I've been gone for a few months, and by the title you can kind of figure out why.
Angie nursed me through my recent heart scare, and drove me to the pharmacy to pick up a new prescription. She had gotten off work and we drove down US 41, past the Middle Georgia Raceway to the local CVS.
I went in and was told I had a wait of about 30 minutes before my new heart medication was ready.
Went out to the car and told her of the wait and would she like to go get something to eat.
She looked at me and said "I don't feel good. Maybe we need to go to a Medstop."
Now this is a girl who has only been in the hospital twice to have the kids, doesn't even like to go to the doctor, but is asking to go, so I know something is up, and the sudden shade of yellow her skin has turned scares me.
We go to the Medstop at what used to be Houston Mall, they run a couple tests and say she needs to really go to the Emergency Room.
We go there, the new wave of Covid has hit and only the patients can be inside the waiting room. This is about 6:30 to 7 pm. They call her for vitals around 9 pm.
11 pm I go in and ask the lady behind the glass what is her status, she doesn't know. I say find out and you would be advised to do it rather quickly since she has been waiting quite awhile. All of a sudden, "Oh yes, she was supposed to have a ct scan at 10 pm but she didn't come up when called. Maybe she was outside when we asked for her."
The glass almost got shattered when I, let's just say "very forcefully" let her know that I've been sitting on the bench just outside the door and have not heard her name mentioned, and SHE has been sitting in that same chair for 5 hours while others that came in after her have come and gone.
We were told she would have to wait for a bed to be admitted for the ct scan and sorry, but she has to start at the end of the que. That did not make me very happy.
Every 15 minutes I bugged the woman asking if a bed was ready yet. I think she saw I was getting more agitated as each hour passed.
2:30 AM a hospital manager came out to see me. Informed me that she really didn't have to have a bed for the ct scan, that they would take her in, get her prepped, and as soon as the table was clear, she would be the next for her scan. We could then leave and if anything needing attention was found, she would be called right back. If not, come by after 10 AM and check with Medical Records and you'll get the results.
OK, get the scan done, go home, come back at 10 AM, and they can't find her records. We were advised to go back home, they would look for the records, and call us back.
We get home, only a few miles from the Houston Health Center, get undressed and crawl back in bed. Within minutes the phone rings telling her she needs to come back right away. So, back at HHC before 11 AM. 4PM she's called back and told she was needing to be admitted. There was something wrong with her gallbladder.
OK, she's the only one of us 4 still with her gallbladder, matter of fact she has been right proud of being able to claim she still has "all the original equipment".
She spends the night in an exam room. No tv, no bathroom, no phone, just a hard topped exam table that has no pillows or covers. Did I also add NO VISITORS AT ALL. Couldn't even bring her any clothes to change into. Her cell is our lifeline, and she doesn't have a charger.
Overnight she has an MRI, and MRI with contrast, another ct scan. Still can't say what is wrong exactly, but it involves her gallbladder and a dark mass close to it.
One doctor wants to go ahead and remove the gallbladder, others say not to just yet since she isn't in any pain.
Four days she is in HHC, no real treatment, but they are working on something. Friday, she will be moved to Piedmont Atlanta. One of the surgeons knows a doctor up there that is one of the top five in the world in handling cases like this. She gets her first ever ambulance ride up there. It's the first time I've seen her since she went through the doors and was admitted. Her skin looked like an orange peel it was so yellow.
It's after 1AM. I'll continue this in the morning.
Sad, sad horrific story! It looks like you posted a date of departure but I didn't get that from your post.
I hope you find peace soon.
So sorry to read this this morning. Peace, love and light to you and your family.
A little sleep, breakfast, and coffee helps.
After her first ambulance ride, she was taken directly to 5 South of Piedmont Atlanta. Nurses and techs immediately surrounded her and got her into a gown and started her treatment. Sent for another ct, blood drawn, urine collected, vitals taken. Drs. Page, Cioffi, several internal specialists came in and discussed what it might be.
After multiple blood draws, tests, and another two mri and a third endoscopy (with contrast) her diagnosis came back. Liver cancer with a porcelain gallbladder.
She was told to not worry, you've got the best team in the world working on you and we CAN fix this.
I was given copies of the photos taken during the endoscopy, and trying to break the tension said "Wow I've got pictures of you I've never seen before." She hates having her picture taken. I have more pictures of her from our honeymoon than I do of the next 47 years.
She was upset that she wouldn't be home for her birthday and be able to eat her cake. She had been waiting on that special cake for her 65th birthday. They told her they had to get things ready anyway, and since she hadn't been allowed to eat much the past few days (possibility of surgery) to go home, rest up for about a week, and we'll change your diet to include cake. That made her happy about that.
Had her party, but the great-great nieces and nephews were not to attend. They had been exposed to covid. That hurt deep, but she understood they didn't need to be around her right now and possibly infect her. Video calls had to suffice.
We came back to Piedmont Atlanta the day before surgery for the pre-admittance tests and at the end she asked what she could eat and when she had to cut off eating and drinking. "You can eat and drink anything you want except alcohol up until midnight." she was told.
I then showed her the map of restaurants that was close to our hotel. She laser lined on the Cheesecake Factory. She dined on Chicken marsala, mashed potatoes, and two kinds of cheesecake. Hey, when you don't know if you're going to get to eat at all for the next day, why not?
At the age of 65 years and one week, she went in for the for her surgery at 5:30 AM August 20, 2021.
I was called into a conference room around 3 PM. I was thinking , conference room-private meeting, this can't be good.
Dr. Cioffi gave me the details about the surgery, said she went through it very fine. The gallbladder was removed, the duct from the liver to the gallbladder was removed, and a little more than half of her liver was removed. When she said, but there is something I have to tell you my heart started to sink.
I thought you would like to know we got it ALL. Angie will not have to go through chemo, nor radiation treatments. I hugged and kissed Dr. Cioffi like it was our wedding (her name is Cynthia). Made calls, texts, posted on her company website, said prayers of thanks.
When she came into the room, she had not yet fully come out of recovery. No gown at the time and the doctors wanted to show off their work. Her incision started below her sternum down to her navel, turned right and went mostly around her right side.
Explained that the large incision was to allow them to get around the other organs to access the liver. I said it didn't look like there were any stitches, and this clear stuff doesn't look like super glue. I was told no stitches, no staples, and the stuff you see is rubber cement.
Two days later, she was up and moving. Getting out of bed with little help, walking from the bed to the bathroom (several round trips each time), and by the 23rd she was not only going up the hallway about 100 feet, she was doing it by only holding on to the walker. The PT guy kept telling her to slow down. She said the faster I get to moving around, the faster I get back to work.
Thursday she came home with her meds, a walker, and an attitude of "5 weeks hell, I'm going back to work in 3 weeks." She only needed some steadying to get off the couch, chair, or toilet. She zoomed up and down the hallway (90 feet round trip) multiple times until she got tired, then took a nap and started again.
Leg exercises, breathing exercises, foot movement, emptying the drain from her incision (the liver tries to fill the abdomen with fluid to compensate while repairing itself) took up all her waking hours. She was determined to get well enough to go back to work.
Several days later her home care PT (Christy) came in and noticed her breathing went from good to labored during her visit. Blood pressure dropped, oxygen level dropped, and within a few minutes she was talking incoherently. Angie then got her second ambulance ride to Piedmont Macon (old Coliseum hospital).
Stabilized and admitted overnight, Piedmont Atlanta was called and Angie got her third ambulance ride. Again ct scans, mri-with contrast, blood work and blood cultures done. Told she has an "abscess" in her upper abdomen just below her diaphragm. An additional drain installed, more and varied antibiotics, No food or water (possibility of surgery) for 3 days. Released with more different meds and orders to slow down on her trying to get back to work and let herself heal.
She was home for 8 days. Christy arrived to do some PT, Angie was in a good mood, a little chilled, sitting up on the couch. Within minutes she was shaking, literally vibrating off the couch, blood pressure check was erratic, blood sugar check was abysmal, it was 17, she should have been comatose. Ambulance called. She was talking with the EMT and he said this was a first for him. He had never had anyone below a level of 25 that could talk to him, much less sit up, talk, and make sense. when they started to get her on the stretcher she said, and I quote, "Please be careful with my balls." She had the bulbs from her drains in her hand. The female EMT had to go outside and laugh until she could stand up straight. That's the kind of person Angie was, see if I can make a joke out of this.
She got her 4th ambulance ride to Macon Piedmont Hospital. Stabilized overnight and took her 5th ambulance ride to Piedmont Atlanta.
Massive doses of antivirals, antibiotics, bedrest, high protein fluids and meals, brown bag ivs', liter bags of saline one behind the other, Lasix to help drain the fluids carrying the infections (filled the liter reservoirs of her PureWick on a just about hourly basis). Legs, arms, face, neck all swollen with fluids. She gets released on Monday, October 2nd, I have a heart procedure scheduled for the 3rd. Kids come take care of her while I'm gone that day. They stay the week when I'm told I can't lift more than 5 pounds over the week.
On Sunday we notice she isn't very chipper and her breathing is low and shallow. We give the home nurse a call, assured someone will be there early in the morning. The nurse that had seen her when she first came home called and said she was on her way at 7:30 AM on Monday, one week after she had come home. She checked Angie's vitals. blood oxygen at critical level, blood pressure wildly fluctuating, heart rate extremely high, excessive swelling in hips, legs, and thighs.
The same ambulance crew came that had taken her to Piedmont Macon came in lights and siren going, actually slid to a stop in front of the house. The female EMT leaned over the chair and asked if she would have to still be careful with her balls. Angie couldn't respond too well, but she grinned and chuckled. Lights, sirens , moving people out of the way if they were slow. Her 6th ambulance ride.
The EMTs had left and Angie was in an exam room when I called Dr. Cioffi and explained we wouldn't be there for our appointment the next morning to see if the original drain could be removed. Read off the vitals on the machines, and told her what had happened. Told she would call back in a few minutes. Less than 3 minutes later, the attending doctor came in and said "I don't know who you folks are, but I got a call from Piedmont Atlanta that her room is ready and the ambulance will be here in about 20 minutes. I haven't had a chance to call up there and leave a message for her doctor yet." I asked if he wanted to talk to Dr. Cioffi and he explained the long, convoluted process they had to go through since they hadn't gotten into all the Piedmont systems because Piedmont had just bought the hospital. I handed him my phone and asked if he wanted to talk to Dr. Cioffi, just hit that button, she's got us on priority answer. He stuck with the system.
The ambulance arrived, the head EMT looked at Angie and told her that this time, we don't stop for traffic like last time. Yep, same crew as her last trip to Atlanta.
Lights, sirens, and when people saw that big ambulance bearing down, and not slowing, they moved out of the way. If they didn't, they got moved. There were a couple of slowdowns, emergency lanes were made for this, if need be where some idiot had the idea of getting around the traffic in the emergency lanes, those big bumpers were used to move them or we went into the median. HOV lanes were taken over, and I have to say I was impressed that Atlanta drivers made room for the ambulance and me to get by.
We get to the hospital, up to 5 South. She is being rolled down the hallway covered in her red plaid blanket. Doctors, techs, nurses see her coming down the hall and follow her to the room. One of the charge nurses takes over the group and starts calling out the med orders. Six nurses move her from the gurney to a bed. The nurses start new iv's, change her into a gown, give her a light rubdown. A pregnant nurse who had taken care of Angie at an earlier time was told to get out of the room and scrub down, and all others were told to put on gowns, gloves, and dual mask. The charge nurse told the EMTs that they would take care of Angie, she had told everyone to call her that, and they needed to go scrub down and put their clothes through the UV sanitizer. That should have told me something there.
Angie was moved to 4 East ICU 1002. The techs and nurses continued with her treatment, Dr. Cioffi and several infectious disease doctors came in for a consult. We're running blood cultures to see exactly what is going on, but her right lung is full of fluid so we're taking her down to install a drain to clear her lungs.
A drain as big as a 3/8 inch pvc pipe is cut into her back and into her lung and it drains dark brown fluid, about the color of weak coffee, from her right lung. It drains about 1 and 1/2 liters from her lung and gets changed. It gets changed several times during the day. Next morning Angie is talking better, breathing better, her heart isn't racing, and looks better.
The first thing she said after I got to her bed side was " I don't think I'm going to beat this one." she hardly spoke the rest of the day. Slept a lot, and I thought she was just tired and needed the sleep.
Next morning slept and didn't realize I was in the room for a while. She didn't talk much that day. The attachments for her dialysis machine was put in due to her kidneys not able to pull all the potassium out of her system and it was to help get her fluids down. An arterial sensor was placed in her right arm so real time blood pressure could be monitored. The cuffs couldn't keep up with the rapid rise and fall.
I'm going to stop here for a while. For some reason i can't see the keyboard.
So sorry to hear this. Your story is heartbreaking. So sorry she (and you) had to go through this.
I hate thinking of the trouble you are going through. Something sudden and unexpected and life is upside down. Wish there was something we could do.
All Peaceful Karma out to you Jerry in your time of sorrow. Thoughts are with you Brother. -Rob
Turns out she wasn't just tired. Later that day the Palliative Care manager asked me about her final wishes. It hit me as unusual since I'd been told how much he had improved for several days. I was informed that her kidneys had failed, her liver wasn't functioning, her lungs were filling up with fluid faster than it could be drained. The only reason she was alive was due to the dialysis machine trying to clean the toxins out of her system, and it was running 24/7, her heart was kept going by heavy doses of adrenaline and other medications that kept her blood pressure high enough to keep her vessels from collapsing. She slept the majority of the day, me not believing what I was told. I called a family meeting and explained to my kids, her brother and sister, and my brother that Angie's chance of getting out of the hospital was explained to me to be less than 10%, after several months of procedures, each one that could kill her just going through it. That was the hardest talk I have ever had to give, and ever hope to give.
The next morning I walked into the ICU unit and she said as loud as she could; "Jerry, I want to go home. I want to go home."
Do you want to go to our house in the woods down in Byron? "NO, I want to go home, I WANT to Go HOME."
Do you want any resuscitation efforts any thing? "No, I want to go home, I want to go home." She kept repeating that phrase more quietly, more pleadingly for several minutes until she was too exhausted to and fell sleep. That was Thursday. I called in the Palliative care team, explained no rescue efforts to be done, anything needed to be done so she feels no pain will be done, and she was an organ, bone and tissue donor.
I contacted the extended family, nieces, nephews, cousins, and explained what was going on and that only a limited few can be allowed into the ICU unit. Several said they would be here and wait in the parking lot if they had to, they weren't going to let me go through this alone.
Friday morning I made the longest, loneliest drive I ever have made from Byron to Atlanta. One of my nieces was a training nurse at Piedmont so she was able to get by the "guardians" to the ICU. She helped me with walking me through the medical speak so I understood what was going on, what was going to happen, and what to expect was going to happen and a general time line of "events".
Angie only spoke several very slurred words and tried to get us to understand that she was saying "I love you, I love you" over and over until she was exhausted. That was the last time she spoke.
I was able to spend the night with her. Lying in a roll around recliner, arm extended up, holding onto her arm, rubbing her fingers, talking to her as much as I could, responding to every twitch and jerk asking if she was ok, praying for a miracle that Saturday morning she would sit up and say I'm hungry, or just say my name one more time.
8 AM Saturday the family started arriving, each was given some private time to talk to Angie, tell her a little story, let her know how their children were.
10:00 AM we had said our goodbyes and I told the nurse it was time, that I didn't want her to have to be kept alive any longer than she wanted to stay. I wanted her to be free, to go home, to see her Mama whom she has dearly missed for ten years, and her Daddy.
The dialysis machine had been disconnected during the night because it was putting a strain on her weakened heart, so it was just start the morphine drip, remove the tubes providing the drugs keeping her blood pressure up.
The ICU nurse shut off the monitors in the room and was watching her vitals from the other side of the window with the blinds closed.
Angie started actually breathing easier, more steadily, more rhythmically. Her breaths started coming fewer with longer intervals. She didn't gasp, go into spasms, none of the stuff you see in the movies, she just kept slowing her breaths, and went to sleep. The girl I had called my heating pad went from warm, to ice cold, no transition time, just cold.
I told everyone: "I guess she was in such a hurry to go see her mama that she said "See ya later, I'm outa here. I'm coming Mama."
The love of my life, the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, the one I always said I would have to go first since no other woman could take care of me like she did, was gone. Nothing I could do to change it, nothing I could do to stop it.
I have railed at the heaven about how it wasn't fair. That I should be the one lying there. She was a loving, giving, thoughtful, caring person. She nursed me through several deadly episodes, put up with my pain issues (RA, degenerative bone and disc disease) diabetes and other issues that really made me a hard person to live with at times.
But she put up with it, did everything possible to ease my pains, did surprise gifts of massage chairs and trips to places where I might get relief from pain for a while.
She only wanted love in return. To be appreciated, to be listened to.
The last week she was alive she fussed at me about a heart procedure I needed so much that I arranged to get it the day after her release from the hospital (4th time). I had it on Tuesday, she went back to Atlanta for the last time the next Monday.
For those of you who don't think loved ones linger, here is something that happened within an hour of her death.
Her phone was sitting on the bed tray table, no one had made any calls, or even touched it. The kids and I said we would have to contact the home nurse group that came in to take care of her and ask it they wanted the medical supplies, packages of gauze squares, abdominal pads, surgical tape, anything we had that had not been opened.
Several minutes later, her phone rang. It was the nursing group calling. When i answered, the nurse that had taken more care of her than the others was on the line. She said "Hello Mr. Jerry, can i speak to Miss Angie? I'm returning her call from a few minutes ago." I told her that I was thinking of calling and about the supplies Angie had left behind that we thought she could use. "What do you mean, Left behind?" I thought you knew Angie had passed away about an hour ago. As I was speaking through the tears and sobs I thought she had been told and was calling to express her condolences. She FREAKED. "She talked to me a few minutes ago and told me to call. followed by a bunch of Oh My God, Oh My God. She left me a message less than ten minutes ago."
i told her she passed around 10:43 AM, and it was now about Noon, so she couldn't have called. She read off the date and time of the call, but he message (voice mail) was blank. She swore up and down that Angie had left her a voice mail asking her to call her phone.
My kids looked at me and said "Mom knew it would probably be a couple of weeks before we called, if we remembered, so she just did it herself." Just like Angie did in life, she would take care of it if she thought we wouldn't.
Guys and gals, life is too varied and unpredictable. Things can happen quickly, brutally, and with devastating results. On Monday, Angie was sitting in my recliner eating Chobani yogurt, Saturday she had declined and perished. Talk to your loved ones, hold em, cuddle up and squeeze em, let them know you love them, do something they want to do even if you don't want to do it to show how much you care. DON'T LET A DAY GO BY WITHOUT AT LEAST GIVING THEM A KISS AND ASKING DO YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU.
I have cried and sobbed, blubbered and wailed, and i don't care who knows it. I have thanked God that she went easily with no pain and peacefully. She looked like she was in a peaceful dream, slightly smiling, eyes closed, no grimace. She looked beautiful, as good looking in composure as I had ever seen. I said she must be happy to be with her Mama and Daddy.
she is to be cremated, my daughter found an urn that is iridescent, multi colored, and creates rainbows when light is shined on it. She sent me a link to it, I declared it perfect, it fits Mom. Amanda says she is going to put her Mom in the greatest disco ball of all time. It will be her new forever home.
Sorry Rusty about the date; She passed on October 16, 2021. we started dating the same week in October 1972. I asked her to marry me on our second date.
I made a damn good choice. Sometimes I think she made a lousy choice.
I miss her, I keep wanting to see her walk into the living room and start playing on her tablet, I want to walk our trails again, I look at the passenger seat of the truck and realize she will never go on a trip with me again. I then have to get back out of the truck and go inside because I don't want to have a wreck. I go on the deck and know that I'll never have the chance to grill her a steak or some chicken. She and I can never cuddle up again, and I'll miss the good morning and goodnight kisses. The back rubs and scratches, even hearing her snore or complain about co-workers. Everything we did together, will never happen again.
I've just got a huge hole in my heart and it will take a while to heal.
This morning though, when I sat on the deck I looked at the little teacup rose I gave her for our last anniversary. It had two buds ready to bloom. Maybe, it's a sign.
@jerry Again, I am saddened to hear of your loss. I offer my most sincere condolences to you an Angela's family and friends.
Your long posts remind me of the times that I've come onto this site to write about people that I have lost - especially when my brother died suddenly (2003). I know that writing these words is a very cathartic way of dealing with the passing of a loved one. You will experience a broad range of feelings and emotions - likely for the rest of your life.
Again, I hope that you find peace and comfort soon. Angela will be with you forever in your thoughts, dreams and memories.
i think I'm through the shock and I'm in the what the hell do I do now phase. Insurance, will, finding out that even though I've not been home for most of three months, people still want to get paid.
My days have been get up at 4:30 am, eat-shower-get dressed, drive the 90+ minutes to the hospital so I'm there at 7 am. Sit in the hospital room or waiting area while she underwent "procedures" (mini surgeries). Leave around 9 pm, or earlier if she was soundly asleep. Get home around 10:30 to 11 pm. Eat, go to bed and get some sleep. Since August 3, she had only been home for less than 20 scattered days until her final trip to Atlanta.
I tried for 2 weeks staying in a hotel about 3 miles from the hospital, but found it was easier on me to just travel back and forth.
Today, go to the final viewing before cremation. My last chance ever to see her face and touch her, and say my last goodbye.
My son and I have ordered keychains to hold some ashes, and my daughter ordered a pendant to hold some ashes. Angie will always be with us not only in spirit, but in a physical sense also.
So sorry to hear about your loss.
I've been there. In 2013 (shortly after going to the Beacon run) my wife was diagnosed with bile duct cancer. She had major surgery, they took out her gall bladder and 1/2 of her liver. She was readmitted shortly after with an abscess they drained. She fought hard for 3 years with various ups and downs and did better than they thought she would. We went to Peach fest in 2014. She fought and fought. It was eventually too much and she passed in February 2016.
I told people at the time I felt as if I was in horrible movie except the lights don't come on and the movie doesn't end.
It's hard to believe now, but it will get better.
She will always be with you.
Hit me up via PM any time
I haven't been on this forum as long as some of the others so I don't know you very well Jerry but I am so sorry for your loss. All I can say is hang in there brother and focus on all the good memories you have with her when times get dark. Peace
Stormy, that's what happened to Angie, except quicker. I remember the struggles your wife had and how much it took out of you.
Sunday morning I woke up and said Damn what a nightmare, then realized it wasn't a dream. I thanked God that it wasn't a long drawn out illness.
Jerry, I am so sorry to hear your story.
I have been there - 4 months after ER diagnosis - left wondering when I would wake up from this nightmare & I didn't. It was real.
You may not believe it now, but you were fortunate to have family around both of you and she left easily. Don't let anyone tell you how to grieve. We're all different. You had a wonderful life together to look back on. You already are talking about how she made the people taking care of her laugh. You'll remember the ways she made you laugh. And sometimes, you'll wish you could talk to her & pass on some gossip or share good news or just tell her the leaves turned color. Do it. Talk to her if you want.
Be sure to take care of yourself.
PM me if you want.
Jerry, your story is so personal and so moving. I got emotional reading it and thinking of you, Angie and your family. It's a smaller community here now, but we still care and want to be there for and help our extended brothers and sisters. We will be here for you.
Cyclone, last night I went to a birthday party for one of our great-great nephews who turned 14. I walked into Mikatas and came to the group. I was immediately surrounded by the blended family. Six kids from three years old to fourteen, and four adults. A big group huddle with hugs from my knees to my neck.
The smaller kids wanted to know how their Aunt Angie was doing. I felt sad telling them that Aunt Angie had passed. They made me feel better because they said they knew, but wanted to know how she was doing in heaven, is she ok, does she know we love her?
I told them that Aunt Angie was fine, she was watching over them. I reminded them that now they not only have Lissy, our house ghost, to protect them when at the house, but now they had Aunt Angie as a Guardian Angel no matter where they are. Yes, we have a house ghost and the kids swear they see her and even talk to her, make signs and posters about her.
I showed them the website for the urn that will be Aunt Angie's new forever home and how it would sparkle. They all agreed that it was perfect for their Aunt Angie.
The eight year old exclaimed "It throws rainbows on the walls." The 14 year old stated he was going to fix the mantle lights so they would shine on it and make it sparkle and light up the room. One pointed out that there was an angel on the urn, and as I looked there was a pattern there that had the look of an angel spreading it's wings. Kinda abstract, but it was there.
I told the birthday boy that I was sorry I didn't have a present. He said he understood that there were more important things I had to take care of right now.
I handed him a bag and said I thought he might like this. Inside the bag was a small plastic figure of a balled fist with the thumb sticking up. I told him that it had been on his Aunt Angie's desk at work. I told him to read the little sign on it. He read "Thumbs Up". I responded by reminding him that Angie would say "Thumbs up what?" He laughed and said she would, wouldn't she.
Our great niece had re-married while Angie was in the hospital, so there were the two newest there that I had only seen a couple of times, but they were fascinated by what they had heard of Angie from the others, and remembered meeting her.
The boy loved looking at pictures of the house and woods, but he was mesmerized by the chef at the hibachi table. I had a blast watching his reactions to the flames, the magic tricks with the eggs, the onion volcano, and all the clanging and spinning utensils.
The kids made plans to come help me decorate for Halloween, even said they wanted to come help give out the candy, after they get through trick-or-treating of course.
A lot more happened, a lot more conversation, but the kids kept me entertained with non-stop questions, jokes, all kind of things going on. They were to me, better than thousands of dollars worth of therapy. They have reminded me that while I have to live in a new "normal", I don't have to live in it alone, that there is still happiness to be found close by.
One of the songs I've requested to be played at the memorial service is "Dancing In The Sky" by Dani and Lizzi. If you're here in Mid Ga and wish to attend, it will be Saturday November 6, 10 AM at Macon Memorial Park on Mercer University Dr.
That is the way I will always remember her, the perky 17 year old I married 47 years ago.
Angie sent me another sign telling me to get on with my life and move on.
At almost the exact moment her heart stopped last Saturday, I got a call from my cardiologist on my appointment to go over the results of the test Angie insisted I go to the day after I brought her home from the hospital the final time.
How often would you get a call from a doctor on Saturday morning?
She is still looking out for me.
What a wonderful large family you have and they've given you such great perspectives on Angie's new home & that she's around all of you. She sounds like a very determined & sassy lady who is going to take care of you - especially with reminders of your health. I'm sticking close to home these days, but I'm glad to know you'll have a service that includes Dancing (& Singing) in the Sky and providing Angie a home that makes rainbows on the wall. And you'll always have friends who are just as close as your keyboard on here.
That is a real nice story about the birthday party you attended.
From the first day of August 3, to the last, October 16, she spent no more than 7 days at a time at home.
During those days she did provide some good moments.
One time the kids stayed with her while I went to the grocery store. When I came back, she was in my recliner, the chair she would never sit in because she always said it was "your chair". My son told me that she had been to the bathroom and when she came out she asked where they wanted her to sit. My son said you can sit on the couch, your computer chair, at the table, or if you really want to-sit in the recliner. He told me of the sheepish grin she had and said let's try the recliner. She found out the massage function helped her back after the surgery and she liked that. I gladly gave it up. She could get in and out of it at first with a little help, and would recline it all the way back and go to sleep. She spent a lot of her nights at home sleeping in it. I slept on the couch close to her and I'd get woken up at different times at night with the massager coming on. she was in the recliner when the EMTs picked her up the last time.
Unfortunately, since she had begun leaking around her drains, and the fluids contained the MDRI (Multi Drug Resistant Infection) that the doctors couldn't stop, the recliner had to be burned. That hurt having to destroy a direct connection, but I know she wouldn't want anyone else getting that disease.
My son reminded me that the chair had done what it was meant to do, give comfort and help relieve pain, and it died an honorable death.
If you've ever been to Macon, you probably know of a place called Jim Shaws seafood restaurant about a mile and a half north of the Big House on Vineville Ave/Duane Allman Blvd. Angie loved the food there, especially the grilled shrimp and scallops. She was also impressed that as soon as we walked into the outside bar, the barkeeps had our glasses on the bar filled with our iced tea. One day my son brought her a carry out meal of the shrimp and scallops. We were having problems with her eating because she said everything tasted "slimy and dull". we had no problem with her eating that meal. She ate all her shrimp and scallops, some of my sons' shrimp kept disappearing from his plate, she ate some of his potato, then looked at my plate and asked "are those butterbeans?". She said they still tasted slimy and dull, but she at least knew what they tasted like and just went with the memory of that taste.
if you ever get a chance to go by there, raise a grilled shrimp for Angie.
Today was the memorial service. Her brother Glenn officiated, and several times he had to stop and get composed. He brought up the call Angie gave him during his recovery from covid about a year ago. She said she just couldn't understand a world without him in it and expressed her fears for his family. He said that he has to understand that there is now a world without Angie in it, and he's struggling with the fact that he'll never see her again.
The first song I requested was "Heaven Was Needing A Hero". Some of her co-workers was close behind and one was heard to say that heaven got a good one, she was everybody's hero.
The second song was "Jealous Of The Angels". Yes, I'm "Jealous of the angels gathered round the throne tonight" since my Angie is with them and not me. Then again I still don't understand why she was chosen to go. I'll find out eventually when I get to see her again.
The third song was "Dancing In The Sky". I chose that one to let the little ones know that their Aunt Angie is up there, holding the great nephew that didn't survive in one arm and our stillborn in the other dancing like she did when they were little, singing silly songs, moving through the sunlight, and enjoying herself.
She is now here at home, in what our daughter says is the "bestest disco ball ever", showing off her angel wings.
It's so hard with a keyboard and computer screen to feel connected to other people's personal lives, but every time I read one of your posts I don't see the words, but I can feel how deep your love and loss is for Angie. I appreciate you sharing.
Thanks for posting about the service Jerry.
Tomorrow will be one month that Angie has been gone. I've been keeping myself busy with closing out her credit card accounts, changing some accounts (Netflix, amazon, Discovery+) over to my name, dealing with plenty of different bills coming in, Medicare approval/denial of claims, and worst of all-dealing with an empty house.
Angie loved the fact that here you could hear the raccoons in the back yard fighting over the food and moving the pot around to keep it away from others. The does grunting in the yard to keep the fawns close. You could hear the squirrels chattering in the trees and watch them running from tree to tree in the woods. In the evening before sunset the owls would hoot back and forth through our little valley. Our new resident rabbit would sometimes come close to the porch and dine on the tall grasses growing where the rain would fall from the roof.
The problem is that now I don't hear HER sounds. Skillets going on the stove on Sunday morning to make me some of her french toast, early morning clatter of her keyboard getting invoices ready for work-actually usually fixing an accounting problem-her rushing off to work, coming back to get the paperwork off the printer, heading back to the door, stopping off for a quick kiss, the roll-up door going up, the car getting cranked, leaving, and closing the door.
Coming home, asking what I wanted for dinner, getting into her PJs, in her nest on the couch and ordering supper.
Calling to me that "The game is on. I've already got it on the TV. (She liked the Braves as much as I do). Acting like she was playing a game or reading something and all of a sudden come up with a whoop and holler at a good play or a nice hit (She cheered on Nick Markakis-we called him "Double Nick") She really went wild if Freddy hit a home run. I think she might have given the Braves some help on those long home runs, during the playoffs and World Series, especially Freddie's' last one on game 6. She hated that Acuna got hurt.
I see that a new season of her favorite show is about to start, so i begin to get up and tell her about it. Her job has left up her voicemail account and i call sometimes to hear her voice. I even recorded it and have it stored on my computer. I hope they forgive all the messages I left for her.
Yes, I'm over the shock, I've accepted that this is my new reality, but I don't have to like it. And I will deal with it in my own way.
When i get up each day I walk into the den, go the mantle, and tell her good morning and what I plan to do today just as I did before. If I'm going into the woods to do something, I'll tell her. Late afternoon I remind her that it's nap time and I'm going to cuddle up under some covers on the couch and get some sleep. I tell her I'm going to get in my PJs and go to bed and wish her a good night.
Doing that has made it easier on me, and I don't care what anybody says, it lets me feel the connection with her, and I know that she is still with me.
So goodnight Angie, I love you.
Today has been one month since Angie passed, and it's been a lonely one for me. I've been worried about some of my new medications would cost more than i would like (90 day prescription of one is $1600.00 to 1800.00 with no insurance). Yipes!
Well, today I got a shocker, actually a double shocker.
11:06 am I get a call from the company that makes the medication asking what address they need to ship the meds to. I give them my address and particulars, and before the lady can hang up I ask how much the cost will be. This is a direct quote: "Mr. Owens, it's free." and she hung up. I almost have that heart attack I'm trying to prevent.
The double shock is that according to the ICU notes attached to the Hospice paperwork, Angela's blood oxygen level went to zero at 11:06 am October 16, 2021.
One month to the minute the woman called about the medicine.
Now I had gone through the paperwork to get the meds at a lower cost, went through the doctors to approve and fax in the paperwork, but I never would believe that i would get the call at that precise time, or the price.
I called my brother and the first thing he said after the significance of the date and time hit him was "Angie is STILL looking out for you bro."
I have to agree with him.
I don't really know what to say other than my condolences to you and your loved ones sir. Your wife sounds like she was a heck of a gal and there are many better people because of her. 🌹
I wish I had seen this thread earlier. Prayers for you and your family.
I know its hard to think about, but the pain is good. Its a reminder that you loved and were loved mightily.