Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Here is a picture of my father-in-law and mother-in-law at their 25th wedding anniversary. They have given the plaque that they got on that anniversary to my husband and I to hold until one of my husband's brothers reaches that goal. I love sharing pictures of them. They are a wonderful family!
I feel blessed to have my mother-in-law and I miss my father-in-law so much. It is difficult to believe that he is gone. It was tough going back to the usual routine today - tougher than I expected. This morning, I kept thinking about the call that I received at 7am on Friday indicating that my father-in-law was having difficulty breathing.
We are taking my mother-in-law to our favorite diner tonight. My sons and one girlfriend will be going too. We will be there for my mother-in-law.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Today, I am helping my mother-in-law with thank you notes. It is strange to be off work and yet be so busy.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
My father-in-law was a great man. Everyone loved him. He was the best father, husband, and grandfather. He was the type of person who was there for everyone around him - family, friends, neighbors. We live behind my in-laws in a subdivision and if we had something wrong around the house, we had to hide it if we didn't want him to fix it. Once, he and my husband had a big fight because my father-in-law wanted to climb 10 feet up a pole to fix our light and my husband wouldn't let him. My father-in-law had a lot of dizzy spells and a dizzy guy climbing up very high just isn't a good idea.
Here are some of the memories that we provided for the funeral that will be later today:
* My father-in-law purchased new false teeth and put them on the credit card. He came home and started mowing the yard. He sneezed, the teeth flew out, and he ran over them with the lawn mower. He went back the next day to buy more teeth and they felt sorry for him and gave him a discount. When he got home, my mother-in-law said, "if you don't keep your mouth shut, we are never going to get our credit card paid off."
* He would make paper towel or toilet paper banners for special occasions. He would write "Happy Birthday" or "Happy Mother's Day" in large letters and draw stick people. These were so special. I have pictures of a lot of them and I even have one of them. If he hadn't passed away on Friday, we would have had one last night for our 26th wedding anniversary that was last Wednesday.
* He loved his grandchildren and would hold them on his lap and sing to them. When they would go home, he would say "Love you a bushel and a peck and a kiss on the neck."
* Two of his sons had projects in school in which they were supposed to tell what their father did. Both of them said that he drank coffee.
My mother-in-law wouldn't let him smoke in the house. He would always sit out on the back porch and smoke. In the summer, it was very hot and in the winter, it was very cold. Whenever we left our house next door, we would wave and he would wave back. My older son said that now he is smoking in heaving - in the air conditioning!
The family has been receiving a lot of visitors, calls, etc. Yesterday, I spent the day at my mother-in-law's house helping out and my biggest problem was trying to stuff all the food into the refrigerator! I know that at least ten boxes of chicken arrived during the day. There were at least 4 cakes, 6 pies, 4 loaves of bread, 2 bags of rolls, roasts, vegetables, a honey baked ham, cantaloupe, tea, paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper. We recorded the visitors and their gifts for thank you notes. We answered the phone. There were many calls that started with "I just read about his death in the paper and I can't believe it. What happened?"
I found out that I get three days off work for bereavement. I am so thankful for the time off. I plan to be there for my husband and mother-in-law and help any way that I can. My mother-in-law is an anti-procrastinator. She will be wanting to get a lot of things done next week. So, I will be available to help her.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
I had no blog entry yesterday because my day was anything but normal. I got up at 6:30am and put on my workout clothing and tennis shoes. I made my usual oatmeal pancake and poured coffee. My husband left for work as usual. Then, my mother-in-law called and asked if my husband could come over. She said that my father-in-law was having trouble breathing. I called my husband and then ran over to their house (they live 100 yards away). My mother-in-law was still wearing her night gown. My father-in-law was in the den in his recliner and his breathing was labored. His face was ashen and he was moving his arms occasionally in discomfort. I calmly told him that we would get help for him and I would stay right there with him. I called 911 on their cordless phone and answered all their questions while my mother-in-law went to get dressed. My father-in-law was alert and was able to tell me that he was 78. I knew that, but in the stress of the moment, I just couldn't remember. A first responder came and started helping him. I went into the kitchen and gathered all his prescriptions and also made a list in case they didn't want to take the actual prescriptions. My husband arrived. More paramedics arrived. I went back into the room where my father-in-law was and I saw him lose consciousness. There were at least 3 emergency vehicles. I directed them to the den. Neighbors started to come over. My husband told me that they were shocking his heart. At that moment, I knew that it wasn't good. I started calling my husband's brothers. I had a tough time getting one of them.
They took my father-in-law away in the ambulance with lights and siren. My husband drove to the hospital with his mother and I followed them in a separate vehicle. When we arrived, they took us to a family room. That was a second big indication to me that the news wouldn't be good. A chaplain and an ER doctor came in and they told us that my father-in-law had passed away. Even though I expected to hear that, I was so shocked. My father-in-law hadn't been sick. This was so sudden.
I spent the rest of the day helping to look after my nephew and niece. I called people to notify them of the death, answered the phone, wrote notes, greeted people, put food into the fridge, organized the kitchen, and cleaned up. My mother-in-law is very peculiar about her house and I knew that a mess would bother her. So, I tried to ensure that there would be no mess.
Today, we are going to go over to her house and spend the day. We will be there tonight at 7:00pm when the minister comes over to plan the funeral. We made a list of anecdotes about my father-in-law because everyone wants the funeral to be uplifting and positive. My father-in-law will be cremated as he wished. My husband is taking off Monday to help his mother with paperwork and receiving the ashes. This is our first family cremation, so I am not sure exactly how to deal with all that. I think that my mother-in-law intends to spread the ashes.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
We have ants. I hate them! I fed the cats their dinner last night near the front door and this morning the food had ants all over it! I sprayed and got rid of all the food and now they are gone.
I didn't go to the gym for my usual cardio body sculpt class. They changed the time and didn't e-mail the August schedule and class was canceled on Tuesday, so I figured that half of the people will show up at the new time and half the people will show up at the old time. The scary thing is that I have no idea which of those times the instructor will pick. I am frustrated, so I left a message for the gym owner to call me. I am going to very nicely ask if they can send an e-mail when classes are canceled and also e-mail the schedule every month. I have gotten a lot of "junk" e-mails from the gym. I would love a useful e-mail. Maybe my request would be unreasonable, but I joined the gym 5 minutes from my home and then the owner opened another gym more than 15 minutes away and is now having all the classes there. So, a canceled class costs me 30 minutes of driving time.
When I took my dog, Jack, for a walk, I took the camera and enjoyed taking pictures of my neighborhood. I have lived here for 20 years and I was thinking about how different the neighborhood must have looked 20 years ago. I love scrapbooking, so I have decided that if the ants come back, I am going to take pictures and make a scrapbook layout about them.
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