Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Funeral Fund

We've gotten a few questions about where people can send donations to help with funeral costs so we wanted to let you know there is a fund set up at the funeral home.
Should you wish to make a donation, please forward to the Haven of Rest funeral home in Mom's name.

Haven of Rest Cemetery
8503 State Route 16 NW
Gig Harbor, WA (253) 851-9991‎

Thank you very much.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Funeral Services Details

The details for the services for Mom this coming Friday, April 18th are listed below. We hope all who wish to attend can be with us to celebrate Mom's life and be together as family/friends. Family members, please be sure to read and respond to the italicized section below.

We will have a display with pictures and memorabilia for all to experience before or after the services (and likely a video presentation before and after the memorial service and after the graveside service).

The following will be held at
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
in Gig Harbor, WA.
8002 Dorotich St, Gig Harbor, WA 98335
For a map/driving directions: click HERE

Open Casket Viewing: 10 - 11am

Memorial Service: Noon

Graveside Service: 1:30pm
Haven of Rest Cemetery
8503 State Route 16 NW, Gig Harbor, WA
(253) 851-9991‎
Directly off Highway 16 heading Westbound, just beyond the Gig Harbor City Center exit.
Maps will be available at the Memorial service.

After the graveside service a luncheon will be provided for family/relatives by Mom's ward/church family back at the church!

We need to get a head count of family members planning to attend any of the services and luncheon so the appropriate number of seats are saved and enough food is provided.
Please email or call Debbie Cook, deb_cook@hotmail.com 530-284-7200 by Tuesday and indicate:

*how many in your party, (even if it's tentative...we need an approximate idea)
*what services you will be attending
*if you will attend the late luncheon

If you can not make it we will miss you but totally understand!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Some Funeral Info

We are planning the funeral for this coming Friday. We don't have a time yet, but wanted to get the word out to those who would like to make plans to come. It will be here in Gig Harbor. Today has been filled with emotion. We are exhausted! Words just can't describe what losing your mom is like. We look forward to seeing and spending time with family and friends and know mom will be happy to see the family together. We will update you when we have more details.

One last kiss

It was over 25 years ago, when I first "met" Sandra on the telephone. A mutual friend offered her phone number with the intent of introducing me to someone really special. The following 3 three weeks gave me the unique opportunity to know her spirit first through many telephone conversations. What a beautiful spirit. I was so blessed and am a better person as a result. Last night before I retired for the evening, I joined Sandra Jean for one last kiss. This one of course was different and unlike any I will ever experience. What has taken place in these past days was simular to a conductor with his orchestra....an oh so beautiful piece of music building to a dramic creshendo. That did happen last night. I will miss her dearly....we will all miss her. What's exciting, is that she will continue to be with us....because this oh so special person had a dramatic impact on all of our lives. Her spirit will be with us always, isn't it amazing! I personally want to extend a heart felt thanks everyone that joined us over the last 6 - 8 weeks in making Sandie's last days comfortable. Between the actual hands on help and the calls of support, it could not have been done without you all. Thank you...thank you....thank you! I am, we are most appreciative. During these last weeks, many family and friends were able to stop by to see Sandie. She truly enjoyed the visits, which routinely involved sharing memories prompting much laughter. You can visualize the smile....can't you. What a sweet and special person. I will miss my bride...my companion....my little movie star. I know that God has blessed her with a front row seat in Heaven. Way to go Sweet Heart!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mom's Passing - Friday, April 11, 2008

Mom passed shortly after 10 pm tonight. It's very bittersweet as we will miss her so much but the pain just got unbearable the past 24 hours and she's been fighting this for so long. She had shared with me a few weeks ago that she wanted to endure to the end well, whenever the Lord decided to take her, and she did just that.

Though we could see a gradual decline over the past few months the past couple days have been dramatic, especially the last 24 hours. It is such a relief that she is no longer uncomfortable and is out of pain. I'm so sorry for those who wanted a chance to be with her and it didn't work out. We had no idea a few days ago that it was coming this soon.

She's been at peace about going ever since her diagnosis and we just have to keep remembering that. Ovarian cancer is one of the worst cancers and we've really been blessed that we've had the past few years with her.
We will be meeting together as a family tomorrow when Michelle and Rhonda get here (Mark and Cory are here now) and we'll try and get the details figured out for the funeral services and get it posted. It will for sure be here in Gig Harbor and likely within the next week but we'll get out details as soon as we can.

We can't begin to thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and support. We know we've lost our Mom, the kids have lost their Nana/Grandma and Ron's lost his wife but there are those of you who've lost your sister, aunt, or friend and our hearts go out to you too.

I wanted to get a note on here to update everyone. Mom has taken quite a dive. I don't have full details as I am not there with her right now, but my information comes from Renae. She had a really bad night kind of whimpering in pain. Renae and Ron tried to assist her and it was difficult to give her more pain medication. She is experiencing severe pain. They called the nurse last night and she said it sounded like it is near the end. They are switching her over to Hospice Care and getting her on an IV of pain medication to better regulate that. She hasn't been very coherent and sleeps most of the day due to the pain medication.
Renae told me that she told Mom I was trying to come earlier and my mom replied, "she better hurry".
This isn't pleasant news, but the reality of the situation. We knew this was going to happen eventually and it seems to be nearing that. We could lose her very soon. She could hang on another week or so, we just don't know.

Thank you to everyone for the love and support you have shown to us and mom. This has been such a difficult time for all of us and everyone has been so wonderful and amazing. We love you all!!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Michelle and Mom
Colby giving his Nana a farewell snuggle
I can't believe it's been over a week since our last update and we're starting to get calls about it :-) Sorry everyone! It's easy to get caught up in what's going on here and time just passes so quickly. We're grateful for your interest and concern and we'll try and do better.

We are also thankful for the help that we've received from help here around the house, with Mom, errands, bringing food, and most importantly the prayers and support. We have a remarkable family and wonderful friends.

As far as how Mom is doing, we can see from week to week how her condition gradually declines which is to be expected at this stage of her cancer. So that makes it hard when doing updates knowing that the reality is things are not going to get better. We continue to adjust her pain medication to keep her as comfortable as possible which means she's a bit groggier and sleeps a lot. She still cracks herself and us up at times with some of the things she'll say when she's in her "la la land." She has been getting weaker as well so it is getting more difficult to do everything but we're all doing the best we can. She says she just wants to endure to the end the best she can and she's doing it very well.

We were sad to see Michelle, Nate, and the boys leave this past weekend. They needed to get home and to their doctor for Michelle's check up and ultra-sound and we just found out today that she is having another boy! It was hard to see them go and Mom misses her daily "loves" from Colby and Carson.

We're still planning to get more pictures added to the slide show soon, it's just taken a back seat for now.

Love and good wishes to you all.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

So, Mom is now set up and comfy-cozy in her hospital bed that of course has been equipped with matching sheets and blankets that compliment the current room's decor :-)
She's been sleeping a lot and has actually been more comfortable the past few days with less severe symptoms :-) Not sure if it's attributed to being off the antibiotics, the special water Jeannie sent us that is supposed to help( she'll be pleased), and/or all your prayers on her behalf! Whatever the reason, we're grateful.

Nate has the boys (he and Michelle's) and my doggie and is staying at my house in Olympia so that we've got an extra quiet house here with little interruptions. Cory arrived today so we're here having a nice quiet time together.

We're grateful for the help and support we continue to get from family and friends. The food brought in, helping around the house, prayers and well wishes, and more. We're so blessed!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Playing Favorites

What is your favorite thing about Sandie? Memory, mannerism, quality, etc..... Whatever you want it to be! Please participate and we will pass them on to Mom. I just thought it would be a fun thing for mom to read!

I will start....one of my favorite things about mom is her laugh. It is hearty and oh so contagious!

Tag, you're it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm a bit behind on our updates, sorry! It's so easy to get busy caring for Mom and logistical stuff and I just haven't been able to get it completed and posted until today.

We had another busy weekend, especially with it being Easter. We had 18 people here for dinner with Mom/Ron's five kids and families. We worked hard to decorate the tables to meet Mom's expectations and we did a pretty good job! We had a lot of fabulous food too.

It's getting pretty difficult for Mom to be up on her feet with the swelling in her legs and it seems that too much movement or exertion prompts vomiting so we didn't risk bringing her downstairs to join us, but we made sure someone was with her at all times so she didn't feel left out.

She is getting weaker since we have not been able to stop the vomiting, yet. We're trying some things and hoping that it will eventually alleviate some of the symptoms or at least provide more relief but it does seem we can get the pain level under better control so that's good.

We don't include every little detail but in general she needs help with most everything and gets worn out VERY easily. We're doing our very best to make her as comfortable as possible. We're having a hospital bed delivered tomorrow and that will help tremendously with getting her in and out of bed and help her change positions easier.

She's more drowsy with the pain meds and one of the things she's taking makes her a bit loopy :-) which has been a source of some humor and confusion at times. For example, Cory and I were visiting with her Saturday night having a heart to heart and discussing the "hallucinations" and a few minutes later she smiled and kind of giggled and told us, "Just so you know, someone is serving you cookies right now!" in a way that told us she knew it wasn't really happening but it's what she was seeing. So we asked, "What kind of cookies?" We all laughed. Luckily she's not having any disturbing experiences or anything like that.

We appreciate all the prayers and good thoughts on her, and our behalf, and all the sweet messages that you put on the blog.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mom and Ron chillin on the couch

Mom loving the snuggles from the grandsons

Mom's had a rougher time the past few days, unfortunately. It's been quite a busy week with visitors, on top of everything else, and we're seeing that it's taking it's toll, so we've been discussing how we can balance everything better to ensure she gets adequate rest with fewer distractions and interruptions.

Despite not feeling well, she's managed to jot down notes and instructions for us so that we get things right for Easter dinner! She hasn't been able to turn off her hostess knack and still wants things just right. We'll have quite a houseful for Easter with all the immediate family (Ron/Sandie's kids and their families) here and it will be nice to all be together. Hopefully, she'll be able to join us and it won't be too overwhelming.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

First of all, we're loving the comments that have been posted! Thank you, all for your messages! Michelle just printed the most recent comments and shared with Mom.

Well, yesterday was full of family, food and fun. Mom made it downstairs and Cyndie set her up in a recliner so she could have her legs up and she hung out for quite awhile; we wore her out :-)
It was a houseful with all the visitors and it was great to have four of Mom's brothers/sisters here at once! (Marian Sue, Tom, Jeannie, Cyndie)

Mom got brave and had small samples of root beer float, a potato chip, some brie on bread, artichoke spinach dip, and potato salad, which even though very small amounts, when compared with a mostly liquid diet was quite an adventure! She ended up pretty uncomfortable as a result though :-( We stayed up late looking through her high school annuals and talking till late. So, again, we wore her out! Other than not sleeping as well last night and that spell of discomfort she's doing better overall with the pain, which we're really grateful for.

Today, Ron's mom, brother Ray and his wife, Kitty visited for awhile and then mom got a little siesta and then was able to visit for a little bit with Jean and Kathy before they had to return to the airport. It was so good to see them and we wish they could have stayed longer!

The Home Health nurse came today and looks like we're doing pretty well taking care of Mom. She took another rest and currently Cyndie, Marian Sue, and Richard are visiting with her. We are so blessed to have such a great family! Tonight we're going to watch Dancing with the Stars which has been a little tradition Mom, Ron, and Marian Sue have been doing for the past few seasons.

We're grateful for you all and your love and prayers/positive thoughts. It is helping :-)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sorry for the delay in updates, everyone! It was a busy weekend with visitors and projects around the house. We've got Mom on some better pain meds and so she is feeling better as far as that goes. With visits from John and Karlina, Cyndie, Jeannie, Kathy, Richard, Cory, it was an exhausting weekend for Mom but she did a lot of laughing which is always good medicine. Still throwing up everyday but it's nice to be feeling a bit more comfortable.

She, Cyndie and Cory went through a lot of photos and we've rounded up some others that we're hoping to get added to the slide show soon, so stay tuned :-) Mom with Big Bro, John

Again, thank you, for the comments and your love and prayers!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Today started off a little rocky with Mom not being able to keep anything down. We had our visit from Home Health today and got good news that they should be able to manage her pain far better, so we're looking forward to that!

The nurse had some suggestions for food advising that warm soothing things high in protein and fat are better than cold liquids. So we made mashed potatoes and gravy instead of an Ensure or smoothie. BIG hit with Mom and it's stayed down so far :-)

We're sharing the comments that have been left so far so keep them coming, it means a lot to Mom.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday's Update

Mom has been feeling a bit worse since yesterday. Not able to keep food down and the discomfort has increased. She did get a nice treat when Rhonda (Ron's daughter) visited and gave her a manicure!
We're hoping for the Home Health nurse to arrive tomorrow.

Thanks for the comments that have come in. We're sharing with her and I know it means a lot.

Some Photos

Here are a couple of photos of Mom with Colby and Carson.

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 10th

Well, it was a busy weekend!
Mom did pretty well with family visiting on Saturday and friends stopping by on Sunday. Thanks go to Tom, Becky, and Amy for providing the great dinner that fed about 12 of us on Saturday!
Someone from church brought in the sacrament for Mom since she wasn't able to make it to church and some long-time family friends from church provided a great dinner which was really nice. Cory was able to make it down Sunday and it was nice to visit with him and for him to have some time with Mom.
Michelle is staying here with her boys and Nate was here but had to go back to Utah for a few weeks. Renae is staying here many nights as well so Mom has plenty of company and help.
It was great to see her smiling and laughing and she had a bit more energy than last week. She's a bit worn out today, though!

We will have some help through Home Health in the next few days which will be a great help. We love Mom and admire how well she's handled all of this. She is an amazing lady and we are so blessed to have this time with her!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

March 7th
Today's been a relatively good day. Mom got a great massage from a friend of Rhonda's and that was really nice. She spent some time with Colby watching Peter Pan and that was a real treat compared with spending the day in bed!We had a few good laughs watching Carson and Colby play and it just reinforces that grandchildren appear to really be the best therapy :-)