Sunday, December 30, 2018

My First Christmas



My First Christmas....
It was tough


This was my first holiday without my beloved husband, Charlie.  Actually, Thanksgiving was the first. But hub passed away the day before Thanksgiving....so  Thanksgiving was skipped this year at my house.  In my book, Christmas was the 'first' holiday without my husband and a tough one it was.  The emotions got the best of me.  It felt like I was going through the emotions of celebrating.

The tree was decorated.
The stockings were hung.

I had dinner with a few friends...I thank God for friends during this season of life I am going through.

I participated in the ugly sweater contest at church. #2 daughter decided to dress us as 'baby shark' in sweatshirts..

In baby shark because of this little guy loves baby shark...
I love his hair...his trademark.  No matter what we try to do, his hair has a mind of its own!!

Hub loved cooking a huge Christmas breakfast.  Both daughters asked if I would still cook breakfast, which is a huge undertaking for me since I am not known for my cooking skills. The day before,  I called a college friend in Georgia who gave me some pointers on how to fry ham and I wrote down what she told me. I woke up early Christmas morning, and the sky was beautiful.
I vigorously began preparing breakfast...and then the tears came...uncontrollable tears...with every egg I cracked open I cried.  I turned on some Christmas music...this only made it worse...so I switched to the 70s/80s music.  I know, Christmas morning listening to 70s/80s music isn't what it is supposed to be like but it helped.  
The table was set, but I couldn't put a plate where hub usually sat.
As a matter of fact, I asked that no one sit in hub's usual spot.  I just couldn't stand anyone sitting there.

After breakfast, which I could tell wasn't the jolly Christmas breakfast (but I knew daughters were missing their dad just as much as I was) we began opening up gifts.
This young man, was so excited.
This little guy was thrilled to just get one gift...forget about the other presents just let me play!

Oldest daughter and her husband first Christmas as Mrs.and Mr. 

When all left that afternoon (one has to share daughters with their other family), I sat and reflected on the day....more tears..  I missed my Charlie terribly!!  There was an ornament a sweet lady made for me with his picture in it.
I spent the next minutes or hours just talking to him.  Death is so hard...and my life is changed...
I went to the cemetery and talked to him some more.
I know he was probably laughing at how stressed I was cooking Christmas breakfast.  But I know he is no longer suffering from Cancer.

When I got home, I cried some more, then smiled.  All was good for a little while.  I remembered the face of this sweet angel..

Little ones do help bring a smile through the tears.

Hope all had a Merry Christmas.

Wishing all a very Happy New Year!  I usually have a 'word' for the New Year, but I haven't one at the moment..maybe in the next week or so I will have come up with one.

Until next time...Enjoy Life!







Sunday, December 9, 2018

Some happenings

Some happenings from my week....

Hellooo....

All week the meteorologist was predicted a winter storm.  Now, nine times out of town when the meteorologist predicts snow...they miss it.  Well, this time...they were exactly right.  The snow started in the wee hours of Sunday morning and it has just now stopped...only to begin again tomorrow..so they say.  I haven't measured the amount but from looking at Facebook (the news) people have posted 14 inches.  That is a lot of snow.



I was out shoveling my driveway and a nice young man came by and finished the driveway on his tractor. I didn't catch his name...but I thank him from the bottom of my heart. I am also thankful that my electricity has stayed on.  Unfortunately, some people in my area are without electricity, and I truly hope they will not be in the dark too long.
I did prepare for the storm...


Yesterday, I went to watch my local high school football team, Chilhowie Warriors, play in the State Football Game.  Hub and I went to many of the games and we developed a special bond with many of the players.  A few days before hub passed away, the seniors on the football team along with the coach came to the house and presented hub with the game ball of the week before.

A football I will treasure.
I can still see the happiness in hub's eyes.
The Warriors lost...State runner-up Champions, but they have won in my heart.  These fine group of senior boys (15) will always be special to me.  The night of my hub's funeral service, the boys had a game.  They arrived on a school bus still in their uniforms to attend the service...how heartwarming.
He was a true Warrior...his blood ran orange and black!

It is hard getting into the Christmas spirit...I am trying but it just doesn't seem like Christmas. Hub passed away a few weeks ago...and this is HARD! BUT, I finally got my tree up with this little helper.
Nothing like a little child to help you get through the holidays.
Daughter #2 did not have to work one day last week, and she and I took Blake to see Santa Clause.  We both didn't know what to expect...if he would cry or scream or enjoy sitting on Santa Clause's lap since this would be his first time seeing the jolly ole man.
He didn't cry, but he wanted down...he is beginning to walk and does not want to be held now.

I have not begun Christmas shopping and was planning on picking up a few things this week.  Hopefully, the weather will clear up so I can get presents and get them wrapped.

Have a Blessed Week and Enjoy Life





Thursday, December 6, 2018

My Love


Charlie,
My Love


Husband fought hard...he was truly a fighter.  He was first diagnosed with cancer in 2010 (colon cancer).  Husband, Charlie, completed the chemo treatments and went regularly for his scheduled appointments.  In 2017, Cancer, the ugly beast it is, returned.  Surgery at Duke, more chemo treatments, chemo quit working, went to Cancer Treatments of America and was advised to stay at Duke, started new chemo treatment only to find out this chemo wasn't working, had embolization radiation only this did not work, so began a third chemo treatment, "The Hail Mary" as his oncologist referred to this as.  Charlie took 8 pills of this chemo and then we had to go to the hospital.  We were at the hospital for 3 nights and he came home with Hospice Care.  Charlie passed away the day before Thanksgiving.  My aunt and I were both holding his hands as he  took his last breath. He fought for so hard to live.

Charlie and I were married for 37 years; not all glorious years at first, but we learned to navigate our way through marriage life.  Hub loved to move and we moved NINE times during our 37 years of marriage, but the moves were still in the same radius ...Never more than ten mile radius.  He loved to remodel and could see the big picture, I on the other hand, just wanted the house complete quickly.

We had a great Love Story....
We raised two beautiful daughters, and we both enjoyed attending all their activities in high school and college. We were both so proud watching them accomplish their dreams and receiving their doctorate degrees.  
Hub and I enjoyed going to all the local high school sporting events...I think this kept us young.  We enjoyed our trips to Pigeon Forge and to the beach.  We enjoyed just getting in the car and going for drives with no destination planned...just drive to wherever we wanted. Hub and I did have different interests, but there was so much we enjoyed doing together.

I miss him so much...there are no words to express how I miss him.  With the holidays quickly approaching it is difficult for me to see happy couples and listening to couples making plans and I feel cheated that hub was taken away.  Sometimes, I feel like screaming and telling all to hush because my love was taken but then I remember what hub said to me one day at Duke....we were waiting to see the oncologist and I told hub this wasn't fair for him to have cancer, and hub replied."You know what's not fair, Tammy, is for a little child to have cancer."  This shut me up and I never said that to him again!  I will get through the holidays and I will smile and I will cry some (well a lot), but I will  be okay.

Cancer stole a lot of joy from us....and I HATE CANCER!!  BUT CANCER CAN NEVER STEAL THE GREAT MEMORIES I HAVE OF MY LOVE, Charlie.






Christmas 2017.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Six Months


SIX MONTHS

What does six months mean to you?

Six months until I graduate....oh how happy to finally be through with all this schooling and ready to take on the world.

Six months until I marry the man of my dreams...my true love...the person I will share the rest of my life with.

Six months until the birth of my baby...I can't wait to hold that bundle of joy.

Six months until vacation...I have worked so hard and can't wait for some rest and relaxation time.

Maybe

Six months until I celebrate my birthday...

Six months until Christmas

Six months of free trial on an app

OR


Six months until you die....What???  This was the news hub received Tuesday from his doctor at Duke.  Husband has been battling cancer.  He was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010.  He took the chemotherapy for 7 months...became allergic on the 11th cycle, but hey, his oncologist said that research has said that 6 cycles were sufficient and he had 11 cycles!  He went for all his check-ups as scheduled and all was great.  In 2017, he began having abdominal pain and he went for a scan.  Cancer had rid its ugly head again.  He had surgery at Duke in May 2017, went through the desensitizing for chemo (no luck still allergic), began a new chemo and this chemo worked great until January of 2018.  We began searching other options and were told to stay at Duke.  In July and August of this year, he had embolization..which is a type of radiation like a heart cath...same procedure but instead of going to the heart...radiation beads (over a million we were told) were shot into his liver.  For the past few weeks he has not been feeling the best....loss of appetite (he has lost over 80 lbs), very tired, hurting more, more fullness, and weak.  I contacted Duke and explained all these symptoms and he was scheduled for test.  I knew husband wasn't doing well, but I never expected his oncologist to say...Mr. Doane you have six months or less to live!!!  Oh how the tears flowed.  I was so thankful our minister was with us to drive us back home.  

On the way home much talk as to how to tell our daughters and hub's son.  We decided to tell them that evening.  We texted them and asked them to meet us at the coffee shop around 9 (that was when we would be getting home) and not to call us.  We pulled into the driveway and shortly after wards they came.  Daughter #2 could tell something was wrong...due to my swollen eyes...I cried all the way home...how could I not?  Daughter #1, I do believe knew..she is a doctor of pharmacy and she knew the symptoms her father was having were not good. Husband's son wanted to know what he wanted to do or was there a place he wanted to go.  Me...I wanted to scream to the top of my lungs!!

The next morning, I tried to gather my thoughts.  Was this a dream?  How were we to go on?  I wanted all this to be a big nightmare. Hub and I have cried a lot, been reminiscing, shared many hugs, and have had tough talks.  He has taught me and is still teaching me the everyday business of the pharmacy;  Daughter #1 is the pharmacist, but husband has been taking care of the business end for the past 5 years so I am trying to take on this role now. 

Some changes have happened these last five days since we heard those dreadful words...
Husband's son has started having his two boys ride the school bus to our house in the evenings...we haven't really seen these two boys like we use to,  many friends have stopped by to talk some holding hub's hand and crying with him, much food has been brought to the house, and many phone calls and text.  We really do appreciate all these acts of kindness and I do know each one means so much to my precious husband, Charlie.

Today was hard in church.  I tried to smile, but the tears kept flowing.  I never thought abut hub dying.  I told hub after church, even though we heard six months or less...it is up to the Great Physician...God.  He is the only one who knows when that day will come...Until then, I keep my trust and faith in God and keep praying.



and though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm.....

https://youtu.be/vCpP0mFD9F0


Sunday, October 21, 2018

National Book Month

 Image result for national book month october

National Book Month is October.... Now if I were still teaching, I would have remembered that!!  I remember doing much for the students during the month of October...character dress up day is one that comes to my mind.  The students would dress up in their favorite book character and parade the hallways.  After reading a particular novel, the students would portray that character in front of the class.  When the SOL's (Standards of Learning Test) came around, teachers neglected much of these activities to cover so much material the students would be tested on..(sigh)

Sadly, I must admit, I have not done much reading (for enjoyment that is) this year.  Dealing with hub's cancer for the second time, I have read much research on his cancer.  There seems to always be a cure, BUT the FDA hasn't approved it...that is how the story goes. 

I became a Mammow in January!!  March I began keeping my this cutie pie.
My reading has been Peppa Pig books...He loves Peppa Pig!  Naturally, I read to him my favorite book...Love You Forever even though he usually becomes squirmish half-way through.
Image result for love you forever book
I read this book to both of my daughters, also.  

Daughter #1 got married a few weeks ago.
My readings consisted of things related to bridal 'stuff'.   

I have been able to squeeze in a few books of my own chosing. Yay...for me!  Finally got around to reading The Client by John Grisham, Night Road by Kristin Hannah (she was one of my favorite authors for a long time), Winners by Danielle Steel, but my favorite book so far has been Rush by Lisa Patton.  Currently, I am reading The Hideaway by Lauren Denton.  I do enjoy reading...a means of escape for me.  Just for a little while, I can escape the troubles and drama that seems to be going around me. 

This week the local elementary school is celebrating Eat With Someone Grand.  Grandparents are encouraged to come to the school (designated time and date) and eat with his/her grandchild.  Also it is Book Fair Week!!  hum...you reckon because grandparents cannot say no to buying their grandchild some books???  I plan on going tomorrow and Wednesday and most definitely will spend a few (more like a lot) of money on books they choose to buy.

Tuesday, hub and I head to Duke.  He hasn't been feeling well and has started some swelling.  Duke plans on doing a CT Scan to see what is going on.  If you have a few minutes will you say a prayer for him...I am a little concerned...well, more like a lot concerned.  This cancer journey is scary. Thanks.

Have a Blessed Week...
Enjoy Life...and if you have time Enjoy Reading.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Daughter's Wedding



 It happened....
#1 Daughter got married Saturday....

The wedding rehearsal dinner was held on Thursday evening.  The groom had a few men  who were high school football coaches...and we all know that on Friday it is  football games..so that was okay to have the rehearsal on Thursday.  I liked it... so Friday was spent decorating the church and the reception hall.
These two little guys were ushers.
Nate loves his little cousin.

Saturday was a gorgeous summer (even though the calendar said October) day.  Daughter has had three open heart surgeries and her last open heart surgery was last year...October 12, 2017 to be exact (a mother never forgets).  Her two pediatric cardiologist, her surgeon's assistant, and her echo cardiologist drove down frpm Charlottesville.  Daughter was thrilled and some tears were shed remembering all she had been through...and how far she has come.

Two of my closest friends who are also college roommates and sorority sisters came from Atlanta.
Had to have a picture with Father of the Bride.
Picture with #2 daughter and her little man. They spent the weekend in daughter's apartment.
I was so glad to see them.


I was so happy for daughter.  She was a beautiful bride..I am not a bit prejudice!







Everyone seemed to enjoy the reception and loved the band.

Here is just a few pics....this Mother of the Bride...forgot to take pictures!  Shame on me...I was just enjoying Daughter's Wedding Day. Thank you to all who shared pictures with me.




 Father and Daughter dance....so glad hub was feeling okay.  Cancer is tough ya'll.

Their first dance as husband and wife.



The best looking ushers a mom could want.

 I only shed a few tears and was doing pretty good until her sister became teary eyed.  The love between sisters...like no other.


 It was a beautiful wedding, and I was so glad hub was feeling like dancing.

Now, I can't wait to see the professional pictures.















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