So, I haven't written a blog post in a while...I've had so much happen it seems like. My daddy was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer before we moved to Jersey. It was so hard to be here with him sick in Georgia. My mother had a stroke last April...it was a wake up call. She was so young...57. But in taking care of Daddy, she just didn't take good care of herself. My son was able to go be with them for part of the summer last year, like in years before. They drove him to his next stop on the map in Texas, then did a road trip that they'd always wanted to do. They drove all the way to the west coast and back...saw so many wonderful places. Unfortunately, all that driving combined with Daddy's cancer meant blood clots in his legs. He fought the good fight, but after 10 days in the hospital he decided he was tired and ready to go home. He went home on a Friday and died on the following Monday, Sept 2. Before I could get there to see him just one more time. I have struggled with so much guilt because I feel like I should've known it was coming...I should've gotten there. But I know I will see him again. I am strong in my faith and it's helped me.
My mother struggled so hard with losing the love of her life. She went from her daddy's house to my daddy's house. They were so close. She'd never lived alone before. We did what we could...friends helped to keep her busy. But she was broken hearted. In November she came to New Jersey before Thanksgiving to visit and recover a bit. Change of scenery. I could see the change in her. She was so very sad. Her last week here, she got sick. Not emergency sick...just sick. She called her doctor and got antibiotics. She'd feel better, then she'd feel bad again. She went home on the Friday before Thanksgiving...flew to Atlanta. By the time she got off the plane, she couldn't breathe well. My sister took her to the ER...she was diagnosed with double pneumonia. She progressively got worse, until she coded twice and was air lifted to the large hospital in nearby Macon. We spent an agonizing two weeks by her side in the ICU day and night. She developed ARDS, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome from having the pneumonia. It hurts my heart so much to say that we lost my sweet mama on December 8. She went Home to our Lord and to be with my Daddy.
It has been such a terrible few months. To lose both parents, so young, so quickly....it's such a shock. Anyone who has lost both parents knows there's so much to be done. You don't have time to grieve because you have estate stuff and bank stuff and house stuff and insurance stuff. You have to clean out the house. Which is so hard. To go through their entire lives. Decide what can be kept and what has to be sold. And when there's no life insurance to use to pay debts, things must be sold. My poor sister and brother have worked so hard doing all of the "down there" stuff while I've done what I can from up here. And you would think people and institutions would feel sympathy and compassion for you...do what they can to make it easier. But that's not always the case. I can't remember how many times I've cried on the phone trying to get some kind of business done and the person on the other end doesn't care. At the same time, I've also dealt with some wonderful kind people.
I'm dealing with some other personal issues at the same time...so it's been a struggle every single day. After a little while, people expect you to move on. To be past it. But I cry every day. I miss my mama every day. Everything reminds me of them. So, I'm painting again. It helps for sure. It's my therapy. I've started doing the Documented Life Art Journal project. It helps. I hug my kid. It helps. I say my prayers. It helps. I picture my parents hand in hand walking on the streets of Heaven and it helps.