Since my last post, the bottom fell out of our life and it is slow in rising back up to meet us. Erik's dad was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis a couple of years ago and at that time the doctor told him not to do ANY research, wear his oxygen and enjoy his life. He obeyed on the latter two. I can't say I would have done any better. He has had to increase the level of oxygen and also the frequency. Last Thursday, early in the morning, he was admitted to the hospital after a particularly hard night breathing and also fever and chills. Pneumonia. Always scary, but especially so for him. Thursday afternoon, much improved. We were full blown into planning a 70th birthday party for Erik's mom on Saturday. (We are so thankful for these party plans because Erik's sister Marla was here from Ohio.) Since he was stabilized, we carried on with planning and hoped he would be home by Saturday. Thursday night was a tough night and he did not rest well. On Friday, he was still not feeling good and had to have an even stronger oxygen mask. Friday night, Martha insisted on spending the night...we tried so hard to talk her out of it so they could both rest better. Late Friday night or early in the morning on Saturday...Jerry worsened and passed away. Thank you God, that Martha did not listen to us and stayed to be with Jerry to the bitter end. They said their "I love yous" and she watched him slip away to be with God. Quite a blessing after 52 1/2 years of being together.
Today, almost a week later, we laid him to rest. It has been a terrible trying time for us. We have cried, laughed, told stories, shared memories and visited with family from far away and just down the road. It has been a time when our friends and family have literally propped us up with their love and caring. I have felt so much love as we have navigated these scary waters. AND, I have been loved into much tighter clothing by some very amazing comfort food. Tomorrow, we begin to get back to life, back to a new reality. There is a Jerry sized hole in all of our hearts that time won't heal...but it will dull the sharp edges. He was an amazing dad, husband, grandfather, brother, friend and most of all for me, father-in-law. We will be heading into a whole bunch of firsts as the fall holidays begin...we have many traditions that will be so hard to do without him. Enjoy the upcoming Labor Day weekend AND, if you are the sort that grills hot dogs and brats on holidays like we are, please pray for our family as you eat that hot dog. Nobody ever loved hot dogs more than Jerry.
Losing a dad really sucks and to quote good ol' Forrest Gump, " That's all I have to say about that."