Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two Years Ago I Became A Widow


In Loving Memory
March 6th 1980-October 10th 2009

I will forever love you and keep you in my heart.

I'm finally getting around to writing this last post.  I just didn't want to write it at all.  I don't feel like I have anything I need to say to Barry...I think I've said it all a million times over over these last two years.  The time has come to say goodbye to this blog, and continue with my new one. Thank you to everyone for being such wonderful readers, and supporting me even if you didn't comment.  This blog has been such a big part of my life for over 3 years, and even more so now because it has become my outlet for my grieving.  I am ready to move on, so please come with me as I continue this journey.    If you email me then I will reply to you and give you my new blog address.  I post on there much more regularly than this one.  I have to say, I am a little sad to close this chapter in my life, but I am ready, and it is time.  

I will miss this blog and all of you.

Much love,

Joanna  

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Story of How You Died.

To all my wonderful readers, friends and family.

I can't do it, and I am sorry.  I know I promised you all that I would write the story of how Barry passed, but I can't.  I started to write it October 4th, and managed to get up to the point where it started to go downhill, but I can't write the rest.

I am scared, and the mere thought of writing it makes my heart race.  I am just not ready.  I can recall everything in my head down to the last minute detail, but the actual task of really making myself recall everything won't be happening.  I know it's partly because I don't want to break down, I don't want to cry right now, I just don't want to.  I will do it eventually for the kids.  I also got to thinking that maybe I shouldn't spill Barry's secrets on the internet.  He was a very private person, and I just think maybe I should keep this for the family.  I'm not trying to use that as a cop out, I promise.  I just really don't want to portray him in any other light than what he deserves...

An amazing husband and father, and not the sickest patient at our hospital.

I will write my final "Dear Barry" letter tomorrow night.  I wanted to do it at 11:11AM, but I'm going to be out all day.  I'm getting a pedicure with my girlfriend, going out for tea after lunch with another girlfriend, and then taking the kids out to Barry's favorite restaurant for dinner.  Trying to keep as busy as possible.

Blast From The Past...October 9th 2009

I don't have much to say today...I'd just rather avoid what today was, and that was the last full day my husband was alive two years ago.  Less than 24 hours after I originally posted this, I was a widow.  more like 18 hours.  I had no idea what was to become my life...


Friday, October 09, 2009

Good News!!!

Today my husband was released from the ICU/CCU into a regular room. I was able to help him move, which was really nice as I got to say goodbye to all the nurses and the RT's. I plan to send them a thank you note, as they really helped me out this week.
We expect him to be released monday or tuesday morning! Isn't that great news? He's on antibiotics intravenously, but tomorrow they are going to try tablet form. And his O2 levels arent' quite good yet, so that is why he's staying a few more days.
He was very alert this morning and finally recognized me and was able to to hold a conversation. I am thankful for that, because as the morning went by, he got really cranky, rude, belligerent etc etc. It was really really hard for me to be pleasant with him because of his attitude. I think he was still very confused because of all the sedatives he had been on for so long. He even told me he didn't want me to come visit again.
Then I decided it was time for me to leave before I got too frustrated with him, and the situation got worse.
Today there was a thing going on at the kids' school, so I thought I could go to that before going home, but figured I'd just take time to myself. My mom was there with them, so I figured they would be ok without me. I went to McDonald's and had a hamburger and fries and sat and read my book for a while. I then headed across the street to Safeway and did some grocery shopping for the next couple days. It was so refreshing to get some time alone.I was able to get a hold of him later on after he had eaten and taken a little nap, and he was much more pleasant. I'm going to go visit himfor a while tonight, and then tomorrow morning. Today has been one of the worst days for me, apart from Tuesday, because I was just hoping that he would be nicer. I was sad that he was so irritable. I've spent so much time at the hospital, 8+ hours a day when he was on the respirator, and it was so much easier to deal with him. I could wash him up, rub his feet, talk to him, help the nurses etc etc. Now I feel like I'm not needed anymore and he doesn't want me there.
I'm just happy that we're almost done with this. Hopefully he will get back to his old self really soon because I just don't know how much more of this I can handle.
I also want to say how thankful I am for the outpouring of support I have received. Especially from some of my friends, my meetup group and the kids' school. They have really blessed us and I don't think I could say thank you enough. I have received some gift cards for meals, and I have meals being delivered next week as well. It is such a relief not to have to worry about meals for the next week. Thank you everyone for helping!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Blast From The Past...October 8th 2009

Today was our daughter's 9th Birthday.  My mom was here again, like she was two years ago, and we threw an amazing party for her.  And I am so exhausted!  My feet hurt from barely sitting down all day.  I'm seriously pooped.

Two years ago today, Barry was extubated.  I remember that day, he was a surly grouch.  Called me some choice names, and himself the Master of The Universe!


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Some News

sorry if this is just one liners and not complete paragraphs. Today has just been so exhausting for me.
Called the ICU this morning to make sure it was ok to visit, so I did and went at about 9:30. Stayed till 1:30. They kept checking his blood gas and O2 levels to see any improvement and there was some.
The nurse told me he wasn't ready to come off the vent, but then the RT (Respitory Therapist) said that the Dr had ordered a "test", so technically he had been off the vent from 8AM and was doing all the breathing on his own. That was great! Also, on the vent his O2 levels had been brought down to 40%, which is what they wanted him to beable to maintain.
So, Dr comes around again and tells us at noon or so they can try to extubate him. They did, everything went ok and he's been off the vent since noon today, so almost 12 hours.
He is taking a really, really, really long time to come around. He was very confused today. And very feisty. And EXTREMELY surly. I finally had to leave at 1:30 because his attitude was just too much for me. To give you an example, when I asked him what my name was, he called me Bitch. lol. It doesnt bother me, I thought it quite comical. When they took out his Art line (artery line), Colleen, his nurse, was holding his wrist really really tightly to get him to clot because it was in an artery. So he told her to stop squeezing him so hard or he'd break her arm. Oh, and the language we heard was quite colorful, to say the least. See the surliness? that's quite normal apparently.
One funny thing was that when I asked him what his name was, he said in a drunken voice, "Master Of The Universe". HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'm still laughing at that one.
So I went home and came back about 6 hours later, and just got home again. I spent about 7-8 hours at the hospital today. I would have stayed longer today, but he was still just exhausted and not really making much sense, so I figured I'd just go home.
The RT was there tonight (there is a new one every day it seems) and as I was leaving, she told me she was going to put a Bpap or Cpap, one of those two on him, to help him sleep. He might have some sleep apnea, and they just want him to get a good sleep. He's seriously been sleeping for almost 12 hours straight not being on any sedation. But he sleeps like that all the time anyway, and will sleep for a day if you let him.
Don't give me any crap for saying this, but the sound of him snoring was so annoying. It was much quieter with him on the vent. And it doesn't help that his attitude wasn't very good either, so even though I do know he can't help it, I was still slightly annoyed.
Tomorrow should be better, and he'll be more alert. Looks like he'll still be in the ICU/CCU for another day or even more. There are no empty beds upstairs and they will just keep him where he's at.
Oh, and his O2 levels are ok, but not superb yet, so he still has a lot of recovery time ahead of him. At least he is breathing room air though.
So that's my update! Now to go to bed and get some sleep myself. IN the morning mom and I are heading to JoAnn to get my sewing machine, and then I'll head back to the hospital to hopefully find a more awake and cheerful husband.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Blast From The Past...October 7th 2009

Today I've been ok...completely different from yesterday when I was balling my eyes out first thing in the morning.  My mom is here for E's 9th birthday this weekend, and thankfully the party business has helped keep my mind off Barry.

I try to avoid thoughts of him...or should I say, I try to avoid thoughts of this weekend.  There are too many painful memories, and if I don't block it out, I find myself thinking about it constantly.  What was I doing this time, how was Barry, etc etc etc.  It's a vicious cycle.

I know I said I would write "the story of how you died"...but I've barely started.  I can't do it yet, I'm avoiding it.  I will have to write it the night of the 9th I think after the kids go to bed because it's just too painful for me to visit right now.  I need to get through tomorrow.  I have to.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Another Update

I've been at the hospital a million times in the last few days it seems.
I wasn't able to go today till after lunch, as I had a dental appointment this morning and the kids' school had late start.
So he's doing ok, a little better than yesterday. His O2 levels were 100% yesterday in the morning, and they've slowly been lowering them to 60%. He is still on the respirator, has a feeding tube, and all that other stuff.
Today he was really agitated and kept trying to write something. he was making the motion with his right hand that he wanted a pen. I kept telling him no, and he kept getting upset. He was also trying to talk to me, and lift his head. So the had to sedate him more because he was getting too upset. I told him to blink twice if he loved me, and he did. <3 He looked at me too, and recognized me, so that gave me great comfort. I was able to calm him down a few times, but at one point his heart rate went up to 200.
Right now i don't know what's going to happen. We're all hoping for the best, and he is on the road to improvement it seems, but he is still very very sick.
I don't have anything much to post, but perhaps tonight I will have more information.
My mom is here, so I can stay long tonight if I want. I'm going back tomorrow for the morning. And then tomorrow night. Over, and over and over again. It's a routine now, and i feel very friendly with the nurses, lol.
I'm sorry if I don't seem distraught, upset, whatever. I'm just plugging away at it and trying to keep my head up for him and the kids. Sometimes I just need a break from the hospital. I'm sure he understands, I can't stay there all the time. I'm still scared, and I miss him desperately. I really really miss him. I just wish I could feel him hug me and kiss me. 
'm sorry if I don't seem distraught, upset, whatever. I'm just plugging away at it and trying to keep my head up for him and the kids. Sometimes I just need a break from the hospital. I'm sure he understands, I can't stay there all the time. I'm still scared, and I miss him desperately. I really really miss him. I just wish I could feel him hug me and kiss me. Honestly, I'm kind of running on auto pilot now. My appetite is almost non-existant, I've had just yogurt and a banana today with a glass of milk. I'm just not hungry. I've lost weight already, I weighed myself last night and I was down a few pounds in just a couple days. I have managed to eat dinner, last night a friend brought us some delicious spaghetti. it's just nice not having to cook. Someone else is bringing us dinner again tonight. If anyone I know is reading this, then dinner would be most welcome next week. I know you all told me to ask, so here I am asking! Please call and ask. Or if someone can watch our youngest during the day, I would love it.
This morning I found some photo paper that I had, and printed off some photos for him to tape up on his wall. I thought he would like to have some of us that he could look at once he is feeling somewhat better.
Until later...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

This Gets Old Fast

No news yet. Nothing has really changed except they have lowered his O2 levels to 50%, which is good. But his blood gas still isn't high enough. Maybe they'll try get him off the respirator tomorrow, but they don't know.
people keep asking me if he's going to get better and I just don't know. I don't have any answers and I'm tired of getting asked that question. I understand everyone wants to know, and this is just a normal response, but I just don't have the answers. please don't be offended if you're one of those who asks me, it's just that as a whole, I really hate it. If anyone wants answers, it's me.
He was responsive again, and was able to communicate with me a bit by hand squeezes, blinks and head nods.
I'm tired of this hospital routine and it's only been 4 days, almost 5. It's physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting. I know he wants me and needs me there, but I can only handle a couple visits a day. I usually go in the morning and late at night. It's ok to do this, right? He knows I love him, and I'd do anything...I just need a break from it all.
I'm so testy lately with other people, I can't tolerate idiots  so today at the grocery store I saw some woman park her car maybe two feet in the parking spot, and the rest on the "aisle", so I wrote her a note and stuck it on her windshield telling her to learn how to park. I just can't stand stupid people right now, and I'm tired of being asked questions all the time.
Right now I'm just trying to get through the weekend. I will have to deal with a whole new routine on Monday because it's half days all week, and mom won't be here. I have to rely on friends again to help out with childcare. I'm scared I won't be able to find someone to help me with the kids, even though some people said they would. I know I cant go to the hospital from 1PM till the kids are in bed, so I need someone from 9AM till 12/1PM, and then 8/9 PM till 11PM.
I miss my husband so much. I hate seeing him like this. I need him to get better. I just need a hug from him

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Blast From The Past...October 6th 2009

I fucking hate reading this stuff.  But here you go, for your reading pleasure...the THREE posts that I wrote on October 6th 2009


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

so here I sit

I'm home for a short while while my husband is being taken care of.

I got the call this morning from the doctor that he was being transferred to the CCU, Critical Care Unit, because he wasn't getting better. I then called the nurse in the CCU who told me to come as soon as I could. They took blood from his artery and his O2 stats were 50%. Then they put him on the CPAP, which is 100% O2 and his levels only went to 69%.

When I got there, I got a glimpse of him through the glass door of his room and just lost it. He had a whole big plastic mask on his face. I waited till the nurse brought me a mask to wear to go in.

I was able to talk to him for a short time and then all these people started coming in, and I heard the word Anesthesiologist.

As you can probably guess, he is now intubated. He is on a respirator that is helping him breathe. They had me leave for 1.5 hours while they got him taken care of. When I came back, they were still working on him, and I only had time to gather a few of his possessions like his computer etc. I'm at home right now because I just couldn't take it anymore. So I'm here for lunch, and my sister is talking to me on the phone. I had to call her because the silence here is deafening. Our youngest daughter is at my friend's house and I just didn't feel like picking her up. I'm going back to the hospital in another hour or so, and then I'll do my best to be home by the time the kids get off the bus.

Thank goodness for friends. A friend from our old city is bringing us dinner tonight. Another friend is watching our daughter while I am at the hospital. And tomorrow my mom comes.

I don't want to admit it, but I am so fucking scared I will lose my best friend. Scared to pieces. How do I keep it together for my kids when I am broken inside?

I have the weight of the world on my shoulders right now. I have to find out a way to fill out his trip packs for work. I have to call his school somehow and figure out what to do for that. I have to figure out what to do about financial issues. He's going to be in the hospital for up to 10 days. And let me say this...I am so thankful for life insurance. No one wants to think about it, but do you know how relieved I am to know that the kids and I will be taken care of if something happens?

My poor husband has been working on his beard for years, it is his pride and joy. And they shaved it off. he looks like a bald bowling ball.

I love this man so much and it just breaks my heart to see him like this. How do I keep it together when I am so scared and worried? I am trying to make life as normal as possible for the kids,. Today was pajama day at school, and I let them do that. Our daughter's birthday is on Thursday, and i am making her cupcakes. Saturday is her party, and my mom will be here so we are still going to have fun. I ordered her cake yesterday, and we're going to go have fun at Glow Golf in our mall.

My tummy is rumbling and I need to eat something even though I don't want to. I just have no appetite.

Please keep us in your thoughts, prayers, whatever it is you do. I appreciate any and all of that.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tuesday PM Update

I went back to the hospital this afternoon after I made myself eat something.
I sat with him for a couple hours, made a few phone calls etc etc. I got some sort of response from him, he squeezed my hands a couple times. But he is completely unconscious, so it could just be reflexes. Either way, it gave me comfort.

The Doctor said he most likely got a staph infection in his lungs, and these infections typically get worse before they get better. He will be on the respirator for a few days as well.

I know he knows I am there, even if he doesn't know that he knows. I just know. I was able to calm him down a few times when his blood pressure went up just by talking to him and soothing him

I sit and talk to him, I joke around and say silly things. I taped up all the pictures and cards the kids made for him on his wall. His nurse Rick is really funny,and he and I were making jokes about him. He had his beard shaved off, so now he looks like a bald bowling ball, lol. He has a big head, which is why I say that, and he also shaves his head. Tonight I am going to visit again for an hour or so after the kids go to bed, and my friend Sara is watching them while they sleep. I am going to cut his toe nails, LOL, he never got around to it for a couple weeks, and I joked to Rick that I should paint his nails. I don't think I will, but I will give him a nice pedicure.

I wonder if he can hear me, and is thinking up all these smart ass remarks to give me once he wakes up again. I tease him and tell funny things about him to the nurses and the doctor, so I might be in for it when he wakes up.

Until later....

Oh, and thank you to everyone for your well wishes and thoughts. I appreciate it so much.

Oh, and I haven't gotten a chance to do this, but I want to thank all my friends/acquaintances that have passed on their help, offered dinners for us, their well wishes. I will be sending out quite a few thank you cards I think.

One other thing I forgot...
I had to take his phone and computer home with me, and while looking on his phone this afternoon for some info, something made my heart skip a beat. I dont know why I didnt notice this before. A couple weeks ago I took a photo of the sunrise that turned out really neat. He never said anythign to me about it, but guess what was on the background for his blackberry? Do you know how good that made me feel? It was like an invisible hug and love from my husband. I just was so shocked to see that. I love that man.

-----------------------------------------

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

And yet, another update

Thanks to my wonderful friend and neighbor Sara, I was able to visit him this evening for a couple hours.

First off, let me say how much those hospital masks SUCK! Seriously, my face is numb from the foam in them. It's so freakin uncomfortable.

Secondly, I did NOT know this, but the CCU is the same as ICU. So for those wondering, he is in the ICU.

Ok, so, I got there shortly after 9PM tonight and they were examining his air way. They haven't been able to get in a feeding tube , and will be doing it by Xray tonight. Probably now actually, now that I am gone.

There is no change right now in his condition. I can't really even pretend to understand all that medical mumbo jumbo. All I know is that he is on 70% pure O2 with the Respirator right now. There is blood in his lungs from the bad infection too. He needs to be able to maintain 50% on his own. I guess how they do that is wait till they see some form of improvement and once he gets somewhat better, then they can turn the respirator down and let his lungs do most of the work. But honestly, I couldn't even understand that. I don't know what his levels have to be, what they're at. Whats best for him right now is to be on the respirator and to let his body get healthy.

Tonight was a good visit though, he was lucid and partially awake when I went in there, meaning he was responsive to me. They actually turned down the sedation a bit. When I got there he was a bit agitated from the nurses poking and prodding him, and once they stepped back, i went up to him and held his hand. He looked me in the eyes, which was great. And yes, he did recognize me. A wife knows, we just know. I was really happy to see that. I asked him a few minutes later if he was able to hear me talking smack about him with Rick today, and he shook his head no. I also got a couple hand squeezes from him, and some eyebrow wiggles or whatever you call them. He couldn't open his eyes, but wiggled his eyebrows at me.

I went in tonight armed with nail clippers and foot lotion for him. I gave him a nice trim, lol, and a good foot massage too. Afterwards I was trying to exercise his legs for a bit, but he did NOT like that at all, and pushed against my hand and wiggled his toes. So I stopped.

The rest of the night, I talked about anything and everything. I also had brought some trivial pursuit cards because we like that game, and asked him the questions and then answered them for him ;o)

Tomorrow it looks like I won't be able to visit for awhile. I have a dental appointment in the morning to get a couple broken fillings fixed, and then Sara will be watching our youngest for me. But since she has somewhere to be, then I will most likely just come straight home and go visit him once my mom gets here. At least with mom coming, I dont have to worry about how long I stay. And then I can also come late at night after the kids are in bed too, like I did tonight.

I've got so much responsibility right now, I just don't know what to do about all that. I've got the work thing figured out, I am going to call in the morning and get it taken care of. The school I have to call too, but I did leave a message for his advisors to call me or vice versa. Honestly, the most pressing issue for me is the financial one. I don't know what we're going to do financially. I don'tknow how to pay bills if there is no money coming in, and that really worries me. He could be in the hospital for a couple weeks, and then he will need a bit of recuperating time at home, so what do we do? I know I can put off the bills for a little while, but what about groceries? gas? And those bills that HAVE to be paid like credit cards and insurance? can't miss those. I hate that money has to be the one issue I worry about, but it is a true worry. Me getting a job is not going to help things, so please don't even suggest that. I'd have to pay for day care, and for what...a month? just get a job for a month? I don't even think we could go on TANF/welfare for a month.

On a lighter note, if you want to call it that, I am amazed at the strength I have been able to pull from places I never knew existed. From this morning, I am a completely different person. I took care of things I never thought I could do, and I am proud of myself for that. But I wouldn't have been able to do this without the help and support of my friends and family. Mom, Maegen, Sara, Lisa, Angela, Janelle...anyone who has talked to or seen me today, they have just been an incredible support. And if you know me and can help next week with childcare, please please let me know. Sara has to go back to work on Thursday. starting Monday it will be just myself, and I can't not visit him. I know I have a couple ladies lined up that are willing to watch our youngest, but I just need more options. Even if you came to the house after they went to bed and sat for a couple hours while I visited. Anything. I'll even drive our youngest to your house during the day! I just wish I was able to visit him more often next week. I will only have the mornings though as it is conference week and the kids have early release and get home at 1PM.

I am physically and mentally and emotionally exhausted right now. I need to get a good nights sleep. Thankfully tomorrow is late start day, and the kids don't need to be on the bus till 9:30, so we can sleep in a little bit. I might give myself till 7:30 unless the nurses call me and pass on information.

Please keep us in your thoughts and hope that something improves. Again, I will update as I can.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Blast From The Past...October 5th 2009

I thought that leading up to the 10th, I would re-post my blogs from two years ago.  So without further ado, here is today's post from two years ago.  The day he was admitted to the hospital.

Please Keep Us In Your Thoughts

It is painful to read these.  I am having such a hard time right now, even more so than I did last year.  I've been crying at the drop of a hat, been very emotional.  Barry's death feels to me like it was just yesterday, and the pain is fresh.  The 2nd anniversary really is worse than the 1st.  I thought that wasn't true for me, thought I would escape it, but I was wrong.

It feels like it just happened yesterday.  The only difference is that I know how to cope with the grief now.  And I just let it wash over me.  I let those tears spill out of my eyes, let the sobs wrack my shoulders, and deal with the grief headache that ensues.

I miss him so much.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Blog Info

I would LOVE to have you all follow me over to my new blog.  I don't want to lose all of you awesome followers!

It's up and running now, but this blog will be active till October 10th 2011.

Go ahead and email me with your name on here (the one you use as a follower, so I can cross reference), and I will email you back the link to the new blog so you can follow me there and subscribe as well.

Thank you all so much!! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Time to move on

Well my dear friends, family, and readers, time has come for me to end this blog.  I will do one last post, on October 10th, to mark the 2 year anniversary of Barry's passing, but that will be the last one on this blog.  I will be starting up a new one, so if you are interested, please contact me and I will let you know when it is up and running.

I just feel that I am moving away from this.  The identity I had with this blog was of Barry's wife, the mother of his children, the woman that posted tons of recipes and crafts, the woman that then watched her husband die in front of her eyes, and lastly...Barry's widow.

I will always be Barry's widow, my widowhood will always be with me, and I will identify as a widow for the rest of my life.  Moving forward won't change who I am, and what I have experienced.  But, I want to start a new blog as Joanna.  The single widowed mom of four children, 2 dogs, and two cats.  I don't want a blog that involves Barry as the main subject, I want a blog about ME and my kids.  I love to write, and I can write well, but this blog feels stifling to me.

I am going to write about Barry's death for you all.  You have all been such wonderful amazing followers, and supported me through my darkest times.  But that will be my last post here, and I will also have my new blog information for you all by then.

Thank you so much for all your support, especially during the last two years of my life.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

One More Milestone, Come and Gone

Today marked A's first day of kindergarten!!

I had mixed emotions the whole day because I just wasn't sure what all this would bring, what emotions I would feel, would I cry or not.  And the truth is, it was a little hard for me, and I did cry a little bit this morning.  But she did SO well, and she absolutely LOVED it.  I am incredibly glad that it went well for her.

A is my baby, and I always knew this day would be hard because I'd be essentially sending her off into the world.  As we drove to school, I told her how much I would miss her, and she told me she didn't want me to cry.  But I did a little bit as I said goodbye to her at school.  I missed her.  She has been my little sidekick since she was born, and has spent the most time with me by herself than any of the other kids did.  I took loads of pictures of her at school, and of all the kids this morning, as is tradition in this house!

What really bothered me is that Barry missed this.  One more milestone, come and gone without him.  It hurts, and it stings to see the other dads there with their wives, picking up the kids or dropping them off for their first day.  I wish I could take that away from her.  I did tell her however, that daddy would be SO proud of her, and that he was in her heart today with her as she started school (2nd time that my eyes welled up today!).  He would have loved to be there for her...It just breaks my heart that he missed such an important day for her.

And as I type this, I find my eyes welling up again, for the fourth time today actually.  Wishing so badly I could tell Barry about her first day of school, send him the pictures.  Tell him that the twins are in 5th grade!!! FIFTH GRADE already!! That just blows my mind...and E already in 4th.   That three of our children are the tallest in their classes, and quite possibly grades too.  He would be beaming from ear to ear, he loved our kids so much.

I just wish I could tell him.