Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Happy 6th Birthday Trent & Happy 13th Anniversary!

July 16th!! Trent was born on our anniversary, so we share this special day. Trent turned SIX on our 13th anniversary! I always love this day because it makes me feel so connected to my parents. I, too, was born on my parents anniversary. Mom always told me that I was her best anniversary gift. And I now get to share in that same unconditional love. Love for Trent on a day to celebrate my wonderful husband.

Trent wanted an LSU/baseball party! In mid July, the heat is at its peak...so he had to throw in a MEGA slip and slide! 32 feet long, inflatable slip and slide!!!! With water balloon baseball. Cousin Ally made the cake again. I love this tradition! Ally has made all of the cakes for my kids parties, and she always looks forward to it. This time, she made a baseball cake with ATM vs LSU! Haha! All the kids were yelling which cake they wanted to eat from!

We gave Trent an Astros jersey, JJ Watt jersey and an LSU jersey as his gift. He was over the moon! He didn't want me to hang them in his closet. He wanted to use them as party decoration! So cute! There was a great group of kids. Mostly boys from Rummel Creek and the older girls on our street. Trent is going to have a great grade of boys.I look forward to the journey of them growing together! And I love the moms! Win win for everyone! Trent's favorite part of the party was hitting the water balloons! Water balloon baseball batting practice!

Scott's mom, Gigi, just moved to San Marcos this summer (from California.) So, she came in for the party, which made Trent excited! My brother, Beau, and his entire family came. Along with Scott's dad and brother. It was a wonderful group, and a great party!

Scott and I are headed to Belize soon to celebrate our anniversary. In the meantime, it's all about Trent!!! We dedicated his last day of bring 5 to him. We did "Trent's top 5 favorite things." He wanted eggs, hugs from mommy and daddy, football, races, and a long walk alone with mommy. That walk was the highlight of my summer! Trent is my baby! But, he sure is growing up. I loved holding his hand on our walk. Looking at him and soaking everything about him in. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! Happy Birthday Trent!
The rest of the week was filled with our days at Westside. They just added a new water park, and we are obsessed. Huge water slides, lazy river and more. My kids want to go everyday. And just me and the kids loaded up for an adventure...road trip to Bluebell Icecream Factory. It was so nice to be alone with them. We walked the town of Brenham. Found a random spot to eat lunch, park hopped and loved Bluebell! What an amazing and memorable summer!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Jellystone Park

Jellystone Park. Just 45 minutes from home!! We had a BLAST!!!! However, my dad started hospice the day we were scheduled to leave. My dad said, "you are going. I will not let you steal any joy away from my grandkids. Have them come say goodbye, then go let them be children!" So, that's what we did! My kids all had some alone time with Pardner, to say their goodbyes. Dad was mostly sleeping during that visit, but my kids got their closure. Trent got his last hug...Trent LOVED to hug my dad! Then, Scott and the kids were off to Jellystone.

Jellystone was just a 27 minute drive from my dads. So, I was back and forth all weekend. This allowed time and space for ALL the family, friends that filled dads room. He was full of visitors. I spent hours there a day, and even spent the night with dad...just to drive back to Jellystone in the morning. So, I was divided all weekend.

My heart was fully with my dad, but I also had to wear my "protective momma" hat too. My children have seen enough with my dad. They came with me everyday for years. They have seen the sickest of sick. They have thought about death, pain, suffering, Heaven WAY more than any young children should. Way more than their brains are ready for. So, this time away allowed them closure. It was a really nice get-away. Simple, outdoors and just what we needed. Foam parties, golfing, waterslides, lazy river, camping activities, outdoor movies and more. Really good Texas style summer fun!

Every trip I would make back and forth, the kids would ask a lot of questions. I was honest with them from the start. They knew they would never see Pardner again. Trent said, "Pardner would really love it here. Let's call this our 'Pardner trip!'" My dad would have loved it. Simplicity at its finest.

It was a really a great trip of reflection. We talked about Pardner, A LOT! We talked about Heaven, A LOT! Their little minds grasp way more than we know! Their perspective actually really helped me during that weekend. I would drive back from holding my dads hand as he was drifting away...to watching my carefree children soak up the moment! Watching moments pass and slip away with my dad...to watching memories being made with my children. It was very therapeutic. And exactly what God had planned when we scheduled this trip months ago! 

There were a lot of hugs. Tons of laughs and excitement. My children LOVED Jellystone. I look forward to going back when I can be fully present. We will be back! Scott took over the weekend. He is amazing. He allowed me to go back and forth with grace. He really is my rock. My life.

I spent the night with my dad on the final night of our stay. I hugged dad and told him I had to drive back to pick up the kids from Jellystone. He died 14 minutes after I left. As the hospice nurse previously prepared me for by saying, "patients rarely die with their closest love in the room with them." Dad told her that I was his "everything." So, she prepared me...."when you are someones everything...they will not let go with their everything by their side." Well, she was right. 14 minutes after I drove away.

I talked to the nurse on the phone as I pulled up to the cabin to pick up the kids and Scott. I opened the door and said, "Pardner just passed. On my moms birthday!! They are together again. And he so peacefully went to Heaven." Scott got a slight panic in his eyes...thinking, "now what??" But quickly ran to hug me. A long hug. The kids saw the hug and immediately understood that Pardner was gone. There was relief, sadness, and happiness as I know mom greeted him at Heavens gates on her birthday! Jellystone will forever hold a special place in my heart. It is where I will forever remember my dads passing. It will forever be the place that brought joy during such a hard time. We love Jellystone!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Dad in Heaven

July 2, 2018. My dad, Sam Evetts, passed away. He was 75 years old, had 12 grandkids, and was married to mom for 38 years. He had a happy marriage and lived a full life. And I am still amazed that he died on my moms birthday!!! He worshiped my mom, and I just love that she greeted him in Heaven on her birthday. God orchestrates every detail so beautifully in His timing! 

We had his memorial service at our church, MDUMC. Then, we had a family/close friends reception at Carmelo's restaurant. Dad donated his body to science. He was giving till the end...he had hopes of his body educating medical students or finding the cure for kidney disease! So, we had huge pictures displayed at his service, then filled the restaurant with pictures throughout his life.

Dad got a kidney transplant 17 years ago. Although it lasted WAY longer than expected, it did fail after 16 years. So, the last year or so he has been struggling on dialysis. It was painfully hard on him from day 1. Dialysis broke him down. He was so frail. Bedridden and immobile for the past 8 months. To say he struggled is a huge understatement. He moved from his beloved senior living apartment into a skilled nursing home months ago. He needed around the clock care. His health declined from there.

He fell (when he still lived alone in senior living apartment) on Thanksgiving 2017. He broke his hip and never recovered. He was taken to dialysis by ambulance 3 times a week from that point on. He was never comfortable and wanted out of his own body for so long! However, his gentle heart and kind spirit remained.

I visited him often, but he didn't have the energy for visits over an hour. He was in and out of confusion. In and out of sleep. The toxins in his body from kidney failure was getting the best of him. But, he still fought until he couldn't fight anymore! We called in hospice and he passed just 3 days later. I have been my dads "protector" and caretaker for 13 years (since mom passed away.) He has been sick a while. He has needed me daily for most of my adult life. So, I was there until the end! God gave us a great gift with his final days. Dad was clear and able to visit with so many. He had a ton of visitors. Lots of time outside in the sunshine, lots of stories and music! Let me tell you....this man danced his way into Heaven...literally!

I laid on his bed, played music as he bounced his shoulders, twitched his eyes and wiggled his fingers (as if he was playing the piano!) He even reached for my hand to "spin" me while he danced. He was moaning to the words. He knew what I was playing. So, I played all his favorites. The nurse said, "he is having his last party!" I played the song he played mom on the piano every night (You Needed Me, by Anne Murray.) I told him "it's time you go dad. Go play this song for moms birthday." He moaned and nodded his head 'yes.' He literally fell into a coma right then and died SO very peacefully hours later. God's timing was glorified.

We were a well oiled machine, we kept each other going,and we were undeniably close in all my years of devotion to dad. A few months ago, he told me..."you have fought for me until your knuckles have bled. It is time you let go- so I can let go." So, I spent the night with him. The morning of July 2, I told dad "I have to go pick up the kids real quick. I'll be right back." I kissed his peaceful body. Then, he died 14 minutes later. He always told me "I won't let go until you do." So, I have now let go. Let go of my dad who was so ready to be in peace. He was ready, so I was ready.
My years of being his caretaker has ended. I asked dad, "what am I going to do with my time when you're gone?" And he said, "you're gonna breathe. Just breathe!" I have mourned the loss of my dad months ago. He has been gone for a while...his body has been here, but his fight drained him. I don't mourn his passing....because his passing gave him freedom. I mourn being parentless. But that too gives me peace because my parents are protecting and guiding me, hand in hand in Heaven.
Dad...you were the best. Simply amazing. Dad planned his funeral. He told me what hymns he wanted played. And that he wanted everyone to walk out to "Happy Trails" by Roy Rogers. Then, he wanted a reception full of FUN! Dancing, good music, drinks, food, family and friends. Well, dad...you would be proud! We did everything you requested and it was perfection! We love you and will forever honor your memory!