I met Rena here on GreyFeathers, but I have known about her for many years. She was my husband’s first girlfriend. I didn’t know much about her, but I am glad I know her now. She has tremendous courage and strength and loyalty.
“I could think of many stories I could share. I was born a twin, I grew up in New York. I lived on a beach in Massachusetts, I lived in Maine. Missed my family so I moved to Georgia with my husband. But the one I feel is most worth sharing is about me and my husband.
I have a thyroid condition, it went undiagnosed for several years so we didn’t start having children until we were thirteen years into our marriage. Out of six pregnancies, three ended in miscarriage. We have a daughter Riley, a son Ethan, and a daughter Jillian. We were happy, we had a good life.
I was on a vacation with Jillian and my parents and Terry, my husband, was home with Riley and Ethan because they were in school. My husband was feeling sick when we came home. He started seeing doctors, a few weeks in after a chest X-ray we found out he had stage 4 Lung cancer.
It became a whirlwind of doctors. One specialist after the next, we thought cancer meant you have to have chemotherapy or radiation. But the truth is there are several layers of specialists, like pulmonologist, swallow specialist, and so many others. Every single day of the week we had to see someone and my extended family had to drive over an hour each way to watch the kids so it was seamless for them.
To keep this short, he did not survive. He lost his battle and it was the saddest day of my life. I rushed out with my youngest daughter (she was only four) because I didn’t want her to have to see her father wheeled out of his room lifeless.
I went home and made my children all a fancy hot chocolate and a platter of goodies so they could have a few more minutes of happy. My folks, my sister, and I gathered so that we could break the news to the children together. I don’t know how, but we managed to get through it.
I was so proud of the kids. They were so strong. My oldest even said the Irish blessing at the funeral. It’s been tough, all the jobs that were my husband’s now fall on me. The worst is I am not good with legal stuff or policies. I hate washing clothes and dishes. I am also not the disciplinarian my husband was so my kids are hard for me to manage.
The thing that surprised me most in this journey was that I realized how truly good people could be, especially strangers. Those that are there for you and those that were not.
It’s a life changing process, and I miss him every day. I also learned that although he is no longer here physically he will walk with me the rest of my days… and that is enough… it brings me comfort.”