Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mark's Birthday

Today, January 21st, is Mark's birthday. Today, he would be 61. Man, he really hated getting older. I think he wore his "old hippie" days as his badge, and it made him feel really old when they talked about how long ago Woodstock was. But, the lucky devil had very little gray hair. When I would point that out, he would do the imaginary surfer-dude head wave and "swish" back his hair. He could always make me laugh.

I spoke last night with his mother. She is weathering this with quite a bit of grace. At the same time Mark was being taken to Hospice that last week, Mark's father was taken to the hospital and given a very small chance to survive more than a few days. His dad is 93. His mom is 83. Dad has rebounded, and is now resting comfortably in the hospital's on-site nursing facility. All of this has really been an ordeal for his mother. She has not been alone for the sixty years of her marriage. She is now all alone in her little house, snowed and iced in. But she is resilient and optimistic. She knows that his dad won't be coming home, but she's also thankful for the care he is receiving that she was no longer able to give him by herself.

She told me last night that today, Mark's birthday, she was not going allow herself to think of his being gone. She was going to celebrate the sixty years she had her son. That helped me today, because I too celebrated. I am grateful I had eight years with Mark. We had some tough times, but he made a determined effort to always make sure I laughed. He was a huge softie and "leaked" at the chick flicks we watched together, but denied it loudly if I pointed it out. He was a huge teddy bear. He'd be furious if he knew I was telling you this. He never wanted anyone to know that under his gruff exterior, there was gold and marshmallows. I am a lucky woman to have found and had the love of this man. I wanted to share my birthday memories with all of you.

The book idea will be slow going. The website I am using is experiencing some problems transferring the materials over, but they tell their users they are working on the problem and that a patch will be available soon to make the transition much easier. It is giving me time to work on scanning and adding some pictures so that when the book is made, it will have more and more memories. I'll keep you all posted! Good night all - My love to each of you!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Afternoon

I wanted to let all of you who still wander by that I have made plans for Mark's blog. With the help of a couple of computer-savvy people, I will be turning this blog and the subsquent comments into a book. Once I've got that accomplished, I am going to close down the blog. I want to remember each and every post and comment, and I want to honor all of you who came diligently during Mark's struggle. I don't know yet if I will start my own post. I suspect it would be theraputic, but I haven't made that decision yet. To each and every one of you, my thanks for all you have done during the nine months Mark blogged, and for the love and support you have shown me since his passing. The blog will be up for a little while longer. I'll let you know when I've accomplished the book and when I'll take down the blog. I remind all of you to visit the blogs of each other and to check once in a while on You are all special people in my life.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Night

Hi all - I wanted to thank you all for stopping by. It does my heart good to see your messages of encouragement. I got the chance to go over to North Miami this weekend and I stayed the night with Mark's cousin and his wife. We had a wonderful relaxing day today. We visited the Viscaya Museum. The gardens are beautiful and the weather was perfect for a day outdoors. My condolences to all of you suffering with snow, ice, wind and freezing temperatures. It was 82 today and magnificent. I am holding up well, and the chance to go over there and be with Mark's family was great. My love to you all . . . R

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Night

Tonight I got the pleasure and priviledge of honoring one of Mark's last wishes. When December came around, he and I discussed how much we could afford to set aside for Christmas gifts and who would be on our very short list for gifts. He got a very sweet look and asked, if it were at all possible, we could include the three ladies from Hospice who gave him so much tender, loving care. I told him we would make sure we did. I was able tonight to write each of them a heartfelt thank you and to send along a little something he had decided would be appropriate. He wanted to get each a card for a tank of gas. He said that would let them know he loved them, and would let them keep going out to the homes of the people who suffered as he suffered, to minister to them with the love they had given him. He was a special person, and though one of his favorite things to say was "I know nobody loves me," he was so very wrong. To Marie, Josie and Lori, I can't thank you enough. You are the angels everybody says that walk among us.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Afternoon

I didn't realize this would be so hard - the clothes have gone to a good home. I was very emotional, watching them go down the driveway. I know I did the right thing, but it really hurts.
Thanks for the kind words about my decision. I value all your support.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday Evening

Hello to you all. Today, I took a big step toward healing. With the help of friend Nancy, I went through all of Mark's clothes. If you have read the posts from the beginning, you know that when diagnosed, he weighed 380 lbs. At his last doctor visit, he weighed in at 212. He had lots of things all the way from 6x to XL. We sorted through everything and made up bags of the various sizes. I have listed them on my local Freecycle site, and will be giving them to someone in need. Mark's life before me included a period of time when he was very down and out, and to have had someone give him new and nearly new clothes because they cared would have been a blessing. I am very certain he would totally approve of my gifting them to someone in a similar situation. I have already had two people ask for them. One unemployed man who needs clothes for job interviews and one gentleman who lost everything in a Christmas-day fire. So, all of the things will be gratefully accepted and used. It was hard to box up the clothes I was so used to lovingly washing and hanging in the closet, but I know this is the right thing to do.

I am taking Nancy out for dinner tonight to thank her for all her selfless sacrifice of caring for the dogs and kitty while I was gone to Utah, and for helping me through some of the rough patches. I hope all of you have friends so kind and gracious. My love to you all !