Another Major Milestone

My heart is carrying another sad milestone today…the year anniversary of my ALS diagnosis.  I’m so over sad milestones.  I really long for a milestone that marks fun, life-giving progress.  Instead, my mind is flooded, once again, with the anguish of “this time last year”…and there was quite a bit of anguish leading up to September 18, 2017…I had been through a series of tests the month prior that ended with an MRI to see if there was any nerve obstruction causing my mobility issues at the time.  I got a call from the neurologist’s office on Friday September 15th to set up an appointment first thing the following Monday morning.  The doctor wanted to discuss the MRI results and requested that I please bring my husband.  Ugh, my heart sank.  I knew it wasn’t going to be good news but prayed desperately all weekend long that I had a cancerous tumor causing my neurological issues…or some other obstruction that came with treatment options (you know your options are pretty bad when you’re praying for cancer) but I knew enough about my symptoms to know ALS was a very real possibility.  So, for 2 1/2 days, Rolf and I walked around in a heavy, burdened stupor stuck between just wanting to rip the band aid off and absolutely not wanting Monday to come.  Well, Monday did come and this is what it looked like on our way to the 8am appointment…

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September 18, 2017

The foggy haze that morning matched the mood.

 

I’m a big musical theater fan…especially Rogers & Hammerstein musicals (FYI, my all-time, old-school favorite is The Sound of Music but that has nothing to do with what I’m talking about here, I digress).  The song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the Rogers & Hammerstein musical Carousel has been occupying my mind this past week…you know, you’ve heard it even if you haven’t seen the musical…a gazillion artists have recorded it.  The lyrics go like this:

When you walk through a storm hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain,

Though your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone.

You’ll never walk alone.

It’s fascinating to me how random things pop into your head and if you give the thought a second of your time, it can lead you to some interesting places.  For example, the first line of this song came to mind last week and I sang it over and over until I finally took the time to look up the lyrics.  The end of the third line immediately jumped off the screen …“Though your dreams be tossed and blown”…and I started to cry.  That one line struck a chord in my heart and summed up the epicenter of my heartbreak since my ALS diagnosis.  I’ve touched on this before but I would describe it like this…I lost a handful of specific dreams when I lost Rudy, but ALS wiped out the whole kit and caboodle.  If ever I have felt like my dreams have been tossed and blown, it is now.  I think this can be easily misunderstood or misinterpreted for a sense of purpose and it’s more subjective than that.  I have no doubt my life has purpose (as long as there is breath, there is purpose) and that God is using my present circumstances in a purposeful way but my “purpose” isn’t necessarily mine…my dreams, however, are born of me and losing them is losing a big part of me (another aspect of the disappearing act I mentioned in my last post).  For a year I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do with the empty spaces in me that used to be occupied by my dreams?  In her podcast with Alan Alda, Kate Bowler poses a similar question “What is it like to live after you give up on some of your most deeply cherished…” (I’ll insert here) dreams?  She talks of finding a new language to live in this new reality.  I can relate to that because I don’t think the answer to my yearlong question is as simple as “When a dream dies? Come up with a new dream”.  What if the landscape is so completely changed that the old way of doing life is completely obsolete requiring a new language to be formed and different approaches to life to be adopted…what if you can’t fight it or simply insist on doing things as you did before…what if you are forced to go with it and make the necessary changes?  What does that look like?  (kinda like in the last scene of Charlton Heston’s Planet of the Apes when- spoiler alert -he realizes he’s actually in New York City after all…Whhhaaatttt?!)  I know, I’m rambling and sounding a tad bit melodramatic but I guess that’s how I’m feeling today…rambled and melodramatic.  It’s in moments like these where verses like Romans 8:6 have practical relevance…

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”  

Yep, it’s true…and, in addition, as time goes on and more and more of myself is emptied, more of God is revealed and there is life and peace in that place.  There is.  I’m experiencing it…maybe not to the extent I long for today but in one tiny step at a time.  And for that I am grateful.

 

 

 

My Faith > My Fear

We took Wilson back to APU on Monday.  He is actually coming home again this weekend so it didn’t feel like the “official” send off but it is the first indicator that summer is winding down fast.  Olivia starts her junior year at DPHS next Wednesday and Max returns to PLNU three days later.  We took advantage of us ALL being together on Saturday and made a quick stop at Rudy’s former school to sit on the “Rudy Buddy Bench” a bit and leave behind a Lightening McQueen car in his memory (he would be going into 4th grade and turning 10 this fall).

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Rudy’s Buddy Bench at Mountainview School
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Reunited Roomies!

We also took a few minutes to think about this coming year and come up with a word or short phrase to focus and inspire us…and since I’m all about visual reminders I made everybody stamp their word/phrase on a washer to hang on a key chain or turn into a bracelet/necklace.  Ha Ha!  The family picked some good ones… “grow”, “faith”, “hold on tight” and “all my hope”.  My choice?  A mantra I’ve been repeating over and over to myself for a few months now…”My faith is greater than my fear”  (but I shortened it to “My faith > My fear”).

I don’t know how often a typical person thinks about death but I’ve actually thought about death A LOT in my lifetime…certainly in the last decade as we were confronted with the very real threat of death in our household but I thought about death a good deal as a child too.  My Grammie Fink made me these embroidered wall hangings when I was little and I remember praying the prayers every night at bedtime and every morning when I woke up.  I was very much aware of death as a child but I was also very much aware of heaven and had a sincere hope of heaven which seemed to quelch any fear I might have had of death as a child.

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Not fearing death is an amazing gift…especially when you’re actually facing death but it doesn’t mean this process I’m in isn’t without fear.  I may not fear death but I do fear the process of dying…especially by way of ALS.  This is a torturous disease and I haven’t even hit the really tough stuff yet but as I start to feel limitations due to lack of strength in my arms/hands  (i.e. not being able to lift a plate of food into our microwave or undo a button), I realize I’m staring down some pretty scary realities and its terrifying.  In addition to the physical stuff, I’m also noticing greater frustration and irritability and that scares me too.  I don’t want to lose myself in this process.  I want to feel the wide range feelings but not wound my family in the process.  I don’t want to add to the suffering by being grumpy and unhappy.

When I think about hardship in life, it’s easy for me to get fixated on life since Rudy arrived but a friend I’ve had for 30 years wrote me last week and reminded me of some significant “seasons of suffering” as a young adult, young wife and young mom predating Rudy for sure.  In her reflection, she went on to write “you perfected the art of ministering out of your pain, your struggles, your heartaches. Trish you may not know how rare that is”.  Besides being a very generous thing to say, my friend hit on something helpful.  Somewhere along the way I learned that, though it can be excruciating, there is rich, intrinsic value in embracing suffering and fear and doing the hard work of processing through it (as opposed to stuffing it or numbing it or running away from it).  In retrospect, it not only helped me put life into perspective and highlighted my need for God but it also served to shape who I am at my core…btw, if others were ministered to in the midst of it, well, that was God’s work for sure ;).

I guess what I’m trying to say is as fearful as I am in facing the growing impact of ALS on me and my family, it is how my life is unfolding and I want to live it…I want to glean all that is good internally and eternally and not allow the fear in the experience to control my life.  I think it is important to add that I absolutely believe in “eternal glory” as described in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and my childhood hope in heaven is still secure today but it is hard for me to truly immerse my mind in it because I’m not there yet…I’m still slogging it out in the muddy trenches of pain and heartbreak…I can take great delight in the glimpses of heaven I see in nature and in the love that surrounds me but they are still just glimpses.  This is where faith comes in and though it may be reduced to some schlocky Christian slogan, “My Faith > My Fear” is a lifeline mantra for me as I make the daily choice to not be overcome by my fear…especially since Christ already did the hard work of overcoming for me.  😉

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2 Corinthians 4:16-18

If you have the time and interest, I highly recommend this podcast .  It’s a meaty conversation with Kate Bowler (Duke professor, author, historian) who is processing suffering on a level that I can really relate to and inspires me.  Here’s a link to her NYTimes article from 2016 as well.

Quietly Slipping Away

I’m going to need you to bear with me the next couple of weeks, dear friends.  I’m feeling particularly reflective these days and when that is combined with a heightened awareness of grief as we approach the year anniversary of Rudy’s death and burial, I could err on the side of over posting.  My brain is firing at warp speed and, as always, I’d like to somehow capture all the thoughts and feelings and not get totally lost in them but then again maybe I won’t have the energy to do the hard work of processing it all and I’ll go radio silent…it’s hard to know.  The vivid memories of Rudy this time last year are already haunting me and Rolf which makes me wonder how we’re going to get through this next week.  Awww Rudy, you are beyond missed.

I have a long list of questions for God when I see Him face to face.  I have a lot of questions about how this past year unfolded specifically.  Aside from the obvious trauma, this has been a very strange year.  For reasons beyond our control, many important, traditional events in our family’s annual calendar were cancelled…for example, you may recall that the Thomas fire back in December took out most of Christmas, more recently the major remodel at the Rescue Mission forced the cancelation of the 4th of July celebration for the homeless guests (which is by far our family’s favorite holiday at the SBRM) and just this past week our church decided to cancel Vacation Bible School for a variety of perfectly logical reasons.  On the one hand, it could be described as God’s grace to not have to face it all this first year without Rudy (because he was such a big presence in it all) but on the other hand, my disease is taking me faster than I want to go and for that reason I feel like I’m being deprived of the opportunity to fully engage one last time in the special traditions in which I take such great delight.  My body is changing and how I interact with my world is only going to look more and more different from here on out.  I kinda feel like I’m being deprived of a “victory lap” so to speak (aka Satan’s mockery).  Now since I’m pretty sure the world doesn’t revolve around me, I suspect the truth of the situation falls somewhere in between God’s grace and Satan’s mockery of me but the emotional ramifications remain the same…it makes me feel like I’m quietly slipping away behind this thick fog bank of loss & grief and crazy, random life circumstances.  I certainly continue to pray and hope that things plateau for me physically and life will stay unchanged for just a minute in the coming year but, if not….

In addition to preparing for Rudy’s 1 year anniversary and contemplating the meaning behind life’s crazy twists, I made the difficult decision to step back from leading worship at the SBRM graduations which means this Saturday will be the first graduation in 11 years where I haven’t led worship (actually, I think I did miss one graduation but it was so long ago I can’t remember why).  It’s painful to step back but it seems like the right time as my symptoms become more distracting.  I have considered it an incredible honor to share (through worship) in the sacred-ground celebrations of sobriety and freedom with dozens of heroic individuals who successfully completed their year long program over the years…and I will miss it…but I certainly am no less proud of the work of the SBRM staff and residents as I continue my support from the pew!  Yay Graduates!!  Yay God!!

Thank you again for the fun collection of Lightening McQueen cars and for your prayers leading up to next Wednesday.  We are planning a private day but feel surrounded by our loving community as represented by all of Rudy’s cars!!!  We are beyond blessed and don’t take any of your expressions of love for granted.  Thank you dear ones.  We love you too.

 

Our Concrete Jungle Adventure

Ahhh, we made it home safely from our epic adventure in the city that never sleeps and are taking a few days to slowly find our footing again (well, me anyway).  🙂

Actually, the fun began for us the weekend BEFORE our flight to New York on June 18th.  Rolf and I drove up to Palo Alto on Friday the 15th to celebrate our niece who graduated from Stanford that weekend.  It was refreshing to spend the evening with good friends and a beautiful afternoon on campus with Rolf’s sister, brother-in-law and niece.  We returned home late Saturday in time to celebrate Father’s Day with the boys and later with Olivia when she returned home from a lacrosse tournament in San Diego!

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Yay Heather! Class of 2018!
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Olivia’s first summer lacrosse tournament in San Diego…Go Mission Lacrosse!
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Happy Father’s Day Rolf
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More Father’s Day fun

Then, we got up early Monday morning for our flight out of LAX to NEW YORK CITY!

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Thanks to our friends Rob and Susan, we enjoyed stress free car service to and from the airport in Los Angeles…and again to our hotel in Times Square!  Such a huge practical help!

This trip was made extra-special by the number of details arranged by friends that added to the fun the Dream Foundation planned…and, of course, there were a number of divine blessings too.  Bottom line?  An army of earthly and heavenly angels had our family’s back and the trip couldn’t have gone smoother!  🙂  Here’s more detail than anyone would ever want (Ha, Ha, Ha)…

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Saddled up and ready for some FUN…
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The first divine blessing came in the form of a flight delay (a delay I prayed for) during a layover in Indianapolis which allowed me to have a quick visit with two of my best high school friends. ‘Grateful to have friends that drop everything to meet me in an airport food court. Ha Ha 🙂 
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Due to our delay getting into Newark, we didn’t make it to bed until nearly 3am on Tuesday but everyone was still all smiles for our 6:30am arrival to the ABC studio in Times Square…
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Thanks to Shelley, we got VIP tickets to GMA!

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Kevin Costner shaking Olivia’s hand…she got to tell him how much she liked “McFarland”. 🙂
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The audience handler singled out the boys (surprise, surprise) in his off camera schtick…
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Olivia and Amy Robach
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Ginger Zee…adorable.
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Michael Strahan was the sweetest.
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We left GMA and headed straight to Tiffany & Co on 5th Avenue for an appointment arranged by my friend Chelsea from the SB Tiffany & Co…

 

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Outfitted with my Audrey Hepburn sunglasses and black dress,  we were ushered into a private shopping suite and served croissants and tea/coffee…we literally had breakfast at Tiffanys!
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So fun!

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Thank you Chelsea for the fun surprise.
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Later that night we enjoyed “Wicked” -the first time for all of us…thank you Tami!!!…
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…and a late night trip to the top of the Rock after the show…
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A beautiful view of the city thanks to the Dream Foundation!
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Inside Rockefeller Center…album cover perhaps?

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Aaaaaand that concludes DAY ONE!!!  Ha Ha Ha

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On Day Two I met my favorite New Yorker…Kevin the ticket taker at the Empire State Building.  There was a small glitch with our tickets and we couldn’t get to the top but it was worth the walk just to meet Kevin…seriously!  🙂
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The kids set off on an excursion around town by themselves in search of this cool building that was the subject of a school project for Olivia this year…
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…$500 shoes…
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…and subway tile in an actual subway (with New York attitude)!
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The DF sent us to Aladdin that night…another excellent Broadway choice.
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We ended the day with a walk through Times Square…
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A stand-out even in a giant Times Square crowd.
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We braved the subway system with the scooter on Day 3 to go see the 9/11 memorial and museum…we spent two hours in the museum and still didn’t see everything. It was very well done but a little overwhelming after a couple of hours.

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A camouflaged World One Freedom Tower…

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It was such a beautiful day!
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Manhattan
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The Hudson River
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The East River and Brooklyn Bridge
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Later that night Rolf took the kids to see Bruce on Broadway while I rested back at the hotel.
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A highlight for Rolf for sure!

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Day 4 was spent with family as Rolf’s sister and her girls came down from Boston for the day…we walked along the High Line above Chelsea Market and spent the afternoon in Central Park.
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Cousin fun in Central Park

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On our last day in the city, we fanned out and spread a little Rudy love in the Big Apple. He wouldn’t have liked the crowds or noise in New York City but he would have really loved the colorful, crazy people we met!
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We squeezed in one last show…the matinee of Phantom of the Opera…
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…and did a little shopping at an outdoor market. Well, Livy and I shopped while the boys hung out looking at their phones. 😉
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We extended our trip a couple of days to tour around Rolf’s hometown in New Jersey.
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We spent a few hours on the Jersey Shore…

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…and enjoyed an evening with old, family friends and Oma (who just happened to be visiting friends in the northeast that week too!)
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Rolf worked here in high school…
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…ate here in high school…
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…and hung out in this pretty park!
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We got one last look at NYC from Jersey City the night before we flew home.

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God was very gracious to me all week with amazing weather. I don’t tolerate heat and humidity well and we ended up enjoying mild temps in the high 60s and low 70s ALL WEEK! It was amazing and the cooler temps allowed me to thoroughly enjoy all the excursions we took…a HUGE blessing!

Rolf and I had the added blessing of connecting with friends from long ago that just happened to be in NYC for various reasons…such a small world!

So, how do I sum it all up?  Certainly the collective effort of this trip is deeply touching to me…I feel loved and surrounded and lifted up…not only by those who participated in the particulars of the trip but also by those who took care of things at home and lifted us up in prayer.  The trip itself was precious family time together.  I’m not sure we could have squeezed anything else into it. 🙂  Being in the city was invigorating but also exhausting.  I think it was perfect timing for me physically…my limitations in navigating the typical world were very apparent to us all.  I needed the boys’ help to get out of the sitting position most places and Rolf’s help getting off the toilet and in/out of the shower.  As the week wore on, I felt my speech and body maneuvering slower and it was stressful to battle the crowds all day, every day.  I’m hoping a few days in bed will help me bounce back a bit but regardless, it was worth all the effort to go.  I love my family…I love doing life with them…and I love them even more as we journey ALS together.  Thank you, Dream Foundation, for making this trip possible.  Thank you, dear friends, for all the “extras” that made this trip even more memorable.  Thank you, family, for rolling with the punches, making our ever-changing life together look effortless and normal and for making me laugh.  There is so much for which to be grateful.  #iamblessed

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Thank you all!!
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There is much that inspires in a place so diverse, so big, so active!

Simple Pleasures

It has been pretty quiet around here.  Wilson is still in Hawaii for Air Assault School and returns on Saturday.  He has successfully passed two out of three phases and says the training is “no joke” but is enjoying the challenge.  Max has picked up a few shifts at Kyle’s and is quite helpful to me during the day when he is home.  Olivia couldn’t be MORE ready for school to be over…poor girl just has to hang in there 3 more days!!!  It finally started to feel like summer this past weekend and I’m ready for our summer break to officially begin too.

We had our first family pool party of the season this weekend.  Rolf and Max jumped in to cool off after a day of plumbing and because I was on a two day break between infusions, I jumped in too and it felt wonderful!  The weightlessness is the best and the gentle, no-impact movements of my arms and legs in our warm pool water is so therapeutic.  It’s such a simple but deeply impactful pleasure.  I actually got lost in feelings of normalcy as I floated around in the pool hammock.  It all felt normal until it was time to get out.  I don’t have enough arm strength to hoist myself onto the pool edge and once I’m on the edge, I can’t get myself to a standing position.  So, I’ll have to limit my pool play to when Rolf or the big boys are home to help me.  Getting out of the pool is a bit of a humbling process, for sure, but I’m determined to not let that stop me from enjoying our pool this summer.  🙂  Yay Summer!!!

We are giving some thought to how we’d like to approach July 25th and honor Rudy on the anniversary of his passing.   Rolf and I have decided to keep the day itself pretty simple but would like to invite our friends and family to participate by honoring Rudy with one of his simple pleasures.  We invite anyone who wants to to send Rudy a Lightening McQueen car that we’ll place on his headstone track on the 25th.  We’re hoping to have a big pile to display which would have delighted Rudy to no end.  Oh, how he LOVED to play with his Lightening McQueen cars!  I also have a replenished supply of “Pay It Forward for Rudy” cards so if you’d like one/some to use on the 25th specifically, let me know how many you’d like and I’ll drop ’em in the mail to you.  We don’t necessarily want to make a big deal out of this first anniversary but we do want to be thoughtful in the ways we remember our boy.  Thank you for walking this road of grief with us and loving our family in it…we love you right back!

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Send us a Lightening McQueen car and we’ll send you a limited edition Rudy pen…in your choice of “Rudy Blue” or “Lightening McQueen Red”!
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In this past month of missing all the end of the school year fun with Rudy, I was especially tickled to get this photo from one of Rudy’s special ed teachers last week. She said she found it while cleaning out her classroom and it just might be my new favorite picture! Thanks “A A” 😉

 

 

This Time Last Year

It’s May 25th today.  It not only marks 10 months since Rudy died, it’s also the start of the long Memorial Day Weekend which means the house has emptied out.  Oma flew back home on Wednesday after her weeklong visit, Wilson left yesterday for Air Assault School in Hawaii, Max left on the train later in the day for Point Loma and Olivia left this morning with her youth group to meet up with Max at Point Loma for an annual youth conference.  Everybody is off doing great, much-anticipated things and that’s super fun.

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Fun with Oma!

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Sending Wilson off!

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I’m not sure if it’s because we’re getting closer to the 1 year anniversary of Rudy’s passing or not but I’m starting to get preoccupied with “this time last year” memories.  Up until now, my missing of Rudy (especially on holidays) has been fairly general with quick flashes of specific moments…missing his presence mostly and being flooded with a wide range of memories from all his birthdays or many Christmases or the various Easter scavenger hunts he participated in.  In the past couple of weeks, though, I’ve kinda been haunted by memories of last year specifically.  I suppose part of that is due to the fact that how I’ve spent my time this spring is dramatically different without Rudy here…I’ve missed all the end-of-the-school-year activities with Rudy like the Special Olympics Spring Track Meet, the school open house where he showed us all his fun projects, the bowling trip to Zodo’s with his special ed classmates, our annual teacher appreciation dinner, all the field trips and parties, etc.  Oh, I’ve missed it all and the people with whom I did it all.

The memories of this weekend last year are particularly vivid…it was so full…Rolf was working on a bathroom remodel so Rudy and I busied ourselves with a trip to the grand opening of the downtown Kyle’s Kitchen and then went to a friend’s baby dedication and, of course, we spent Sunday watching the Indianapolis 500 which was Rudy’s very favorite.  I can remember random details about the weekend, what he was wearing and the toys he insisted carrying around with him.  My mind is definitely shifting toward a more specific focus as it relates to memories of Rudy and I suspect that focus will become even sharper as we approach July 25th.  Ooooo, tough days ahead.

This Memorial Day Weekend is also a bit of a de ja vu when it comes to house projects.  You may remember that Rolf demolished and rebuilt half of our primary bathroom over the long weekend last year.

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Rolf and Rudy working hard in 2017

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He got as far as the sink, custom countertop and vanity but had to stop there as we were getting ready to host family and friends for Max’s graduation and needed a working bathroom.  The plan was to finish the whole bathroom remodel when the house emptied out again during the summer…well, the project has gone untouched since.  Rolf kind of lost his remodel mojo and I haven’t had the mental energy to tolerate the upheaval either.  However, it’s time to get it done and Rolf is going to resume demolition tomorrow.  Interesting to note, the major project delay is turning out to be fortunate timing for us as we will be doing modifications necessary for me down the line that we wouldn’t have done originally and the benefit of that isn’t lost on me and Rolf.  I’ve always been grateful for Rolf and his excellent thought, planning and execution of projects on behalf of our family over the years and that is especially true of this bathroom project.  The alternative modifications aren’t fun details to think through but he’s doing all the thinking for us and making it happen.  Thanks Rolfi.

Speaking of “this time last year”, this is what Rudy was doing on May 25, 2017…a duet with his sister.

Good job Rudy.

 

Another Reality Check

I had my swallow test at the hospital yesterday.  It was one of those “to dos” that I wasn’t motivated to do.  I find the ongoing tests and evaluations in this journey distressing because I go into them knowing they’ll highlight the progression of the disease without offering a cure or real solution…and that’s just plain depressing.  As wonderful as my team of medical professionals is, the nature of the consults are bubble bursters in my ongoing effort to remain optimistic and see the glass as half full.  🙂

The information gathered from swallow tests specifically helps to determine when a feeding tube will be necessary.  Ugh!  When I was first diagnosed in September, I knew enough about ALS to know feeding tubes and breathing tubes are part of the ALS journey but, to be honest, my gut feeling about how I wanted to approach this disease at that time was to do it naturally…to let it take it’s course naturally…and not intervene.  Well, now I’m confused because when I envisioned having to decide whether or not I’d get a feeding tube, I pictured being bed ridden and having poor quality of life…why prolong that scenario?  That certainly isn’t the case now and the factors in deciding to get a feeding tube aren’t so black and white.  The decision to get a feeding tube is not just based on whether or not the mechanics work but also on the amount of effort it takes to eat.  Although I can still chew and swallow, it is taking me longer and longer to eat.  I really have to focus on chewing and swallowing and eventually the effort to do so will be too much.  I honestly didn’t think I’d be engaged in discussions about feeding tubes this early on in the process.  Some suggest getting the feeding tube sooner rather than later to get used to it before you’re dependent on it.  I’m not there yet.  I’m still not sure how I feel about it.  My speech pathologist said I’ll know when I’m ready and I’m counting on that.  Ongoing prayers for ALS to be completely lifted from me are greatly appreciated but, in the meantime, prayers for a supernatural ability to continue eating naturally and discernment in the process of the disease as a whole are coveted too.

As much as I hated to get the swallow test done yesterday, there were a couple of silver linings…

  1. My friend Bob was my xray tech during the test…

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2. And look how Rudy showed up!!!  My hummingbird earring was captured in the xray video…perfectly perched front and center keeping an eye on things.  🙂  I love that.  Hi Rudy!

My next reality check will be a lung function test with the pulmonologist next week but after that, we’ll get a break from any BIG discussions until my next appointment with the neurologist next month.  In the meantime, we’ll have some fun with Oma who arrives today for a weeklong visit.  Thank you for the Mother’s Day love and encouraging notes/comments/messages and thank you for persevering in prayer with us!!!!  How very grateful I am!!!