It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

September 09, 2014

When Life Changes Overnight

Many of you know my Dad was critically sick a few months ago and spent a few weeks in the ICU.  What I didn’t mention as much is that my Mom was also sick.  She had a longer term illness that we thought was in a more “stable” condition.  But last Wednesday night I got a call they were sending her to the hospital with a fever.  No big deal I thought.  It was.  She was immediately admitted to ICU with a high heart rate, and extremely low blood pressure – classic symptoms of sepsis (basically an infection in the blood stream).  This is actually exactly what put my Dad in ICU, but my Dad came through.  My Mom did not.  We lost her within 24 hours.  I got the call that she had passed away about 6pm last Thursday.

Margaret Conley Sept 1, 1948 - Aug 28, 2014
I was in shock.  I shed a few tears, but felt numb.  I felt bad because I felt like I should have been “sadder”.  I realize now it was just shock.  I’d been through so much with my parents over the last couple of years health wise, and we’d had a lot of scares, but things always managed to turn around.  Not this time.  I went home and began packing to head to the lovely mountain town of Ruidoso, NM. 

My sisters and I arrived on Friday and started talking about arrangements.  My parents are both from KY and want to be buried there.  We were planning to make the trip to KY but soon realized my Dad could just simply not make the trip.  It is about a 21 hour trip by car for a healthy person.  It would have taken us 3-4 days to get there and there were so many other complications.  In the end we decided on a small funeral service in New Mexico.  My Mom will then be transported to KY for burial.

My Dad with his sister and my two cousins and sisters and niece
At first I felt guilty about giving my Mom such a small funeral service.  She deserved more.  But in the end, the most important people in her life were there and that’s all she would have wanted.  Her brothers came in from KY.  My Aunt (my Dad’s sister) came in from Florida.  My two cousins also came from KY.  My niece hitched a ride with my cousins from St Louis.  It was great to be surrounded by family.  I know if we’d had it in KY we would have had more time with them, but unfortunately they were in and out in a day or two, but it was great to see them.  My other cousin Ben – one of my Mom’s brother’s sons did the service for her and it was beautiful. 
Me and my sisters and niece and my Mom's brothers
And now my sisters and I are still trying to figure out the best solution for my Dad.  He needs care and can’t stay in New Mexico by himself, which is what he wants to do.  We are working on moving him to Kansas City which has its own challenges.  He is terminally ill and on Hospice, so we probably won’t have him with us much longer, especially now that my Mom has gone.
 I know several of you are friends with me on Facebook and have given me words of encouragement and love.  I appreciate it more than you know.  As you can imagine this is an extremely difficult time for my family.  If you’ve ever lost a parent then you know a lot of what I’m going through.  It’s harder than I even thought it would be.  I think back now to times when friends have lost a parent and think I wasn’t compassionate enough or didn’t do enough. I don’t think you can ever really understand these things until you go through them yourself.
But I want to end on a high note.  My Mom was by far the most positive person I knew.  Even though she had been sick for almost 2 years and never really felt great she never, ever complained.  You usually didn’t know how bad she was or felt.  She was always looking forward to the next day.  Always knew the next day would be better.  So I know that things are tough now, but will be better.  These are just the things in life we all have to go through at some point.  I’m just going through them a little sooner than I would have expected.  But my Mom’s strength is inside me and I will get through this.

In remembrance of Margaret Ann Conley – Wife, Mother, Sister, Aunt, Daughter, Friend, Light in the world.  I love you Mom.

Picture of my Mom taken last Christmas

September 04, 2014

Sports Chalet Gift Card Winners

I'm sorry for the delay in announcing the gift card winners. 

The winner of the $100 gift card goes to lucky comment #48 MJ Moore

The winner of the $50 gift card goes to lucky comment #38 *Monica*

Congratulations!!  Please leave your e-mail address so I can get your information and your gift cards to you!

Winners were selected at Random by (a random number generator)