Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Back to Semi-Normal

On Saturday morning, there was a special "family" viewing at 11:00. Irene was adamant about not wanting an open casket. She'd told us all many, many times that she didn't want people standing over her saying, "Doesn't she look good?" Her casket was not to be opened at any time during the visitation or the funeral service. So Saturday morning we gathered, the children and their spouses (and one significant other, namely me), a few of the grandchildren, and one of her surviving sisters, to see Irene for the last time. I told Randy later, "Your mother would HATE my saying this, but she DID look just lovely." :-)

One of the local churches provided a chicken dinner for us that afternoon, then we changed and got back to the funeral home by 5:30 to prepare for the visitation and funeral service. There was a huge crowd; not only did Irene know a lot of people, but each of her children have many, many friends. It was a very long evening, but the service was just lovely. I think Irene would be pleased.

The graveside service was at 2:00 pm Sunday. It was a beautiful clear day, but it was HOT. The Weather Channel said it was 92, and I think they were right.

The family is doing well; heartbroken, of course, but coping. We're all very tired and very glad all the formalities are behind us. Now we can heal.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Getting Through It All

Yesterday was a long day, as expected. Randy's family gathered at the home of his sister, Sharon. The brothers came and went as various tasks needed to be performed. Some are taking it better than others, as it usually goes in situations such as this.

Randy and his siblings will gather at the funeral home this morning to make the final arrangements. Seeing the dread on their faces convinces me even more that pre-planning is something I need to think about seriously. No one should have to make decisions like that while dealing with overwhelming grief.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dreadful, Dreadful News

Randy's dear Mom, Irene, passed away this morning. She'd been in the hospital for several days with a urinary tract infection, but we all thought she was improving. She'd been eating pretty well and was perked up enough to complain about the hospital food. Then word came that she passed away about 5:00 this morning.

Such an awful shock.....

As if her death isn't awful enough, her sister passed away on May 9, her brother on May 17, and now Irene. Three siblings in just 15 days. Just dreadful.

I'll be leaving shortly to go to Randy's sister's house to see what I can do. I just wanted to post this before everything gets busy for the next few days.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

May has been a rough month.....

As much as I've looked forward to spring, May has turned into a pretty rough month. I'd planned to take a week off in April, and really, REALLY needed it. Because of tight scheduling at work, though, I had to postpone it until the week of May 8 - 12.

Mom and Dad were in Pigeon Forge that week and offered to take Randy and me to Dollywood on their guest passes on May 8. (I refused to buy season passes this year, because I bought them LAST year and we didn't get to go to Dollywood a single, solitary time!) I made reservations for the 8th, and we planned to drive down that day, go to Dollywood, spend the night, then go to the Appalachian Museum in Norris with Mom and Dad on Tuesday, then come back home on Wednesday.

Randy got violently ill on Saturday, May 6; one of the worst viruses I've ever seen him have. All day Sunday I kept saying "I'd better call and cancel our reservations." He said it was just a bad virus, and he'd probably be better by Monday morning (which actually DID make sense). So, on Monday he insisted that he felt a little better and away we went. We went to the campground where Mom and Dad were staying and they took us to Dollywood. We'd only been there a short while when Randy got so sick we had to go ahead and take him to the motel so he could go to bed and suffer in peace.

I left him with a cell phone so he could call me if he needed anything, then went to lunch and to Cades Cove for awhile with Mom and Dad. When we returned, they planned to grill burgers. Randy thought he might be able to eat a little, so I took him to the campground. Poor thing still couldn't eat. I'd stopped at Walgreen's and picked up Pepto-Bismol and assorted OTC remedies. He was up and down all night long. I was getting really concerned that he wasn't keeping his seizure medication down long enough to keep his system stabilized.

Early Tuesday morning, we gave up, checked out, and came back home so I could take him to a doctor. I didn't even go by the apartment, just took him directly to the Urgent Care center. They prescribed Promethazine for the nausea and put him on a clear liquid diet for the day and said he could move up to a "BRAT" diet the next day.

The nausea meds made him sleep all afternoon and most of the next day, but at least he was able to rest. On Tuesday afternoon we received the sad news that one of his favorite aunts, "Glad" (his mother's sister), had passed away in Maryland. They were going to have a service for her there, then bring her back to Honaker for a local service Sunday evening.

Randy had a brief backset on Thursday, but was well enough to go back to his apartment on Friday, armed with applesauce and Gatorade in case of another backset. He was still too weak to attend Glad's service, but was quite a bit better by Monday.

In an effort to salvage a little of my vacation time, MeggieDog and I spent Saturday and Sunday lazing about, watching "chick flicks". I'm not sure how we managed it, but neither Mom, Dad or I contracted the virus, thank goodness.

Yesterday (Wednesday), more sad news arrived for Randy. His Uncle Don (his mother's brother) had passed away in Honaker. Two of his mother's siblings in eight days....it was a terrible shock to the family.

So far, May has just not been great at all.