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A Love Story - April 27, 2016

It was a beautiful, sunny day on October 11, 1970. I was a mere 14 years old, basking in the thrills of my first Homecoming at Mercy High School. As I cheered on our Bulldogs at the football game that afternoon, I could never have guessed that in just a few short hours, my life would change forever.

I remember getting ready for the dance and waiting for my girlfriend's dad to take us. It was there that I met my one true love, Dave. I remember him asking me to dance and the tingle I got at being so close. I went home on a cloud, dizzy in love...love at first sight! I was hoping that when I got to school on Monday that I would recognize him and when I saw him, my heart pattered. We were together from that day on. We never broke up, we were always true to each other.

In 1978, after 4 years of high school and Dave's 4 years away at college, we were married. In 1981, God blessed us with our first child, Angela. We were so thrilled with our little girl. In 1982, we were once again blessed with a daughter, Joanne. In 1984, we had JD. Our family was complete.

As family life and work does, life became the monotonous rut that happens with so many things going on, a vicious cycle. We fell into that rut and although we didn't have the "romance" emanating from us, we did have each other, we knew that if something came up that needed our attention, we would be there to get each other through.

At some point, in the late 1990's, early 2000's Dave started having health issues. We struggled with many different problems that escalated and compounded as time went on. Along with that, our daughter, Angela, was diagnosed with endstage renal disease and started dialysis in 2006. Then right after her 30th birthday, she was found to have a pseudotumor (fluid on the brain) on the left side of her head. This left her optic nerves scarred and her legally blind. She was also diagnosed with an actual brain tumor on the right side of her brain. Needless to say, these were tense years, but we hung in there and hung on to the strength of our relationship, our love, to endure the challenges.

In August, 2014, Dave's illnesses began to get the best of him. He struggled so hard to overcome the hurdles, but ultimately they overpowered him. As he struggled in the hospital and rehab, I spent as much time as I could with him. We would talk and just be present to each other. As the days drew closer to the end, our love bloomed again. In hindsight, I found myself regretting that so much time was spent in monotony and that when we were connecting again, he had to leave.

Today, it's one year since he left. Life is different, I still go about my daily responsibilities, but I miss his smile and his silly jokes and just being there. Love you, Dave! Waiting anxiously until the day we will be together again.

Life and Love - April 10, 2015

I am so sorry for the delay in posting. It's been almost a year! And an eventful one it has been. Going back to last April, life has been pretty repetitive, work, home, sleep work, church, sleep, etc. That is until August. Then things have tumbled immensely.

It's an ongoing journey that began on August 21st. It was the first day of school where my husband, Dave, teaches. He loves his "kids" and was looking forward to another year. Then he started feeling sick and ended up going home early. The following day he still didn't feel well. Our daughter, Angela, was home from work that day and thankfully she was. Dave called me around 11:00 am saying that his defibrillator had fired 3 times. By the time I got to Angela and called a paramedic he had passed out. He was taken to the nearest hospital. He was there for about a month, most of it in ICU. For a lot reasons he ended up with his legs not working. He was sent to a rehab center for about 6 weeks and came home on November 15th.

There were still a lot of mobility issues and just the fact that he was wiped out. His kidneys had failed in this process and he began 3 days a week dialysis along with our daughter. He was doing daily therapy and making strides, walking with a walker and even with just a cane around the house! Until he fell on February 26th and hurt his shoulder. The routine started all over. He was hospitalized again for about 3 weeks and then was sent back to rehab. Five days later he his oxygen level was low so they sent him back to another hospital for about a wee and a half. 4 days later, last Saturday, April 4th, I received a call from the rehab center that he had to go to the hospital because he was having trouble breathing and his nail beds were blue. Once the paramedics got they, they couldn't find a pulse either. I though we lost him, but a quick diagnosis from the doctors and appropriate medication pulled him through.

So that takes me to the epiphanies a stretch like that brings. We have been married 36 years and as many marriages do, we got to a point of more cohabitation than mingling. I found myself from time to time wondering if there was any connection at all or if we were just role playing and going through the motions. Well, this journey of challenges has brought new focus to us as a couple, to the fact that should he have died I would have been deeply hurt. Before all of this I figured, life would go on. But now, when I'm home alone in my bed, it tugs at my heart. And after Saturday, when he almost died, I find myself thinking about him more and more, wondering what he's doing, looking forward to just sitting with him and telling him I LOVE YOU and the kiss goodbye when it's time to go home.

Forgive me Lord for my unbelief in the love you gave me in Dave...

Potentially Life Changing - April 25, 2014

I am one of those types of people that doesn't call someone unless I have something to say. Not necessarily the best way to be, but there it is. That seems to be true also for keeping my website up to date. I'm afraid that things will get mundane if I come on too often only to repeat the same old stuff. But today is different! I have something to pray about.

First a little history. I have been working since I was 12 years old. At that time I was a babysitter. My next job was at McDonald's. I did that through high school. Since then I worked for a bank, a grocery store, a company that distributes industrial equipment until I found my niche in the health field.

I worked just under 20 years at St. Louis Children's Hospital in their Admitting Department. It was during this tenure I had my children, thus I was a working mother. Not what my dream vision had always been, but being the wife of a Catholic educator, it was a necessity. In 1997, I switched to Saint Louis University in their Medical School. I have had a few different roles. Currently I assist some of the Vascular Surgeons with their patient's test and surgery scheduling. It's a good job, great people to work with.

The past 8 years or so have challenged my life in so many ways...mostly illnesses among my husband, my daughter, Angela and myself. It's stuff that digs deep into one's psyche and turns everything into a potential volcano. However, that is where I am so grateful for my faith! Without my firm foundation in my God, I could not endure these things.

It hasn't been easy, I can still smile and laugh and hope. I have been living in overdrive for several years now and I am prayerfully hopeful that it will ease soon. You see, my employer is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement Program (VERP) and I am eligible for it. I am giddy with the prospects of what it would be like to have all my time to devote to my home and family. But, like so many things in life, we take two steps forward and one step back. I prayed and discerned the pros and cons of doing this and came to the conclusion that this is what I need to do. I sent a message to my bosses expressing my intent and my manager reminded me that there is still the fact that they are limiting the retirees to only 30 people. So that is where I am right now....praying, hoping, scared, excited. And all I can say is "JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!" I now leave it in His hands and am ready to abide by whatever he brings to me.
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