There has been lots going on with us lately. Let me fill you in. As many of you know, my dad had been in and out of the hospital the past year or so. Cancer sucks. It started as colon cancer then metastasized to the lungs.
Kev and I were going back and forth to visit my parent’s and to look at homes. We are moving to Indiana soon. During this time, we learned that my dad would be leaving the hospital to go home on hospice.
He was home for about 2 weeks and passed away on November 17, 2023. We were not prepared for how quick it would happen. But are you ever? I was so thankful that I got to spend time with him the week before he passed. And before I left, I think maybe we already knew. I told him we would take care of mom….he cried, I cried. We left. And that was it.
We had been with my parent’s in Indiana from November 4-12. During this time, the hospice care team set up an amazing in home veteran’s celebration for my dad. It was awesome. You can see some clips below. I hope to share more on social as time goes on.
Speaking of the hospice team, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) and Hospice of the Wabash Valley in Terre Haute, Indiana were incredible. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate them.
On Saturday, November 11th we had family come from IL to visit. We went home the next day with a plan to return a week later but my dad passed on Friday, November 17th. With no time to do laundry, I stuffed all the dirty clothes right back into our luggage, packed up our work stuff and off we went.
We drove straight to the funeral home to meet mom to make arrangements for the following Saturday. More family came in the next day to visit. The following week was a blur, we cried a lot and laughed at beautiful memories. I’m an only child by the way.
Thanks mom for letting me do our laundry there. It was a lot! I’m also super thankful for Kev who worked at my parent’s house that week and was able to help get some things squared away. There’s still SO MUCH to do. Mom has accomplished a lot. Tons of phone calls, clothing donations and more.
My dad’s celebration of life on November 25, 2023 was beautiful. Exactly the gathering he would have enjoyed. Kev and I started the day early to pick up my dad’s favorite doughnuts from Square Donuts Inc. On our way back to mom and dad’s house there was the most beautiful sunrise. I’d like to think dad was smiling down on us that morning. French Funeral Home did an outstanding job with everything. Thanks to family and friends who came.
Here’s my dad’s obituary.
Kev went home for a week and I stayed with my mom. I was sick ALL week.
Negative C test twice..check
BUT mom was the real MVP. I WAS supposed to be taking care of her. This tea was awesome, I ordered a wide variety for home.
We were tying up loose ends, going through dad’s emails, files, etc and waiting for Kev to come back for me. He came back to Indiana on Dec 1st, worked on a couple more things at their house and he and I both went back home to Illinois on Dec 3rd.
We haven’t seen mom since but we text or talk daily. I can’t wait to get back to Indiana. We were sick again and then had a snow storm so that kept us away. Hopefully we’ll head back for a visit soon.
I’m sharing all these dates so I can keep up with the timeline. Mom and I pretty much lost all track of time. You should have seen us going back into texts trying to figure out what happened when. We sure miss him. Dad was one of a kind.
My dad loved the Lord. He would always say he was here ‘on assignment’ so my uncle had a shirt made for him (see photo above) the week before he passed. It was perfect.
Dad was cremated and will be ‘laid to rest’ at Van Cleve Community Church where my mom can go to visit grave side. My dad did say he wanted to go to church one last time before he passed and he never got to do that (although something he didn’t know was that the hospice care team was trying really hard to make it happen for him). They really were the best!
If I could ask for your good thoughts and prayers as we navigate the road ahead, we would be grateful. I’m so thankful for our family all over have stepped up to help with anything we need. We are so lucky to have amazing people on our side.
How Are We Doing?
Many have asked how we are doing. Mom has a DEEP empty feeling. They were married 52 years. Can you even imagine?
I miss dad texting and sending me Facebook messages a few times a day asking for help with techy stuff or to send gardening photos and pictures of my moms flowers. Sometimes he would send photos of her driving the riding lawn mower. He got a kick out of that. He loved her SO much.
He was super proud of his vegetable and straw bale gardening the last few years. We were hoping to get a few more camping seasons together but sadly that won’t be happening. We will make sure to go camping in his honor though.
Very recently he bought an awesome tabletop fire pit he was so excited to use so we’ll make smore’s with it the next time with go. I’m happy to hear mom wants to still go camping with us! So once we move there, we’ll have to plan a camping trip.
If you didn’t get the chance to see his celebration of life, you can still watch it on the French Funeral Home Facebook page. The celebration turned out beautifully. Queue the bluegrass music. He would have loved it.
Here’s the tribute I shared at his funeral.
“Daddio, it was an honor to be your daughter. I will always cherish the memories. Like the time we went on our first sushi date when I was 7. And even the time you shut the Cadillac door on my leg ha. My love for pets came from you as many have seen through your slideshow today. Camping with you, mom and Kev the last few years was a huge highlight for us. We will continue the tradition. And I enjoyed hearing all about your greenhouse and straw bale shenanigans. Lots of good times!
I prayed for a long time you would leave this world peacefully without struggle and mom said you did. It was so peaceful she was asleep and even heard you say Heaven during the night. I can only imagine how beautiful it was when you got there. We’ll miss you. Love you dad.“
Thank you ALL for the many heartfelt messages. Our family appreciates all the love. It’s been a struggle getting back into the swing of things here with client work, blog work, etc. But here I am.
We have lots to do to prepare for the next step…moving to Indiana. Clean the house, declutter, pack…
So stay tuned. We’ll share the whole process with you!
One last thing…if you live near Terre Haute or Brazil, Indiana let me know. We are pretty sure that’s where we’ll be moving to. It will be great to be close to my mom and aunts, uncles and cousins. But we will REALLY miss our family in Illinois. I see lots of road trips in our future.
We have looked at TONS of homes online and have walked through two so far. We have a realtor in Indiana and our next big step is to meet with our realtor in Illinois.
We are excited for this new chapter. Let’s do this!