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Another loved one gone

Monday, November 10, 2014

I never blog about things that are fun and exciting. I always mean to, but for some reason I don't get around to it. Life gets busy, a lot of times I lose track of the simple pleasures and concentrate on goals, on work, on other things in my life. I am once again reminded to make time for everything.

October 17 was my sister in law, Jennifer's 50th birthday. We went to see her and took her out to dinner and went back to her place for cake. Her mom and some of her friends were there. She seemed very confused and kept losing things. We thought maybe she had doubled up on some pain medication accidentally. We said goodbye and drove home. The next day we were contacted by a doctor and was told she had a very large brain tumor. We went back to where she lives and she insisted she be released from the hospital. We tried to help her but she was angry with everyone.

A couple of days later, she was taken back to the hospital, and an MRI showed how bad the tumor was. She quit being angry and last weekend she had several people with her and she was having a great time. She knew who everyone was and, although we were in a hospital room, she thought we were at a big banquet and she had married her long time friend. Everyone had fun and her sense of humor was sharp as always. A couple of days later she was largely unresponsive and moved to a hospice facility.

Saturday, we went to see her and she was unresponsive. She was breathing fast and had fluid in her lungs. Her breathing changed, she seemed peaceful. Her big sister, my wife, held one hand, her little sister held the other and I rubbed her foot and she took her last breath. No more pain, no more suffering.

We didn't always see eye to eye, sometimes we annoyed each other. She was always determined to do things her way and in her time. Even as death approached, she refused to go easily. The doctors were surprised that she was alive with such a large tumor, let alone able to talk and remember so much. She wouldn't go until she was ready.

We are thankful that she is at peace now, but will miss her dearly. She reminds us to live life, love, laugh, and be happy. She reminds us to enjoy the little things, the big things and everything in between. If you can't dance to music you like, dance to whatever music you hear. When the end arrives it is far too late to try to catch up. I know she would have liked to have lived a longer life, but I think she was satisfied that she lived life on her terms.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CANNIE50
    Oh, Mike, this is heartwrenching. But, I am glad you all had a chance to say your goodbyes before she left. I love the image of all of you soothing and comforting her in some of the most vulnerable moments of her life. How amazing that she imagined marrying her friend - there is something deeply sweet about her mind taking her there, instead of staying with what was actually happening. I love that you acknowledge that it wasn't all sweetness and light between you but, despite that, you are grieving the loss and seeing how much others are affected. She left behind some powerful lessons for all of you. You, of course, are just the type of person to take these lessons to heart and, in that way, along with her memories, she leaves a powerful legacy for others.
    2341 days ago
    Very nice blog. Sorry it is not in the best of circumstances for you, but a good reminder to all of us to live life to the fullest each day.
    2353 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12147282
    I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm one who honestly believes everyone on this planet has something to teach us, some gift to give. It seems you recognize this in your sister-in-law and have found something of peace in your reflection.

    It doesn't make it easier, but it is good that you have that. So many people get bitter or sad, and are unable to look back with a smile despite the loss.

    I hope you continue to live life on your terms, half for how it benefits you, half as a reminder of the sister-in-law you so cared for.

    Although, sad, I really thank you for sharing too. It's a good lesson for us all to reflect on. Again, sorry for your loss.
    2353 days ago
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