July 20, 2016

A Prayer for the Moment

God, I need your strength to get through all of this.
Lord, I am weary & worn as I go through this journey.
Heavenly Father, please grant the peace & strength that only You can.
Thy Will Be Done.

Everything hit me hard this afternoon, God.
I am physically & mentally weak from everything going on around me right now.
I know that I can trust You through this & You will carry me through.
I trust You to carry me through.
I trust You to bring Your perfect plan to fruition.
I trust You to cover Daron with peace, love, grace, mercy.
I trust that You have the perfect time set in place for him already.
I Trust You.

I am so weak, Father.
I am so tired.
I am so worn out & worn thin.
I am so drained.
Please hold me, Father.
Please let me rest in Your embrace for awhile.
Please let me feel Your strength take over my weakness.
Lead Me God.

Remind me, Lord, who I am to you.
Remind me often that I am Your Daughter.
Sometimes I forget that & I thank You for bringing it to my mind daily.
Remind me that I can only find perfect rest in You.
Remind me that I can only find perfect strength in You.
Remind me that I can only find grace & mercy in You.
Thank You for adopting me into Your family & making me Your Daughter.
Thank You for being my Savior, my Friend, my Guide, my God, my King, my Creator, my Redeemer, my Strength, my Rock, my Everything!

Father, as I continue through this journey, I put all of my doubts aside.
I leave all of my doubts, fears, weakness, failures at the cross.
I follow Your leading through this time & through everything I come to.
I know that it is not for me to know Your plan for this time & I trust You in that.
I know that You are already at the end & You know what will happen next.
I know that You will not give me more then I can handle in this life.
I trust You to guide me daily.

Thy Will Be Done!
Thy Will Be Done!
Thy Will Be Done!

In Jesus Name,

July 19, 2016

Saying Goodbye - It's Not For The Weak!

It's been a week since Daron was placed into hospice care. It has been a tough week.....an emotional week. I took Taylor to visit Daron & say his goodbyes. I knew it would be tough on him, but I didn't want him to look back & regret not having said goodbye. It was tougher on him then I thought it would be. It broke my heart watching him shut down & find a way to cope with it - thankfully the TV in Daron's room was on a show he likes to watch so he could focus on that. Taylor & I talk often about what is going to happen & how things might change. Considering that it has been just the two of us in the house for five years.....I don't see a lot of change coming (other then not being able to talk to Daron or see him in person).

Yesterday I went with my in-laws to visit Daron. They had placed a beautiful flag afghan over him & that caught me off guard. The flag is placed over a veteran who is under hospice care (in a Veteran Affairs facility - I believe) as a way to honor him & his service to our country. It will remain with Daron until the funeral home comes. At that time it will be washed & I will receive it. They also have a routine they do after the veteran passes. I have been doing research on it so I am prepared, but I know that it will be tough.

While visiting Daron I was able to talk to his doctor & the social worker. His doctor was able to answer my questions & help me talk through some concerns I have. Daron is receiving heavy pain medication & anti-spasm medication to keep him comfortable. They also keep him under sedation so that he is as comfortable as possible. He can hear everything we say & even responds as best as he can. It's comforting to me to know that he isn't in any pain.

When Daron was placed into hospice, I was just starting VBS & I was thankful for that. It was a good distraction & it kept me busy. Now that VBS is done my mind is on overdrive with everything I need to try to get done before Daron passes. I don't want to have anything that will keep me from getting to his bedside as often as possible. I know that not everything has to be done in one day & that whatever isn't done beforehand can be done later.....but the way my mind works right now, I want to have as much done as I possibly can. (I've learned over the past few years that I need to keep my mind busy. If my mind is able to wander at all.....I am a tearful mess & not able to take care of the day to day tasks). I am able to keep my mind bust during the day, which I'm thankful for. Nighttime is the toughest part of the day for me right now. After Taylor is in bed & I'm settling in for the night, my mind wanders. Sometimes it wanders to the good times with Daron. Other times is wanders to thoughts of what will happen when he passes. Questions go through my mind - will I hear the phone ring.....will I be aware of what they are telling me.......will I make it to Battle Creek in time....

Lots of different things go through my mind at night. Sometimes I cry & pray myself to sleep because I don't know what else to do. How am I supposed to say goodbye (or see you in Heaven) to my other half? To the person I have devoted my heart to? To the person who completes my heart? To my best friend? To my husband? To the father of my son? Those questions haunt my dreams & sometimes my waking hours as well.

Going through this has shown me how stubborn, strong-willed & bull-headed I am. It also shows me where my weaknesses are & how God has taken those weaknesses & used them for His Glory. It shows me how much I need God's strength, peace, grace & love in my life. I do not know how an unsaved person can go through all of this. I know that I would be a mess if I didn't have God carrying me through all of this right now. When you see a smile on my face during this --- it isn't because I am happy at all. It's because I know my husband is in God's hands & that God is giving me the strength to put that smile on my face.

Please know that I appreciate all of you for your love, care, concern, thoughts, prayers & everything else you have done for my family. Please keep praying for Daron. God knows the time & I trust His timeline!

July 11, 2016

Looking Back Over The Years

  • September 2001 - I met Daron online & we started talking to each other. I still can't remember the exact date, but I know it was after 9/11. We talked about all sorts of things as we were getting to know each other. 
  • October 2001 - Daron & I met in person for the first time & had our first date. We get Hungry Howies pizza - pineapple, ham & mushrooms - & rented a DVD - The Mummy. I don't even think we watched the whole movie. We couldn't stop talking & getting to know each other better. We talked all night long.
  • September 2002 - Daron Proposed & I said Yes! We went skydiving in Hastings & he asked me to marry him shortly after I reached the ground. We joked for years that he scared me into marrying him. :-D
  • October 2002 - Daron & I got married! One of the happiest days ever! The next day - our 1 year anniversary together - we ordered Hungry Howies Pizza - pineapple, ham & mushrooms - & rented a DVD - The Mummy Returns - in order to recreate our first date. We also opened our wedding gifts. 
  • April 2003 - I found out that I was pregnant! First person I told.......My Grandpa Orr! I called him & said "guess what Grandpa!" His response "You're pregnant?" He thought I was kidding when I told him & was pregnant. He & my Grandma Orr were excited that their first Grandchild was going to give them their first Great-Grandchild. 
  • December 2003 - Taylor was born & I was head over heels in love with him at first sight. Of course Taylor accomplished a lot of milestones over the years - heading his head up, rolling over, crawling, walking, riding a bike, loosing teeth, starting school, etc.
  • July 2011 - I can still remember every detail like it happened yesterday. We went to the VA clinic for Daron's lab work. The end of the Casey Anthony trial was on the TV & every veteran was discussing it amongst themselves. One of Daron's lab tests took a while longer then usual so we were there most of the day. The clinic went completely silent when the verdict was announced. Shortly after we headed home. I still can't remember what Daron & I argued about, but it made him very upset & he tried to get out of the van while we were driving down the highway. Thankfully he couldn't get the seatbelt undone. An hour later I was taking him to the Battle Creek VAMC to have him admitted. I couldn't take care of him anymore - it wasn't safe for him, Taylor or myself. 
  • March 2013 - Daron decided to stop taking his MS medication & we were told he would go downhill quickly without the medication. 
  • December 2015 - Daron was given an estimate of 6 months to live & placed under palliative care. He begins to decline & then settles on a plateau for a little while. 
  • April 2016 - Daron's doctor begins talking about having a feeding tube put in for Daron. 
  • May 2016 - I am made Daron's decision maker & have to decide to follow Daron's wishes about a feeding tube. It would not be put in & everything will be done to keep him comfortable.
  • July 8, 2016 - I receive a phone call from his doctor that Daron has lost 12 pounds since April & that he is eating less food since April. I tell her I'm not all that worried because he is still at a good weight & he's still taking in food (40% of his food with lots of cues while being spoonfed). 
  • July 11, 2016 - I receive another phone call from Daron's doctor & I know something is wrong before I call her back. Daron is now eating only 20% of his meal & that is not on a consistent basis. He is even declining meals or sleeping through a meal. He isn't able to swallow his medications either, so he isn't getting pain meds. Decision is made by the doctor & supported by me to move him into hospice care & keep him comfortable. He will now get injections of strong pain meds, injections of antibiotics if he develops pneumonia, & medication to calm him down if he starts to choke on his food. Meals will continue to be offered to him, but won't be forced on him. 
It has been.....
.....14 years 8 months & 2 weeks since my first date with Daron
.....13 years 8 months 2 weeks & 1 day since I married Daron
.....12 years & (almost) 7 months since Taylor birth
.....5 years & 1 week since Daron entered the VAMC
.....3 years & 4 months since Daron stopped his MS medication
.....6 months since Daron entered palliative care
.....3 days since I was made aware of Daron's decline
.....8 hours since Daron entered hospice care

Life is about to change drastically for us again. God knows when Daron will be called Home & I am thankful for that. Daron's doctor has stated that she doesn't see another plateau in the future & that his MS is fully progressing. We have gone from years left to weeks left & now (possibly) to days left.

October will be 15 years together & 14 years married....December I will be the mom to a teenager....it's not likely Daron will be here for those milestones. Am I ready to enter this new phase of my life & become a widow? I don't know....

I do know that God is in control. I trust God to give me the strength that I need - He has been doing that this entire time. I trust God to give me the peace that I need - He has been doing that this entire time.

Please continue to pray for our family as we walk through this time.

Two Years...How Is That Possible?

How is it possible that two years ago today Daron left this earth and entered Heaven? It still feels like it was yesterday at times. This y...