I'm Back

Friday, January 13, 2012
Hey, I'm beginning to trickle back into circulation on the web...on a Friday the 13th no less. I must be pressing my luck! Anyway, I hope everyone had a better Christmas/New Years break than I did.

Actually, my Christmas went fine. The kiddo enjoyed opening her presents. She gasped and smiled when she opened each one and had to run around the room, showing each person what she got.

One thing her silly mother (yes, me!) got her was a roll full of 1600 stickers. Hey, she likes stickers, but honestly, what was I thinking?? Stickers are kind of like beach sand. Days, weeks--heck, months--later, you're still finding them in the oddest places!

For our family Christmas present, the hubby and I got us a new TV, which has WiFi, so we signed up to Netflix. On New Years eve, we invited another couple (that has a kid two years older than ours--and boy, did they have fun with those stickers) to watch a movie on our new screen. We were all in bed by ten, thirty. I know, we're wild party animals, huh?

On New Years Day, my mother-in-law declared she was having kiddo withdrawals. Since she usually babysits my daughter while I'm at work, she hadn't seen the little one all week. The hubby and I talked her into watching our daughter that night so we could have the evening to ourselves.

It was about eight-thirty on January 1st when the two of us--sans kid--curled up on the couch to watch a little Netflix when my sister called. And the entire year went downhill from there.

Now a little back story.

My dad had always had heart problems. He had one of those quadruple-heart bypass surgeries or whatever they're called in the early nineties. Then he had a stint put in in '01. In mid December 2011, he began to talk about an irregular heartbeat. So, on the 29th of December, they took him to St. Johns (yeah, the St. Johns in Joplin that was destroyed by the big May 22nd tornado, which is now made up of a bunch of temporary buildings) for an angiogram.

Lydia and I visited my parents' place the day before his angiogram. I had no idea that would be the last time I would see him alive. He had to take some special medicine before the tests, and I guess it tasted really nasty so he had to mix it with a bottle of diet cola to get it down. I'd never seen him drink pop from a bottle before. It was very strange to watch. He said the stuff made him feel dizzy.

Before the kiddo and I left, I told her to give hugs and kisses. She ran over to my mom and hugged her and kissed her, then paused when she turned to Grandpa, unsure whether to hug him too. He'd never been the huggy-kissy type, but for some reason, I picked her up and held her down to him where he was sitting in his chair and she gave him a peck on the lips, where she then dutifully waved and said, "Bye, Papa." I'm so very glad I did that.

The next day, we got the text from my second oldest sister who drove Mom and Dad to the angiogram, and learned the blockage was too bad to put in another stint. We were told the only option left was a pacemaker.

So mom set up appointment to get Dad a pacemaker in February. The next couple of days, she was busy trying to get him medicine and calling doctor's offices.

Now...Returning to the eve of January one, where hubby and I are snuggling on the couch. My third sister called and told me Mom and our oldest brother had taken Dad to the hospital and were going to life-flight him to Freeman Heart Center (another hospital in the famous Joplin).

I guess he'd been having chest pains since about six that evening. Mom had left for bible study, so he tried to heat up a hamburger in the microwave by himself, but burned it to a blackened crisp. Mom got to church (or rather my sister's house to pick her up) before she learned there was no study group, so she returned home, where Dad told her he wasn't feeling well. She and my oldest brother drove them to the nearest hospital, where my father walked in the front doors on his own two feet.

They looked him over, told him he was "trying" to have a heart attack, and said they were going to send him over to Freeman. Mom told us he was still talking and coherent, answering questions, when he was put onto the helicopter. That was the last time SHE saw him alive.

When she came home to pack a bag, ready to stay at the hospital for a while if need be, me, my hubby, one sister, a brother, and sister-in-law were waiting at her house to caravan our way to the hospital to wait with her through the night.

On our way, another sister called. She'd reached the hospital first with her husband, daughter, and son-in-law. Someone had been by the waiting room to give her a room number of what room they planned to move Dad to. They asked her a few questions about his problems and told her he was resting comfortably.

My cavaran of peeps arrived at the hospital at about ten-thirty, eleven o'clock to find another brother had arrive there before. So that made eleven of the family waiting around, quieting joking with each other to keep from going bored as we waited another half hour before a tall, stately doctor appeared in the doorway of our waiting room.

The doctor commenced to tell us of my father's problems. Blockage was so bad there was a stone (whatever that means). He arrived in shock. We went on to explain more; I can't remember all he said, I just remember him monotonously sliding in, "He won't survive the night." After that, I have no clue what the man said except that he'd make sure we got in to see my father.

No one in the room moved a muscle while he spoke, we all just sat there in frozen shock. This was not the news we were expecting to hear at all. As soon as the doctor left, we finally all just sorta stood up and fled to all parts of the hospital, calling more family members, crying and hugging. It was all so very unreal feeling.

When they let us back to see him, he was already gone, which is what finally put me to tears.

The next few days were a blur, with family crowding Mom's house. A few members had just got over a nasty stomach flu. So my husband caught the flu and threw up and so forth on the night of the visitation. We were actually driving there to the funeral home when he had to pull around and go back home. So I lived through that night without him by my side.

Mom, a sister, and a brother caught the flu very early on the morning of the funeral. My daughter caught it the day after, as well as a few other family members. And I got it Monday morning.

And now it's Friday the 13th!!

My mom is doing okay. It's still strange to visit her and not see Dad sitting in "his" chair. But we're all beginning to adjust to this new phase.

So....That's what's been up with me. I'll travel around now and visit all your blogs to see what's been up with you.

Hugs to all.


  1. Oh Linda...I'm so sorry. *hugs* What a dreadful, horrible time. And today's Friday the 13th! I didn't realize that. Yikes.

  2. ((((((mega hugz)))))))))))))

    As you know, I lost my grandmother on Christmas Day; what a gift! She got to spend Christmas in heaven with Grandpa and my aunt, who passed in 1994 and '93 respectively.

    My dad also has a stint and both parents have sleep apnea...fun, fun....

    If you need a shoulder, sweetie, feel free to send me an email. I cannot fathom losing a parent at this time, even though my husband lost his father in 2000 and mother in '10.

  3. My heart goes out to you, Linda. It's not easy, but it gets better. He'll always be with you - unlike that nasty flu bug.