My Story, My Strength

Writing this is really stepping out of my comfort zone, but, hey, so have the last 4 years since my husband’s death.

My Story…….January 19, 2015, my husband of 13 years and best friend (quite literally, we were friends long before we ever started dating) went in for routine gallbladder surgery. Okay, we should have known that nothing is routine for him. He’s had a multitude of health problems over the years. Needless to say, that morning as we walked out of the house, the house he grew up in, was the last time he would ever see it. After a week of added procedures and a series of complications, he was airlifted to the University of Pennsylvania, where he (we) spent the longest 3 weeks of our/my life. The doctors and staff were amazing, however, his body just couldn’t recover from the pancreatitis. For 3 long weeks, I sat by his bedside just trying to muster enough strength to be strong for our 2 kiddos, who at the time were 4 and 7. That 7 year old celebrated his 8th birthday while his dad fought for his life. For 3 long weeks, I spent night after night listening to the very machines keeping his body alive. For 3 long weeks, I learned more medical terms than I could have ever imagined. For that matter, I probably could have schooled a few people in changing the fluids in his dialysis machine, when his pressors needed to be adjusted, and just when the pain meds needed to be increased based on what that blood pressure was doing. For 3 long weeks, I had to explain to my 2 kiddos that the likelihood of their daddy coming home was less and less each day. We never gave up hope. We stayed strong. Then came February 18, 2015, the day his body couldn’t fight anymore.

My Strength…..Faith, Family, Friends….. this is what got me through and continues to get me through. For 4 years, I have prayed, for strength to get through each day without him by my side. For 4 years, I have relied on my family, my school family, and my friends for help and support that I never imagined I would need. For 4 years, I have had to dig deep to be strong for my kids. For 4 years, I have longed to be able to pick up the phone on the way home from work to just chat about my day. For 4 years, I have learned what it means to be Mom and Dad. For 4 years, I have learned what it means to be strong because that is what he would have wanted. I have an amazing support system. I have amazing memories. I have amazing resources (thank you Family Lives On) to tap into to help my kids keep his memory alive.

My Strength has become Our Strength. Together we get through because of the strength we have together.

Each year on February 18, my amazing kids have found a different way to honor their Dad, a day they have coined “Dadoo Day!” Each year is special in its own way. This year the kids just wanted to relax, and that was OK. My Facebook post that day….Our Story, Our Strength!