I've been hesitant about posting this post. But this whole blog is about this journey we are on...the good, the bad, the fun and sometimes, the not so fun. So in holding true to why I started this blog, to document everything, here goes...
This time of year is always a little bittersweet. There are so many exciting things around this time and coming up, but it's always been a time crossed with grief too.
As you know, yesterday was 9/11. I was thinking about what to say all day but nothing seemed right. I silently collected my thoughts and said a prayer for all the victims and their families. I think that's all we can do as a nation, is remember. I will always remember that day and those who so selflessly gave their lives, for the innocent lives taken so abruptly and the families of those who were lost.
A little less than a year ago, Ernest and I were at Aunt Lucy's and Uncle Robert's house introducing them to Autumn and Aunt Lucy offering to watch Autumn a few days a week for us. This was such a blessing! Not only would we have family we trusted watching our baby girl, but she would also get to grow up with them watching her just as Ernest and Allison had back in California. Ernest always had such fond memories of their time together so he was especially excited for them to watch her. They are the most kind, loving and caring people.
Two days a week Ernest would drop Autumn off and I would pick her up from Aunt Lucy and Uncle Robert. They have the kind of house that smells like peaches and makes you feel all warm inside. Their beaming smiles as they opened the door and their absolute unconditional love for Autumn. They were crazy about her (and that's an understatement)! Their fridge was covered with pictures of all their nieces and nephews, but Autumn had a big section :) Aunt Lucy would walk around the house rocking her, Uncle Robert would pull up a chair next to her bassinet and make her giggle and they would both just play with her for hours.
In March, Aunt Lucy's back started hurting her really bad. She was rushed to the ER and told it was just arthritis. The following week the pain hadn't stopped but Aunt Lucy was adamant about watching Autumn. I was picking her up one afternoon, March 28th to be exact, and the mood was different. Aunt Lucy asked me to sit down and immediately I knew something wasn't right. She told me the doctor's did a scan, found a large tumor on her kidney and she had cancer. Cancer. Such a sweet woman could not have such a devastating illness. But it was true. Aunt Lucy was at peace with everything. She handled it way better than we did. (This was the same day Katie's mom passed away of the same cancer)
|Julie Ann Art|
She had to stop watching Autumn immediately due to all the doctors visits. I think she finally came to the realization that she would not be able to care for Autumn anymore either. We were obviously sad for so many reasons, #1 being Aunt Lucy's health but also that we wouldn't see them as much, that Autumn wouldn't get as much time with them and just that everything changed so quickly. In the weeks following, there were a lot of tests for Aunt Lucy, lots of doctors, poking and prodding. Soon after her original diagnosis, they discovered the cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes. It was bad.
Eventually, they put Aunt Lucy in hospice. The cancer was so bad and continued to spread like wild fire. There wasn't a treatment they could do for her. She was able to go back home. We visited her a few times and every time she looked so different. But they loved to see their baby girl and Autumn always brought a smile to their faces! Uncle Robert was in bad health too and was in and out of the hospital.
On August 16th, Uncle Robert had a massive heart attack and died immediately. We couldn't believe it. It felt like we had just seen him. How could this be?!
Aunt Lucy went back and forth getting better, then declining, then better again. Grandma Kathleen watches Autumn on Tuesday's and they've been going to spend time with Aunt Lucy during the day. She got to see Autumn crawl around, stand, walk with help, play with everything and just see all the changes she's been making. This made Aunt Lucy so happy. I'm thankful Autumn was able to spend time with her.
A few days ago they put her into the hospital hospice. Yesterday afternoon, after work, we went to visit Aunt Lucy. I couldn't even recognize her. She was asleep from all the pain meds but we talked to her and told her how much we loved her and thanked her for taking care of Autumn.
This morning as I walked into work, I got the text that she passed. Today Autumn has one extra angel watching over her. I am thankful that Aunt Lucy is no longer is so much pain, but can't help but feeling like we didn't have enough time with her, that cancer is just unfair and that we will miss her immensely.
We are forever grateful for the time she got to spend with Autumn and the time they watched her for us. We will remind Autumn of her Aunt Lucy and Uncle Robert and how much love they had for her. They are her special angels watching over her each and every day.
I continue to pray for not only Aunt Lucy and Uncle Robert, but also my dear Great-Grandma aka 'little grandma' (she's really tiny). She is 96 years old!!! Poor little grandma has also been very ill and is currently in the hospital. I pray that she continues to recover everyday.
In loving memory of Aunt Lucy, Uncle Robert, Peter and all the victims of 9/11.
Continued prayers for Little Grandma's recovery.