Monday, March 6, 2017

The angels keep appearing when we need them

The angels keep appearing when we need them
It’s been a hard go of late
I had three days of doctor’s appointments last week
We got our custom-made van last Sunday
Enabling me to get my power wheel chair into a car with me in it
On Tuesday I had a pulmonary function test
And saw my naturopath
Andrew was with us
I also had acupuncture on Tuesday late afternoon
That’s when Jackie took Andrew to the airport to fly home
All the appointments were intense
On Wednesday I saw a pulmonologist
who was called in because of the results of the PFT
My diaphragm is working at 38%
On Thursday I had an appointment with my neurologist and a speech therapist
She tells me my swallowing is at 25%
The bottom line of everything is I am not getting much sleep
Keeping Jackie awake and needing extra help
That ‘s where our first angel comes in
Candice has practically moved in with us to help me through my sleepless nights

On Friday night Jackie, Candice and I watched a TED Talk
By a friend of Jackie’s brother’s who has ALS
It was the first time I watched anything by a fellow PALS
People with ALS
It was very intense, inspiring and hard to watch

Saturday was my father’s birthday
March forth
The only day of the year that makes a sentence
He would have been 87
We had Stan’s caregiver Patty coming over for dinner
An hour before she arrived
We received an email from our dear friend and neighbor Margy
Her husband Jim had taken his final turn
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October
Now he was about to say goodbye to this life
Jackie was compelled to go visit and read to him the tributes
That we had just written:

I had a dream last night. I was in your house and you were calling for Margy.  I tried to get her for you but she was in bed.  I was stumbling around and so were you.   You were looking for a particular bible. There was something in it you wanted to read to me. Margy came out of the bedroom as we looked for the bible.  That’s all I remember. I think I woke up.

Jim, I have always enjoyed our times together. Sharing wine. Just talking about the kids, Science, Big Sky, life with Margy, life with Jackie. I always enjoyed bumping into you at the stores. You have been such an important part of our lives and a mentor to Jackie, me and the kids.  Science projects with Micah, Baseball in your backyard with Howie, Booce Ball and Taboo. And all the rhubarb you shared with us so I could make strawberry-rhubarb pie.

I love you with all my heart,


Margy and Jim,

Our love for you is so strong. You are not just neighbors. You are not just friends. You are not just mentors and an art teacher to our kids. You are family. You are better than family. You are Margy and Jim. When there are lights on in your house and you are here, we are comforted. When you are away, we look longingly at your house for when you will return.

Jim, your love for the outdoors is so inspirational. You mastered the mountain. You climbed every peak. You took yourself on exciting river trips with lifelong friends. And no matter what crazy adventure you went on or difficult hike you completed, you told the story as if it were just a walk in the park. Like I said, Inspirational.

You have always been so generous with your time and your knowledge. Whenever we have a medical question, we call on you and although we may not always understand the language you use in the answer, you reassure us or send us in the right direction.

What else do we admire about you? The way you take care of your home. You seal your own driveway, you build your own fence, you stain your own deck, you trim your own tress. Margy adds the seasonal plants to the deck and voila, your beautiful home says “we are here. Stop by and have a glass of wine with us.”

Jim, we wish for you a smooth, peaceful journey to whatever comes next. We will miss you around here but believe me you will be with us on our journey every day.

Jim, I too love you with all my heart.


Patty arrived and nothing was prepared and Jackie left
But then Dan and Denise miraculously appeared to hangout and make dinner
For Patty and me
It was almost nine o’clock when Jackie got back from her visit with Jim and Margy
We celebrated the memory of Stan and even lite a candle on a cupcake in his honor
It was really nice to see Patty
We shared a lot of memories and a lot of love for the old man
 I cried to her about how easy going he was
I was flabbergasted that he was able to lie in bed
In the same position for 12 hours straight and sleep
Patty explained to me that he was an old man and I’m still young

The next morning my phone rang
It was Margy
She was moaning and groaning
Jim had passed
She was sacred
She was reaching out to me for guidance and I told her she still had a lot to live for
She had her kids and her grandkids
She cried to me I’ve been with him since I was 18
My entire adult life
She calmed down
She said yes the kids
I will go back to the kindergarteners

Our morning settled down
Jackie went to sit with Margy
Candice had Jill and Tyler come up
Candice gave me my shower
Jill and Tyler helped get me dressed after the shower
And we visited
Later on Jill said her mouth hurt from smiling so much
She had had her wisdom teeth out a week ago
That made me feel good
I’m still a funny guy
My best joke yesterday was while peeing
Into a plastic urinal in the living room
I said I was a stand-up comic
I laughed so hard I almost buckled over

By the early afternoon
Jackie and I found our selves alone
For the first time we could remember
The house was so quiet
Needing two people to assist me at any given moment
I was a little scared to be alone
But Jackie and I figured things out and it was good to be alone

Nahza and Richard came down for a visit around 6 o’clock
And we trained them on helping me go pee and do my physical therapy
That’s how it goes around here
Everybody helps
Everybody’s an angel
We get by

This morning I had this dream
On very little sleep:

I was at a Hassidic temple. They had me open the Ark and take out the Torah. I am not sure why I was there. The Rabbi was paying a lot of attention to me. My eyes were closed and I was focusing on doing things the right way. After taking out the Torah, I sat at a round table next to the Rabbi and a young boy. The Rabbi asked if anyone had any questions. The young boy said to the Rabbi “I won’t be able to read this book” It was The Wandering Jew , a non-fiction book by Chaim Potok. The Rabbi somewhat ignored the boy. I told the boy I would help him afterwards. The boy was impatient but I got him to relax and repeated to him that we would work on it later.

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday to Stan, love to Margy, love to you. Thanks for these posts. <3 <3 <3 See you soon,