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Saturday, September 05, 2015

Wow, the days since August 19 have been a real emotional rollercoaster.

My dear sister-in-law lost her battle with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma on August 19. It breaks my heart that the last 10 months of her life were filled with so much pain and confusion...and misdiagnoses.

We went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to be with my husband's family, and it was absolutely the best decision. God knew we needed a reliable vehicle on the first day of our car problems that began at the end of June. What could have been catastrophic problems were manageable thanks to fantastic mechanics. We left PA with heavy hearts but not worried about our car.

The visit with family was a blessing and we loved every second we had to spend with them. We had 18 people on hand at any given time, and all I can say is that what looks and sounds like chaos to an outsider is just par for the course with our family. Somehow everything all works: showers are taken when needed, food comes from a kitchen that never closes, six different conversations go on at once and we follow them all! I so love the family I married into!! From the youngest to the eldest family member, all are unique, independent and stubborn and big hearted. Now I'm home and I miss them so much.

Sally's funeral service was beautiful and because one of her brothers (Martin) gave the eulogy and one of her coworkers shared a special Nursing ceremony with us I learned so much about my special sister-in-law. I never heard her say one thing about her accomplishments, but I learned just how much of a difference she made in many lives! Sally was an RN and before her illness she was the Director of the Surgical Center at Marquette General Hospital. I learned that Sally was the force behind the founding of the Surgical Center as well. Thanks to her efforts, many patients were made well.

Sally was also a true Fairy Godmother to her Godchildren and other nieces and nephews. She was the one to get on the floor, play all the games, go swimming, color, do crafts, take the kids camping and to Disney World, and just spend her precious free time with them. Because of those special children, Sally received as much as she gave because they all adored her. She leaves huge footprints to fill, but her legacy lives in all who knew her.

To say Sally was a "picky" eater was a vast understatement. She never met a healthy food she liked, and she could not understand why we would choose a fish entree over a beef entree. The food brought by coworkers and friends to be shared after her service was all "Sally-approved", and there were a few stray veggies there along with all her favorite desserts. She would have loved it.

We have a wonderful memory book put together by Fred's brother filled with family photos and a beautiful CD that our nephew Matthew made to be played during the visiting hours and the funeral reception. They are filled with love, like Sally was.

Now we are back at home and I'm finally getting back to my "normal" schedule. But I'll never be the "normal" I was before the loss of Sally and before the loss of Fred's brother Kevin last year. No parent should ever have to lose a child, and my heart hurts for my dear parents-in-law. Each loss we suffer...whatever it may be...forever changes our "normal". We must learn to live a new normal with every change and every loss because life goes on. Let us all lovingly remember those who have gone before and enriched our lives, for they will always live in our hearts. Never let your heart become hardened or smaller because of a loss; whether you believe it or not, your heart will expand to accommodate new love and new experiences.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CAROL_31649731
    Diane, I really enjoyed your blog. And of course, as you know me well, it really hit home for me (after recently experiencing a loss as well). Thank you for your last paragraph, especaially. Wonderfully said, and I needed to hear that today. Love to you (& yours), and thanks for being the caring sparkfriend you are! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2159 days ago
    What a touching tribute to your dear SIL!
    2159 days ago
  • DEBANNE1124
    I am so very sorry for the family's loss. She is most likely smiling down at you for your kind words and memories. hugs
    2160 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15255276
    Your blog was just beautiful!
    2160 days ago
    Sally sounds like an amazing person! I'm sorry you and your family have suffered such a loss emoticon

    2160 days ago
    Sorry for your loss, but happy that you were able to spend time with family and friends and celebrate her life and share all of your fond memories of her. That can never be taken away from you.
    2160 days ago
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