pegkerr: (I need hardly add that I have rarely bee)
Today, I threw away the turkey dinner in the freezer.

We got our Thanksgiving dinner for four years from Open Arms of Minnesota, a service which offers free food to families dealing with life-threatening illness. They offer their clients a full Thanksgiving dinner each year. You can choose whether to have it delivered fully cooked or frozen so you can cook it yourself.

Rob's family, knowing he was gravely ill, had flown in from all over the country to see him. Our plan was to spend Thanksgiving dinner at his brother's and to cook the dinner Open Arms had given to us sometime later, just for Rob, me and the girls. A nice celebratory dinner for just the four of us.

But on Thanksgiving Day, Rob woke up that morning with a fever of 103. I called his brother's, hoping that at least my girls could go over there while we were in the emergency room, so they could see their grandma who had flown in from California. Nope. One out of town relative who'd flown in had a terrible cold, and we couldn't risk the girls being exposed to something they could give their daddy.

So I arranged for the girls to go spend Thanksgiving at my sister's celebration instead, and then took Rob to the Emergency Room. We spent the entire sad day in the ER, getting hungrier and hungrier (all the restaurants around the hospital were closed by the holiday), tormented by the pictures of the family gatherings and feasts that our families texted to us.

Rob was admitted to the hospital hours later. His mom and brother delivered Thanksgiving leftovers to him later that evening.

He never went home again.

That frozen turkey and pumpkin pie and all the rest of the fixings have sat in my freezer ever since. At first, when we hoped he would be home soon, we thought, "We can cook it for Christmas." When he died in January, I thought, well, I'd get around to cooking it eventually. It'll keep okay in the freezer. Even though my girls were gone, Fiona to a new apartment, and Delia back to college. Fiona said she'd take it and cook it for her roommates, but every time I asked her about it, she put me off. Too busy. About to move.

Finally, I took everything out of the freezer tonight and threw it out, because I just couldn't bear to look at it any longer. And I cried my eyes out for about a half hour. All that kindness, all that hope, all that celebration, all that tradition. Gone into the garbage, leaving just me, alone and with a broken heart behind.
pegkerr: (Default)
I talked on the phone briefly with my sister Betsy tonight, who was calling to wish us luck with Rob's first chemo treatment. I told her how overwhelmed I was feeling (I was in the middle of a shopping trip at the fourth store I'd stopped at after work, and I was nowhere done with my list). I don't feel anywhere near ready for what we're facing tomorrow; haven't finished coordinating the support team on CaringBridge, for example, and so had no volunteers lined up for meals this week--partly because we don't know how Rob will feel until we've BEEN through it, and we're not quite sure what to ask for. Fiona's getaway was a major distraction, too. Betsy suggested that maybe she could be the point person who coordinates getting us the help we need. I liked the idea, and we agreed to talk about it later this weekend.

An hour and a half later, I got a Facebook message. Betsy had started googling and found an organization, Open Arms of Minnesota, which delivers FREE medically-tailored meals to people in Minnesota who are dealing with illnesses like cancer or AIDS. Wow! I have downloaded the form, and Rob will bring it to his doctor tomorrow to get the referral.

Okay, I'm sold. Betsy, you are obviously the perfect person to be our resource/support wrangler. Thank you so much!


pegkerr: (Default)

April 2019

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