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Thread: Restoration Saga

  1. #91
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Mary Grace ~

    Oh, I'm so relieved to hear that Kathleen accepted the loss of this year's vacation by looking at her picture books. I'm praying that you will all be able to be reunited next year.

    I think it is very wise to restrict travel now. COVID is rising so quickly in the U.S. compared to other countries. Staying home is the safest thing we can all do now. And wear masks when we have to be in public.

    Thank you so much for your hugs and prayers. Sending them right back to you and your beautiful family.

    I am okay, addressing a thousand emotions every day. I'm still sorting through all of the boxes from the restoration, lots of memories to revisit there. I do try to accomplish something each day, so that I feel like I'm not stagnating.

    I did fix the printer and printed out all of the IRS forms and read the IRS site for information on how to do the taxes. Now, all I have to do is prepare the taxes. Ha! That's "all" I have to do!

    Please continue to take good care of yourselves and be safe. I love you all and send healing prayers to you and your loved ones.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    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. #92
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    Rose, you haven't updated us on how you are in a few days. I hope all is going alright with you. I know you usually have many fireworks around you which is upsetting.
    Virginia

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  5. #93
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    Default Thursdays With John

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

    Virginia ~

    Thank you for checking in on me. I'm so glad that you've been feeling better. May it continue to be so. You're in my prayers.

    Iíve been working on our 2019 tax return for the last couple of days. After 2 hours on it today, I took a break. Iíve made progress, and the rest shouldnít be too difficult.

    There shouldnít be as many fireworks this year, because the public venues are closed. Our city usually has a fireworks show at one of the high school stadiums, but that is cancelled. Private fireworks are illegal in our city, but that doesnít stop people from getting and setting them off. My main concern is fires, because weíre pretty dry here right now.

    I wrote this late yesterday evening, after which I made dinner and fell asleep in Jonís recliner watching a movie. So, I didnít post it. But here it is:

    THURSDAYS WITH JOHN

    John visited today. Evidently, Thursdays are now our "get together days."

    He worked on the front door again. This morning, it didn't open or close properly, so I texted him, as he was already planning to visit. He brought his tools and WD40, since those are hard to find among Jim's tools in the garage. It is working better now, but it will probably be an ongoing problem.

    John cleaned out the pond and removed debris from around the pumps. Now the fountain and waterfall are working beautifully again. It is too precarious for me to do this. We filled the pond, and all is well for now.

    We sat on the patio and chatted about a wide range of topics. At one point, we were discussing my nosy neighbors, and when I told him that one of them had come over to me after the restoration crew left and asked me, "What's going on here?!", he was disappointed but not surprised.

    "Did she ask you how Jim and Jon are?" he asked shaking his head.

    "No. But don't forget last year, she asked me why you were coming over to our house so often."

    Then John joked about what I should have said to her at that moment, and we laughed for a few minutes, as we expanded the joke. Oh, how I needed that!

    John took the trash bins out to the street for me, which I truly appreciate. On Tuesday, the gardeners removed the sago palm in front of our living room windows, as it has been through too much trauma over the years. They cut it up and put in the yard bin.

    I couldn't move that bin! It was huge and heavy, and I plan to tell our gardeners next week never to do that to me again. The owner knows that I'm alone, and that I've been caring for Jim for the last 3 1/2 years. He can look at me and see that I don't have the strength to take that bin to the street.

    GRIEVING

    I finally emptied the box in Jonathan's room and sorted out the recyclable from the shredding stuff. All of his Home Health Folders from 2003 to 2019.

    It took me several days and was a painful process, but I cannot restore his room with that big box in there. Glancing through all of it, I was struck by how much Jonathan endured and how brave he was through all of it. Like Michael. Like Jim. Just incredible courage and strength.

    The names of all of the nurses, who cared for Jonathan, loved him and gave their all for him. Tears streaming as I went through each chart. Then, there are the charts I kept daily for Jon's care. These are bound books, so I don't know what to do with them. So many days and months with "ICU" written on them.

    I really needed that laugh with John today. He doesn't know truly how challenging life is for me now. I tell him that I'm okay, fine, trying to pull the house together, and he tells me how proud he is of me and that the house is looking wonderful.

    Sometimes it feels like a facade, and I'm wearing a mask to hide my profound grief and the heavy moments that arise every day and night. The inexplicable unpleasant dreams, or the pleasant dreams, where I am sure Jim, Jon and Michael visited, but I can't recall them upon awakening. Or laying in bed at 2:30 a.m., praying that I will go back to sleep to stop my mind from spinning. I'm like a rotisserie chicken, turning over and over and over for hours.

    And every square inch of our home and yards reminds me of my beloveds. I am surrounded by magnificent and tragic memories. Every movie I watch, every song I hear, everything reminds me of Jim, Jonathan and Michael. And I think, "You would have enjoyed that ... or laughed then or danced and sang then ..." I still seek Jim's guidance on decisions and issues. My partner and companion, Jon's and Michael's Dad ...

    The longing in my heart to embrace them is never ending and an aching, which defies description.

    Meanwhile, so many others are suffering in so many ways, and our future is anybody's guess.

    It is just too much for me to absorb all at once, and yet, here I am, and here all of us are, doing just that.

    It has been 72 days since Jim joined Jonathan and Michael, and this will be the first 4th of July without him. Our 28th anniversary is approaching.

    Every morning, I start over and pray for the best outcome for me and you and the world.

    I love you all and pray for you and your loved ones. Thank you for the blessing you are in my life.

    Please be safe and be well.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    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. #94

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    Dear Rose,

    How are you doing? Hope you are doing well.

    Marcie

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  9. #95
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Marcie ~

    How nice to see you here, and thank you for checking up on me.

    Considering everything, I am doing fairly well. The week has been relatively quiet.

    I finished and sent my 2019 tax return, which is one big boulder off of my shoulder. I scoured the IRS website for information about claiming Jon as a dependent and how to submit the joint return without Jim here to sign. I had to sign in his place: "Filing as Surviving Spouse." I think and I'm hoping that that is the last tax return I will ever have to file.

    John visited today. It's Thursday again.

    It's handy that he visited, because last night, the microwave gave up. It had problems last year, but they resolved on their own. This time, it just flat out said, "I'm outta here!"

    John recalled putting it on the counter for us a couple of years ago. He said, "My microwave is 10 years old!"

    I sighed, "John, you aren't home 24 hours every single day. And you didn't spend the last 2 years warming Jim's tea, decaf, or food dozens of times every day in the microwave. Everything we have is worn out from overuse. My next microwave might last longer. It might outlast me. I'm one of those things, which is worn out from overuse."

    "Of course. I wasn't thinking." He measured the microwave and got the wattage. "I'm making a Walmart run on Saturday, and I'll get you a new microwave and bring it over then."

    "Don't go just on my account, John. I'll be fine."

    "Okay. A) I need to make a Walmart run anyway for our family, and B) even if I didn't, I would go, because you need a microwave."

    "I have a stove and oven."

    John shook his head. "And Saturday, you're going to have a new microwave."

    He's right, of course. A microwave is a convenience and a time-saver. I've lived like a "pioneer" a few times, and I can do it again. But, it would be nice to have an operable microwave.

    While the temperature had a "real feel" of 94 degrees today, we sat on the patio to chat. Our patio cover creates a nice cool breezeway. We always cover a lot of family history on both sides. Today, John asked me when Jon's communication skills began to falter, what kind of seizures he and Michael had, when they both stopped walking. It isn't painful for me to recall these things, because John truly wants to have the full picture of Jonathan and Michael, their lives and mine.

    John observed, "They suffered so much, but you and Jim gave them such a great life, while they were still able to enjoy themselves. I just love to look at all of your family photos, because I see the joy and fun you shared."

    I told John that I recently read an article on the "five stages of grief." That concept was actually just an outline to get people talking about grief, not a hard and fast description of the grief process. As you know, Marcie, grief comes over you in waves, and sometimes you can experience all 5 stages in one day.

    My take away from the article is that most people, who were surveyed about their grief, responded that the longest lasting stage is: yearning.

    I explained to John what my yearning is like. It's been 17 years since Michael passed, but I still long to hold him, kiss him, hug him, see him, be physically with him. I still miss everything about him. Of course, the same is true for Jonathan and Jim.

    When I say, "I miss them so much," what I am saying is, "I am yearning to be with them."

    It is the deepest sense of longing and aching.

    As far as I know, yearning is something one does not "get over," or at least it takes a long time to find the coping tools to mitigate its intensity.

    I'm trying to focus on things, which need to be addressed, sooner rather than later. I want to have all of my ducks in a row.

    Speaking of ducks, there is only one pair in the lake now. The geese and other water fowl have found another lake or waterway. I watch them, as I stop on my morning walk, swimming together, close, connected. Recently, every morning, a cottontail rabbit is sitting on the sidewalk to greet me. I treasure these moments in nature.

    Several times during our chat, John was distracted by the birds bathing in Michael's waterfall/pond. I told John how much Michael's garden has meant to me, Jim, and Jonathan, and since he restored it, this has been my place of peace and reflection.

    So, there is the very long version of how I am. I take each day as it comes, one step at a time, one moment at a time, one memory at a time.

    I hold you, your boys and your lovely family in my prayers, Marcie. Thank you so much for your love, understanding, and support.

    Now, please share how you and your family are ~

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    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. #96
    Distinguished Community Member Jeanie Z's Avatar
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    Smile

    :) Rose I am relieved that you managed to get your taxes done. I do not file since my income is well under $25,000. so I do not need to.

    I drove up to Wendy's today thru the drive thru to get Chili which i had heard was good. I did nit think it was very good. But I ate it.

    My SIL was transferred to a rehab p;lace today. She is happy to be getting food again. I found out she has not opened any mail for months. I am fearful her lights and cell phone will be cut off. The cell phone is necessary as her neighbor has a different area code and she needs to be able to call her. Also I am a different area code too.

    I am having a pain in my left side about where the spleen is. Also on my back I discovered a bad place which is swollen and weeping. Andy will be here in the morning to for my grocery shopping so I will have him put a bandage on it.

    Rose you are doing great. Have you used your new shower yet? Stay safe. Love, Jeanie :)

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  13. #97
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Jeanie ~

    I just posted a reply to you in the MS Chit Chat thread. I'm so sorry that you have Shingles. That was my first thought when I read your post. You are in my prayers, as always, and I will step them up to speed the healing for this outbreak.

    Is there anyone who could check your SIL's mail and bring it to her at the rehab center? A neighbor or friend? If she has her cell phone with her now, perhaps she could call her provider and explain her circumstances to prevent it from being shut off.

    The reason why I had to file for 2019 is because I was employed as Jonathan's careprovider for 3 months prior to his passing. I was considered a vendor and self-employed.

    I haven't tried my new shower yet. I know that probably seems weird, since it's just what I need. The reason is that I haven't cleaned up the master bedroom yet to where I can return to it. I'm still sleeping in the living room, and my clothes are in Jon's closet.

    The bedroom will take a good deal of time and energy for me to bring it to a livable state. Lots of things to find a place for, extensive cleaning, stripping the bed and washing all of the linens.

    I have been concentrating on the downstairs, when I get the urge to clean and organize.

    AND THEN THIS HAPPENED!

    As I was trying to put respiratory supplies from Jon's room in the box with those supplies, I realized that the crew had placed the new mattress pump, which I purchased for Jim just days before he passed, and ending up not needing as the pump started working again, on top of the respiratory supplies box. It is precarious to say the least. I can't lift the pump box, so John will do that tomorrow. That pump is EXPENSIVE! If it falls to the ground, it's toast.

    While I searched for a safer place to put the pump box, I found an open box and checked its contents.

    TWO BOXES OF MEDLINE BIOMASK ANTIVIRAL MASKS, 50 COUNT EACH BOX!

    I was stunned and thrilled! I know, that probably sounds absurd, but ... these are really good masks, and I can't get them on line any longer. Or I haven't been able to find them. So, I felt like I'd won the lottery!

    Later, I reflected on my response. How sad is it that I get excited over having 2 boxes of Biomasks? This is entirely a COVID related reaction.

    I recall my childhood, when I'd visit other children's/teenager's homes for a party or luau or something, and there was a bunker in their backyard, underground, filled with canned food, water, and other supplies, cots. My impression was always, "While it's grim, it's a good idea."

    The reason why we stockpiled supplies and masks, gowns, gloves, and everything else we needed, was "just in case."

    During a pandemic, we have to make sure that we have as much protection as possible. So, I am grateful for these two boxes of masks.

    Thank you, Jeanie, and all of our friends here. Please know that you are in my prayers, and I love you.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Last edited by Earth Mother 2 Angels; 07-10-2020 at 04:10 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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  15. #98

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    Dear Rose,

    I had a whole post typed out but the computer lost it!

    Marcie
    Last edited by Nick,Brian,andJon'sMom; 07-10-2020 at 06:54 PM.

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  17. #99
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    ((((((Marcie)))))) ~

    Oh, that is so frustrating! Any possibility that it was auto-saved? Check the Quick Reply box to see if there is an indication that your post, or a portion thereof, was saved. I often compose in Word or my old Mac email, then copy and paste. My computer can go funky occasionally, so I try to find ways around losing stuff.

    Thank you for trying! I look forward to your post, when you have another opportunity to share. You, Nick, Brian, Jon and your family are in my prayers always.

    JOHN TO THE RESCUE

    Today, John brought me a new microwave, which fits perfectly on the counter and is easy to use. He is always so cheerful and positive. He lifts my spirits so much.

    In the 100 degree heat, with the sun beating directly upon him, John checked the van tires. All but the spare were perfect, and the spare wasn't too low. He pumped it up so it matches the others. We discussed taking the van to a nearby tire shop, which John has used for many years, next week. The tread and the tire walls look good on all of the tires. But we need to get the spare repaired, which was the original tire, before the spare was put on last year.

    I finished cleaning, organizing, and decorating Jonathan's room. I included many of Jim's items, like his favorite book, his basket of crossword puzzles, the first pillow we gave him on his first Father's Day with us, a small tapestry pillow, which reads, "Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad."

    Photos everywhere.

    I asked John if he wanted to see Jonathan's room. Of course. He stifled tears. "This looks great, Rose! I can see how hard you have been working. And it's really nice."

    "Thank you. I brought out all of the good memories. I cling to them. This helps me."

    We can't do anything about the bad, sad, tragic, difficult, stressful things that happen to us. We can only change the way we feel about them.

    Jonathan's room was dark, cluttered, dusty, and filled with sad memories. That is not fair to them. Now, Jon's room is a tribute to them, to our family, to the many happy times we shared together. There is light now.

    When I opened this thread, the title pertained to the restoration of our damaged home. Now, it seems to be applicable to the restoration of my broken heart.

    Sometimes, it feels like life is one continuous metaphor.

    My love, prayers and gratitude to you all and to your loved ones ~

    Please stay safe and be well.

    God Bless You ~

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    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. #100
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    Default I'm On A List

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

    Okay.

    I received an official notification from the State that I am "a recent recipient of an EPA identification number."

    That isn't an award or honor.

    A better term would be, "tagged with" or "burdened with."

    Why did this happen? Well, it can only be that asbestos was found in the drywall during restoration. There is probably a rule that if a certain amount is removed, the EPA has to be notified.

    What a delightful outcome of having our home restored, a beautiful bathroom, lovely closets: to land on the EPA's list of hazardous waste producers.

    Here's what I don't get: every home in our neighborhood has been remodeled more than once, including the removal of drywall. In fact, my neighbor next door just had a water leak, but he didn't have asbestos testing and removal with the men in space suits. Our homes were all built at the same time!

    This is the second time, we've had the asbestos removal crew in our home. The last time was after a slab leak in 2001. Those guys even took showers on our front porch in plastic enclosed tents.

    Why us and nobody else in our neighborhood? I mean literally nobody else, as I walk through the neighborhood and could see that kind of activity occurring on our street. Never. Just us.

    Well, not to worry, because the notice carries this disclaimer:

    "If you do not generate or produce more than 5 tons of hazardous waste per calendar year, you should disregard this notice."
    That is simultaneously comforting and disturbing to me.

    The comforting part is that I shouldn't have more than 5 tons of asbestos in this home, and if so, I'll just take a couple of years to get all of it out of here.

    The disturbing part is that 5 tons of hazardous waste is considered under the limit for taxes and fees.

    Yeah. I'm still letting that sink in.

    Some of you may not remember Superfund sites. I do. We don't hear about them any longer, but that's not because they don't exist.

    But don't worry. The EPA has its eyes on me. So, you'll all be safe from my toxic pollution.

    Remember that we are paying for all of this, and these are our tax dollars at work.

    Right now, I just don't have room in my mind or soul to think about it. It's just another jab at me by a governmental agency, and I've experienced that throughout my entire adult life.

    That's my story for today. Thank you for reading, loving, and supporting me on this part of my journey. I love you and pray for you and your loved ones always.

    God Bless You!

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    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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