Thursday, December 24, 2009

blog from Lisa Via

I have just read your blog. I want all who follow you to know Susie and I were kindred spirits. She and I respected each other and shared many things in both public and private.
We share two child her son(Dino) and my daughter(Jewell)and we both have shared a life and love with a man(Robert). We also shared two beautiful grandchildren Breana and Caleb.

We would all vacation together, stay at each other’s houses and attend special events together. While others thought our relationship's where odd we saw them as very normal. Robert and Susie had both good times and bad during their marriage but they had made peace long ago. Susie and I were able to share many memories and feeling about our lives and how they had ended up inter-twined. When Susie first had her strokes and couldn't live alone any longer and she came to live with us as time went by and her condition needed more care than could be given at home. She made the decision to move the Ozark Nursing home. She told us she didn't want to be a burden and she was needing more medical care than we could give. Shortly after moving in she soon began missing her son Dino and her grand children. She wanted to move to Little Rock to be closer to them so Linda helped us get that done and she took over care of Susie.

As Dino's life changed and he ended up back in Ozark she too came home to us again and moved back to Ozark Nursing Home. She was loved by many there and they cared for her as if she was their own. She was happy and we did act as if her room were her home and did as you would with anyone you were visiting. We watched many movies in our own private little theater with popcorn and cokes, we had parties and we just talked about a lot of things. Not one week went by I didn't see her at least 3 times and sometimes more than that. Susie's room was a place to escape to and just have girl time or share both heartaches and good times. We brought many snacks, special surprises and tried to keep her room decorated for the season. Susie's favorite activity at the nursing home was BINGO because they got 50 cents with each bingo and 1.00 for cover-alls which Susie used to buy regular cokes since she had to drink coke zero due to her medical issues.

While we knew she was not looking good and they were attempting to find the cause no one was prepared for what happened so quickly. Susie left for a Dr. visit to Ft. Smith last Tuesday and things just went crazy. She ended up in the hospital at 12:36 pm and for 3 days we waited for the news of what they could find out before we called anyone. We had only know for 2 hrs ourselves when Steve called me because he had come to visit Susie. I think we were in shock. We couldn't really believe it. It couldn't be true. She was so sick so fast. On Friday of last week we found out the diagnosis.

We moved quickly to get Susie home to Ozark to be close to us, every time we spoke to someone at the hospital in Ft. Smith things changed it was hard to follow and it was scary. I knew she needed to be here and I was prepared to move both heaven and earth to get her to the local hospital. My mother(Sharon)was Susie's medical POA and Susie put her in charge so that Dino nor Robert or I would have to make the hard decision’s if it came to it. She trusted my mom and I am very glad my mom was with us through it all.

Once Susie got to Ozark hospital all her brothers and sisters were there to show her their love and concern. Robert, Jewell and her boyfriend Tony, Dino, my mom and I were by her side as well. There came a time Susie told us in her own way she wanted all the lines/cords removed and she knew she would pass on and was ready to go. It broke my heart and I didn't know if I could watch her go, but I had made her a promise to carry out her wishes and I knew in order to do that I had to be strong. I had promised her she would not die alone and she did not.

As I sat in the ICU with her both her family and my own told me I could not continue this day and night, I knew I could, I knew I would.
I would not leave her alone in the time she needed me most. I loved her dearly and I will miss her more than anyone knows.

We shared our lives with each other and we were proud we could do this for our children. As I sat telling stories along with everyone else I told about the time my daughter, Jewell, when she was about 5, told everyone she had 2 mom's. I stood in shock and wondered how she had come up with that one. When asked she said I was Dino's stepmom so Susie (who is Dino's mom)is her stepmom. Funny how kids think.
We have been one big happy family for many years. At this time we are one big sad family and miss our loved one dearly.

Susie was moved back to the nursing home to her own bed because they could do the same care for her there. I thought if she smelled the smells of home for her and heard the voices and sounds of home she would be more comfortable. I also knew I could stay with her and I could come and go knowing she had people who loved her like us in case anything did happen while I was away. I decided to stay the first night with her and see how she did and during that night I told her she was a good friend, great mom and she did her best. We knew she was tired and she could go if she was ready we understood. She reached up to my face and patted my cheek many times as I broke down and cried telling her how much I would miss her. She just kept reaching up and patting me so gently as if she was comforting me. She wanted me to hold her hand and was squeezing my hand like she was reassuring me it was ok. Last night I held her, stroked her hair and joked with her as well as cried for her. I rubbed the cramps from her arms and slept next to her for most of the night until I knew she was resting peacefully. I soon climbed into the bed next to her and fell asleep. They kept the door closed for privacy and each time that door opened I looked to Susie to see she was ok.

As early morning came Susie became restless as I tried to comfort her I knew she need more pain meds, I called for a nurse and they gave her the meds and soon she settled and she looked peaceful. I held her hand and told her there was no way I could leave her so I guess Robert would have to sleep in the bed in the room and Dino and I would have to use the two recliners as beds for now I also joked about changing the channel since we left it on all night and cartoons were on(Susie didn't like cartoons)I changed it to a favorite channel and settled down beside her and she was breathing slow and steady.

All of a sudden she took three very deep breaths and her whole body relaxed and she went to her final home. I am very sad and sort of lost at this time but I know she is no longer hurting and she can watch over us and guild us along our paths. I know I kept my promise to her and it helped her find her way home. The people at Ozark Nursing Home loved her and are grieving as well, they were a big comfort to me today and my family. Please keep them in your prayers also.
**** I wanted everyone to know I was told Susie told Steve, her brother, she would be here till Christmas at one point. Today December 23 was Christmas at the Ozark Nursing Home. It is the day they celebrate it for the residents, so Susie in true Susie fashion kept her word even if at the time we didn't understand it. Please keep all of Susie's family and friends in your prayers. Thank You, Lisa Via

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