkay, Rose. Iíve had 6 slab leaks in our house in 18 years. We just had one a month ago. I know the drill.

    Tomorrow, you call your homeowner insurance agent. You tell him that your husband had Stage IV cancer, your son died last year, your husband just died, and as you were clearing out the closet, you discovered this damage.

    You knew you had a leak a couple of weeks ago, but your husband was dying and you were giving him 24 hour care. You couldnít attend to this problem, and you had no idea how bad it was until you cleaned out the closet today.Ē

    Our home has had the same insurer for 42+ years, and our agent knows about our family, because every year I had to provide documentation that our home was insured per state law, because I was caring for Jonathan. He is a nice fellow.

    John said, ďHeíll hear Ďmoldí, and he knows your age and situation, and they will jump on it. They will get an inspector here to assess the damage and estimate cost of repairs. Theyíll take out the floor, the walls, and your entire upstairs bathroom. That is going to be quite expensive, but that is what youíve been paying them for all these years. This. This. You donít have to pay for it. You have insurance, and Iím certain it will be covered. This is 42 years old. It was bound to happen, and its surprising that it didnít happen before.Ē

    I opined that this would have just become worse, if Jim hadnít passed on Monday. How on Earth would we ever be able to get this repaired, with Jim in Jonís room? We couldnít, and that was an agony for me.

    There is no choice or option to wait now. This must be done.

    John, always looking on the positive side, said, ďItís awful, but on the other hand, youíre going to get a new bathroom, floor to ceiling, the closet will be repaired and useable, and you wonít have any mold anywhere. And your insurance should pay most of it.Ē

    He asked me when I had last filed a claim on our insurance. ď1993.Ē

    ďLoyal customer with no problems for 27 years. They should take care of you. Iíll be here with you all of the way.

    LEAVING HOME

    I asked if he thought I would have to leave the house, while they work, and he replied, ďThey might for the mold removal, which could take a day or two. But for the reconstruction of a new bathroom, once the mold is gone, I would think you could stay here. But donít worry about that, because you will stay with us.Ē

    As lovely as that sounds, I have to think about COVID-19, and Johnís continuous exposure on the front lines. Itís one thing to have him here for an hour to help me and quite another to stay in his home with his wife and daughter.

    Even without COVID-19, Iím in my own home with familiar germs. In someone elseís home, Iím exposed to unfamiliar germs. Iím a germaphobe for good reason, as Iíve learned about transmission of infections through my boys.

    I remember asking our intensivist about MRSA with Michael during his final illness. He said, ďIt didnít come from your home. Those are familiar germs.Ē Later, a home health nurse said emphatically, ďHe got MRSA in the ER.Ē

    If it were not for COVID-19, I would be less afraid to stay with John and his family for 2 days. I guarantee that I am not able to fight off this horrid virus, or any other virus or bacteria right now. Iím trying to eat (Iím vegetarian; John and family are not), to build up my strength and rest. But how can I do that in their home, if I am afraid of catching something or anything?

    Perhaps I can camp out on their patio.

    Iím grieving, afraid, in shock, traumatized, exhausted, vulnerable. I fully expect a stress rash to appear soon.

    Jim was cremated today, and our home is wracked with mold.

    When do I have the opportunity to process my grief for my beloved husband?

    While I always want to leave you with a positive thought, I am at a loss right now.

    Thank you so much for your love and prayers. I love you all and pray for you and your loved ones.

    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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  13. #27
    Distinguished Community Member Jeanie Z's Avatar
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    :) Rose try not to figure out how you will manage if you need to leave. Perhaps you can get the plumbers to let you stay in the house. I try hard not to worry about what has not happened yet.

    It is an old habit but I do better when I do not stress myself unnecessarily. I think you are doing well so far and I keep praying for you. With love, Jeanie :)

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  15. #28
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    Dear, dear Rose,

    I wouldn't stay with them, either. Not under these circumstances, not at this time. It is a lovely offer and very sweet, though. Just too much too soon.

    Get a hotel for 3 days or so. Do you have asthma? Working around all that mold, etc. is not good for asthma or allergies. I wonder if insurance will pay for a hotel for you as necessary to do the repairs...

    Hotels are desperate for business right now, even if you have to pay yourself, I think it would be quite reasonable and worth it. Don't have cleaning in to avoid bringing someone in, bring some of your favorite veggie cold and ready made meals you can eat chilled or microwave, or pick up or have delivered from your favorite organic restaurants who are clamoring for the business. They would appreciate the business too. Bring your own clorox wipes to wipe everything down first.

    Find one with a jacuzzi to be able to relax in and destress your weary muscles, or near some other locale that would bring you some peace and bring you close to nature. Business is down 65%. You can find a bargain. Taking a few days off and away while the repairs are done would be wonderful for your mental health. See if John could check in to make sure it's going smoothly and as a contact for them unless it's urgent.

    A nursing home might well appreciate many of those supplies, they probably go through them quickly. My local pharmacy accepts old meds that they then destroy. Check with yours. I bring in a big baggie of old meds, even slip in some expired vitamins. They destroy it all for me. Charities often send medical supplies to third world countries, sometimes even sealed expired unused meds. To alleviate the responsibility from your shoulders, ask John's family to locate places who will accept meds and unused supplies, possibly a charity that will ship them. Let them take it for you to dispose of, possibly doing some good, but alleviating the legwork from you. If people aren't working, maybe someone in John's family has the time to get on the phone and locate places, then make the arrangements.

    This is the kind of help that is so appreciated right now. Ask them for help to find you the answers you need and make the arrangements for you.. Take this burden off your shoulders so you can concentrate on other things.

    Rollators usually fold up. See if you can pull the legs together. It should be able to fit in a closet for now.

    You are getting through so much of the necessary work right now. I hope you are finding quality sleep and still taking walks. You are in my thoughts!
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  17. #29
    Distinguished Community Member jingle's Avatar
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    My local police station has a big, solid container in their front area -- you just dump your old meds there.

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  19. #30
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    Dearest Rose,
    I remember researching mould removal companies for you before and there were some that did not require you to move out. I will look again. Here's a company that will recycle med equipment and supplies and they pick up. http://awhealth.org/donate-medical-s...BoCpMsQAvD_BwE I've written to them asking if they pickup in the pandemic and if so if they pick up in your area. You can get through this Rose because you have help and it will get done. Sending love and gentle hugs! Donna xox
    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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