- 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.
.....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.