A lot has happened over the last 3-4 months.
On July 4th, I stood in a hospital room with my Mom, Uncle and good friend, Rich, grieving the loss of one of the most special people in my life. My Aunt had been sick for a while at this point. And after some very recent other discoveries, we truly believe she knew she was dying long before anyone, including the doctors, ever thought it was even a possibility. She was fun loving, spontaneous, curious, insanely smart and kind. She loved nature and the stars. Growing up she was pure Chaos Theory and I loved her even more for that. She threw caution to the wind but always had a firm grasp on reality and consequences. She was my favorite person growing up. I wanted to be just like her.
Me and Shelley in the 80's
She had a lot of loves in life. She loved knitting, her animals, friends and family, parties and drinking and the news. Yes, the news. LOL. She has knitted countless animals for Gwen. Scarves, pot holders, gloves, etc.. She always had animals, mainly cats. And she almost always had at least 1 dog. She loved her family and friends and even when we all annoyed the hell out of each other, we knew she would be there if/when we needed her and vice versa. Shelley had a life long love of all things outdoors and photography as well.
Her Morning Glories
Sissy, Shelley and my Mom.
Shelley and Tesla Bella
Shelley and Herald
Left - Right Sissy, Shelley, Mom, Tim. Siblings
Shelley took this picture of Gwen and Herald. She then had it
printed on a huge poster and sent it to Gwen. Its on Gwen's wall to this day.
Shelley - 1995
Shelley and Granddad at the Tuning Board. We were a music family!
Shelley and Cass
Shelley and Gwen
That last picture is the last picture I have of her and Gwen. It still hurts to look at it. Honestly, this whole post is causing me a whole lot more pain then I thought I had left.
I have to remind myself everyday to remember her before she got sick. Before we knew she was sick. Before the weight loss, hair loss and muscle loss. Before the anger and tears. Before the shaking and memory losses. Before we lost her. Completely and undeniably lost her. I try to remember the sound of her voice, but cant quite bring myself to listen to the PICKLES song that has her voice at the end. I try. Most days I succeed. Those other days...I don't. And its like we are all there in that hospital room all over again. Between the Crohns and the Cirrhosis of the liver, none of us stood a chance of saving her, but we liked to believe we could.
My Mom and Dad took on the task of moving Shelley to their home when things got to bad for her to remain on her own. My Mom put her work on the side lines to care for her sister. She turned her living room into a space for Shelley to have for herself. In a house full of 2 dogs,a cat, and 4 other people, she moved Shelley's dog, Herald, and cat, Tesla Bella, home to be with Shelley too. Tesla Bella had been diagnosed with cancer 2 years prior to Shelley getting sick. The vets told Shelley Tesla Bella might last 6 months. We now know she stayed for Shelley. She knew Shelley needed her. Not even a week after Shelley passed, Tesla Bella gave up. Mom took her to be with Shelley. A month later, we had to say goodbye to Herald as well. He had developed a severe lump on his head. The vets said it was just bone, but the severe changes in personality and temperament were enough for us to believe it was more. Dad took Herald to be with Shelley as well. Mom promised Shelley she would take care of Tesla Bella and Herald. And I believe she did. She did exactly what they needed. And I know with every fiber of my being that Shelley approves of the decisions that Mom has had to make on her behalf. The Dr's gave Shelley 6 months to a year to live when Mom brought her home. 3 months. We got 3 months. Not nearly enough time.
The night of July 3rd we all sat in her hospital room. Taking turns holding her hand and saying things to hopefully get her to open her eyes and tell us all to stop fussing over her. It didn't work. The medicines (3 of them) to keep her bp UP wasn't working anymore. The breathing tube was something I may never understand. She always told me she never wanted that, yet she was the one who requested that damn thing be put in. My Mom truly believes that she thought they would put the tube in and in a day or so she would be better and be able to come off it. Her body gave up. God called her home. And now, we had to let go. So, we did what we used to do all the time. We sang to her. We played some of her favorite music. We took her off the medicines. And we waited. None of us wanted to leave even for a second. The morning of July 4th, I posed the question to the dr. "Is that tube the only thing keeping her here?" He looked me dead in the eye "Yes. Her organs are shutting down. Its the only thing keeping her alive." We made the decision to remove the tube. Within 30 seconds she was gone. Just like that. Just...gone. July 4th will never be the same. My heart will never be the same. My families hearts will never be the same. And yet, we have to heal. Or that's what we are supposed to do.
My Mom carries guilt she has no business carrying. Guilt for things she had NO other options for. Guilt that is eating her alive. Guilt that is killing her. I finally convinced her to go see a dr and a therapist/counselor. There is 10 times more crap going on as well that she is having a really hard time dealing with. I am my Mom's person. And I love that I am her person. But I am biased. I am biased in my opinion of how things have happened and continue to happen. It isn't safe, yes safe, for her to discuss certain things with me. My immediate response is anger and outrage and an overall need to murder people and that is not what she needs right now. Maybe later, but not now. Right now, she needs someone completely unbiased to listen and talk her through things. I am not unbiased. I am unreasonable and volatile. I know this. I accept it.
My Dad lost his father last September. He has not dealt with the death of his father, and quite honestly, I don't know that he ever will. They were so very much alike. We used to tease them that they even wore the same types of shirts and tucked their glasses into the same pockets. It was cute, and I can now think of those things and smile. My Dad is struggling. I don't know how to help him either. He isn't a talker like my Mom. He is a "bottler". He takes all those things and bury's them inside himself until the bottle explodes - I get that from him. Thanks Dad! ;)
There are so many other things going on. Things that I cant control. Life Happened...It Sucked. My whole family is basically in its own war zone and I can't fix it. Things are still happening and I cant help in any way shape or form.
When everything started happening with Shelley I started smoking again. I also quit cooking as much. I completely fell off the Whole 30 band wagon. After she passed I tried to get my shit together, but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't convince myself to do much of anything really. Other than going to work and coming home to sleep, I was completely useless. It was the first time in a really long time that I actually said out loud "I think I need help". And my husband jumped into action. He told me a few weeks ago that seeing me like that was heartbreaking. Knowing that I was stuck inside my own head and couldn't find my way out made him worry, a lot. It has taken me some time, obviously, to come to terms with things on my own. To tell myself that I can do this and even though I feel incredibly guilty about it, life must go on. I am currently trying to quit smoking, again. I have one few and far between at this point. I am getting myself back on track with the Whole 30. I am back to having some energy and a want to do something more then lay in bed and cry.
Roasted Chicken with Sausage and Potatoes ***HOLY WOW***
I wont use the hot sauce next time. Holy Spice!
I added Shrimps! It was FANTASTIC!
We didn't really care for this one.
I needed something to keep my brain busy as well. I don't have horses anymore and quite honestly my back is making stall cleaning and such kind of hard on me - Oh yeah! I found out that on top of my degenerative arthritis in my back I also have a slipped disc! Yay me! Anyway, I decided to join Scentsy as an Independent Consultant! I am loving it! Lots of cool products and smelly stuff! I love smelly stuff! It has definitely helped me out of my funk and given me something else to focus on. I feel like I have purpose again, as opposed to feeling like I mean nothing.
I will try to be better about updating now that I feel like I can talk about things a little better. This post was incredibly hard to write. More so then I thought it would be. My friend Lisa told me a while back that its OK to not have my shit together all the time. I'm starting to see that she is right. It is OK to not have my shit together all the time. I'm only human. But at what point do I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself "Enough!"? I think I'm there. At that point.
Oh! We are also in the process of MOVING! Yep. Moving. But that's for another post!
Thank you all for listening/reading/riding this crazy train with me. I'm struggling, but I'm getting better. We all are. One day at a time.
Current Weight: 272.3 lbs