May 27, 2011

Update...

So, we finally got to Arizona and are still trying to settle in.  However, we're still in limbo for now..  I'll get into that in a little bit.  We were sad to leave our friends and family in Highlands Ranch.  We met some really great people and made some great friends.  We will miss Eric and Tosha and their great kids. I haven't lived by Eric since soon after our missions in the mid-nineties, so I really cherish the time we spent near each other in Denver.  We kinda had to get to know each other again.  Casey spent more time with him, though, as she was his dental assistant.  But I got to know the ladies in the ward more than she did, as I was the stay-home-mom and planned play-dates and swapped babysitting favors. Good times.

We've been through alot since arriving in Arizona. Kim and Danny moved to Arizona the same weekend we did.  They decided to drive to Denver from Seattle to get some dental work done and then caravan to AZ with us.  They helped us pack up, which was an ordeal, while their two sons had their wisdom teeth pulled out by uncle Eric.  Then Eric jumped into one of the three vehicles and drove to AZ with us all and helped unload the truck and get things set up at grandma's.  We were all tuckered out though midway and almost stayed in Albuquerque for the night, but Eric really wanted to see grandma as she was leaving the next morning to head to San Diego to see Jared and his family.  Then they were heading up to Utah to see Ruthie and other family there, too, and wouldn't be back for a week and he'd be home already when they got back.  So we kept driving and arrived at grandma's on Friday April 29th.  My dad and grandma Ruth stayed up late to greet us and chit-chat a little.  The kids were so excited to see grandma Ruth and to be living with her.  They love her home.

Saturday morning, we commenced unloading the Penske.  Stuff was everywhere!  We had plenty of help from friends and family.  We had to 'gut' some of the rooms to make room for us and the kids' bedrooms.  We decided to paint before setting things up, though.  So we painted and tried to get things put away at the same time.  Ugh!

Meanwhile, grandpa Mack and grandma Ruth were packing and getting ready to leave for San Diego.  We were sad to see them go so soon, but we knew we'd have a lot of work ahead to keep us busy that week while they were gone.  Kim decided that she was going to give grandma a mini-makeover in her bedroom.  It hadn't been updated or changed in 20-30 years.  So she and Eric started to gut that room.  They pulled out all the furniture and bedding and carpet and well, everything.  The carpet in her bathroom (yes carpet) was ripped out.  We decided to make it be a surprise for her.  She knew we were working on it, but we wouldn't tell her what we were doing to it.  She was sooooo excited.

Then Sunday morning sometime, as we were unpacking the truck and trying to put our furniture together and finish painting, and after Kim and Eric gutted grandma's room, we received shocking news that my cousin's wife, Wendy, passed away the night before, suddenly.  She was in her early 30's, with three children, and was 6-weeks away from giving birth to their 4th child.  Unfortunately the doctors could not save the baby, Maylee, either.  My cousin Denny was in shock and very heart broken.  Please read his blog to learn more at http://www.dennyandwendy.blogspot.com/.  Here's another tribute from Denny's sister-in-law, Brooke as well, http://www.brookemackphotography.com/photo-site/2011/5/19/to-wendy.html.  Our hearts were very heavy that day and our thoughts were with Denny and his family.  It was difficult to continue working and unpacking for Casey and I.  We have three children and Casey is expecting our 4th child in October like Denny and Wendy were.  So this hit close to home for us.  And we got to spend a little time with when we lived in Utah.  Casey was especially troubled.

We had to keep working, though.  Kim had arranged to buy a new bed, bedding carpet, paint, drapes, blinds and ceiling fan to be installed in grandma's room.  It took 3 days working non-stop, but we finally got it finished.  It looked great and Kim, Danny and Eric did a great job!  It was finished and Grandma was going to love it.  Just love it.

Grandma called me everyday to ask me what we did to bedroom and bathroom that day.  On Wednesday I spoke to her and she asked about the carpet in the bathroom.  She wanted it gone, but I told her I couldn't confirm that (we laid new tile in it for her). I told her she had to wait until she got home the following week to see it for herself.  So she reluctantly agreed to wait.

Later that day, Casey and I took the kids for shave ices and were on our way home, but decided to stop at IGA to get some hamburger meat for spaghetti.  Then, I got a frantic call from my mom as we were pulling into the parking lot.  She was crying and I couldn't understand what she was saying.  I angrily told to her to stop crying so I could understand her words.  But I somehow already knew what she was blubbering about.  Grandma Ruth had just passed away about 10 minutes earlier.  All my family was freaking out in Utah, where she was visiting. Many family members were in Utah for Wendy and Maylee's viewing and funeral the next day.  Casey couldn't believe what I just told her.  The kids immediately started crying.  We all started crying.  I was in shock. We just saw her.  We just moved into her home to stay while I'm in nursing school.  So many thoughts were coming into my mind.  None of them made any sense.  I couldn't believe it.  I staggered into the store.  I passed the meat 4 or 5 times and finally asked some one to help me.  I was crying and couldn't concentrate.  I couldn't believe that another family member had passed away this week. Later, after dinner, it was gut-wrenching to pass by her bedroom and see how pretty and lovely the new digs were.  Grandma was coherent in her advanced age of 89.  Sharp as a tack until her passing.  She was loving and caring and nurturing to the end.  This was not expected at all.  This took everyone by surprise.  That afternoon, my uncle Ken, was driving her to visit our cousin Luci, when she kind of gasped and took a deep breath, put her head back and was gone.  She went without suffering, which we are all grateful for.

It was a long week already and it was about to get longer.  We had planned to take it easy after we got to Arizona and before school started about two weeks later.  Wanted to rest up and spend time together since I'd be commuting to Tucson during the week, leaving Casey a pregnant homemaker and husband-less Mon-Fri.  That all changed that Wednesday night.  We now had to plan grandma's funeral and make arrangements to put the house back in order before all grandma's family came into town for her funeral the following week.  Needless to say, there was not much relaxing for us.  Thursday, the next day however, I couldn't stand to be in the house we just moved into.  So we left to visit Kim and Danny and for Casey to see her doctor. We love them so much.  They have helped us greatly and we really appreciate them.  It was nice to get away for a couple of days.  We helped them put up ceiling fans and get there home unpacked (a little) as they just moved into the home on Tuesday.  Working hard is a good way to not feel sorry for yourself and get your mind off things.

Thursday morning, the day after grandma passed and before heading to Kim's, I returned the mattresses, bedding and headboard to the store.  They were kind enough to take them back.  We no longer needed them. Grandma wasn't coming home.  She did not get to see her beautiful new room.  I know she would have loved it. She was so excited when I talked to her on the phone each day.  I hope she got a glimpse of it that Wednesday night before I returned those items the next day.  I regret not telling her about what we did to the room when she asked during our conversion that Wednesday before she passed. I still feel bad.

That last week (before school started) was hectic.  I had to make a Tucson run to get my books and things for school in the middle of cleaning and helping with the funeral arrangements.  We buried grandma on Saturday and I had to drive to Tucson on Sunday afternoon for the first day of school early Monday morning.  I think I cried most of the way there.  I missed Casey and the kids as soon as I got into the car to leave.  I missed grandma, too, and was feeling her absence.  It was the first real moments I had to myself to reflect on everything as I drove the hour and forty-five minutes to Tucson.  I didn't want to leave Casey and the kids in that home, where grandma wasn't anymore. I felt guilty for leaving them.

Thank you Eric, for insisting we keep driving all day Friday!  I would've been crushed if we didn't get to see grandma before she left on her trip to San Diego. Things fell into place for us to see her one last time.  She was so cute asking Kim and Casey what dresses to take and wear at the baby blessings that morning.

I'm grateful for her and her example.   She was the best grandmother.  That was her calling in life, to be a mother and grandmother.  And she did it well.  She loved to serve others and did everyday without complaining.  She enjoyed it.  She was my favorite person on this earth.  I hope I can emulate her.

Now, we're probably going to move again in the next month or so.  We can't stay in the home since it will be sold soon.  We will be moving to Gilbert to stay with Kim and her family.  Luckily for us, their new home will accommodate all of us.  She and Dan are gracious for offering their home to us.  The kids are very excited.  We don't want to wear out our welcome though, so it's good I'll be in Tucson during the week. That should make things easier on them. :)  Casey will need support and help after the baby is born in October since I'll be gone most of the time, so being with Kim will help her tremendously.  Casey considers Kim her own sister.

So... now I'm nearing the end of my second week of nursing school.  Already had a mid-term last Monday. I have a physical exam test next week and then the final on that Friday, also.  Then we start the second semester (after only 3 weeks for the first one).  I'm really busy.  Lots of reading and studying and practicing the physical assessment on the other students.  It's hard being away from my family, but it does make it easier to study, though.  Skype and many phones calls with Casey and the kids during the week help to pass the time between studying and school.  I stay with Casey's aunt and uncle and two of their kids.  They have been so great to me.  They can't wait for Casey to bring the kids down for a visit.

Casey is being a real trooper, living in a new town, taking care of the kids, grandpa Mack and the home while I'm gone.  All while being pregnant and exhausted. I didn't think I could love her more than I did.  But I do.  She's easy to love.  I love the kids too.  Brynley's last day of 3rd grade was today.  I miss picking her up from school every day.  Sadie starts kindergarten next year and is very excited. She going to be a great student.  And Diesel can't wait to go to pre-school and be a new big brother in October.  I Can't wait to see them tomorrow.   I love and miss them so much.

I'll be in school for the next 15 months.  We can do it!  I couldn't do it without Casey, though.  Love you!

5 comments:

Sarah Burgoyne said...

I'm so sorry for your loss (losses). My cousin who was only 28 passed away unexpectedly three weeks ago so I understand that shocked feeling you get when someone passes away so suddenly. You guys will continue to be in our prayers while you go through this crazy time. Good luck with school :)

Ruthy Butler said...

Love you Adam and Casey! Good luck with school! I'm excited that we will get to see you more often now that your in AZ! Jordan is ok traveling to AZ! hehe! Lubs you!

Jordan and Luci said...

You made me cry Adam. You guys have been amazing taking care of so much. Thanks for posting your thoughts on everything that has happened. It all still feels like a dream. When does that end?

Adam said...

Thank you. We have felt many prayers offered in our behalf already.

Carter Family...... said...

Wow Adam, that is a lot to handle all at once. I had heard of your Grandmas passing but had no idea all that you were dealing with. My heart goes out to you and your family. You will be forever grateful for that last little bit of time you had with her. Sorry for your losses. I'm glad you have such a great family that you can lean on. Good luck with school.
Sally