This was a long and eventful April. It started off by getting an MRI and finding out I had torn my ACL. Then the next day, I found out I was preggers, followed by sad news of Andy’s fathers scan that the chemo wasn’t working and cancer was taking over his whole body. So between doing physical therapy for my knee, getting excited and researching about all things pregnancy, filing our taxes, and visiting Andy’s father every time we could, there was little time for blogging or even home projects. Heck I don’t even think we did but one load of laundry the whole month of April. Yes, I know that’s kinda gross and I can’t even start to think about my co-workers thoughts about my lousy appearance. Not going to lie, April was tiring.
April ended on a bittersweet moment.
Bitter in that Andy’s father passed away April 27th in his home with all his kids and wife around him. However, the passing of his father wasn’t the hardest part of April. Seeing him suffer for the last two weeks was the hardest part. We spent the majority of the last two weeks up there visiting and I’m so happy it worked out that way. It was also so great for Andy to be there for his mother.
His sister came up from TN and Aaron was able to take a week off of med school to be there and I truly believe Mike waited til Friday to pass away because that gave him the whole week of his wife and kids at his bedside, talking and praying to him non-stop. It was time that the four of them won’t ever forget and was a truly bonding moment for them.
Moving forward has been hard for Andy and the family but they are all strong individuals that I know they will be fine. It’s a big adjustment and I think we all feel like Mike is away on some trip and we are just awaiting his return. Of course I’m trying to be strong for Andy and be there for him but with this pregnancy, hormones are more present now than ever before and I find myself just bursting to tears when I think of how I will miss Mike when our baby makes it’s presence into this world. Ever since Mike stopped fighting, I’ve his presence around me. Andy says he even fills it too. It’s an interesting presence, one filled with reassuring ok’s and joy. It’s as Mike is telling us he is doing ok. That “it’s the best” – a phrase he always used to describe things he loved. This feeling has given Andy and I comfort because the worst part was seeing someone you love suffer and not being able to help or relieve any of the pain. It’s a peaceful feeling just thinking about how much he is enjoying himself in heaven, with no more suffering, no more diabetic diet restrictions and the ability to do what he loves.
I know Mike is still present in our lives. We keep him present by talking about him and reliving those precious memories we keep in our hearts. I am a firm believer that those in heaven you love are present with you throughout the rest of your life. There will be moments in the future where we will feel his love, his kindness and his humor surround us and it will feel so real that you know he is there, touching your shoulder, saying he loves you and that he will always be there for you.
With having 3 grandparents die within a year and half of each other in high school, my brothers best friend die unexpectedly his junior year of high school, a close classmate commit suicide my sophomore year of high school and a childhood friend die of cancer when I was in 6th grade, I’ve experienced death and have learned over the years how to deal with it, how to live life knowing you only have so long. However, as you get caught up in life itself, it’s easy to forget the stresses of life and just enjoy the moment you are in. This is one thing that I’ve learned throughout the last few months with Mike.
We’ve been up to Waynesville every weekend since Christmas because we knew that we may not have much time left. And I will tell you, every time we were up there, whether visiting him in the hospital or at home, he never once complained about his condition, never once got angry, didn’t dismiss visitors because he was tired, didn’t request things of us there, instead used all his strength to do it himself. He was the least selfish person I knew. I thought for sure spending so much time with him these last three months, I would witness him get angry or upset. But it never happened. I don’t know about you but when I’m sick or nauseous from this pregnancy, I’m in the worst mood ever. But I never saw that from Mike. And I knew he was in a lot of pain, during the end he was on oxy-cotton every 2 hours and he said it wasn’t helping. Cancer had spread to his entire body, brain, bone, and organs. I knew he was in pain but admired him for his strong effort and lack of complaining.
He always had such strong faith throughout the whole thing. Andy’s faith diminished a little as would most people when they didn’t understand why this was happening to such a great man. But that’s just it, we don’t know why things happen, we aren’t guaranteed anything, except that Christ died for us so that we may live. But live how long? No one knows and no one decides that except for God. And he does have a reason, we never know the reasons. Sometimes the reasons are revealed to us but sometimes they aren’t and that’s what faith is, just trusting in God that every thing will be ok. And Mike has always trusted in God. Up to the last moments, when he told Sherry that he had seen Jesus at his bedside but Jesus said not yet. This was a couple days before Jesus came and took him.
The night of the funeral, the family spent time at the grave site, explaining to Colton and Josey where their Popo was. I won’t go into much detail and just let you watch a little of what that moment entailed.