The Ever Controversial Flu Shot

You know what, I am just sick and tired of hearing everyone bash the flu shot.  It grinds my gears, gets my goat, pisses me off to no avail.  Every time one of my friends posts about it on Facebook, I can feel my blood boil and my blood pressure rise a million miles a minute.

My first husband DIED because of H1N1 back in 2009.  You know why? Because he didn’t have the flu shot. Because he was one of the unlucky ones.

So here’s a big fuck you to all of you flu shot naysayers.  Go ahead and don’t get it if you don’t want, but don’t come crying back to me or society when someone in your family dies from the flu, because I just wont care.  I’ll say “I told you so”.

Never will one of my children or I skip the flu shot. I will not take risks with my children’s heath, and I refuse to let that disease ruin my life for a second time.  Do you know what H1N1 did to my husband?

First, it made him sick.  He had a very high fever and vomiting, and chills.  He was coughing like no body’s business..  He was really sick at the end of September 09, and I told him I was worried about him, and he said to me “Don’t worry, if I feel like I’m going to die, I’ll go to a hospital”.

I brought him to the hospital October 3d and he never came home.  H1N1 caused him to get the flu, bilateral multilobar pneumonia (which in layman’s terms means he had really awful pneumonia in BOTH lungs), and then it caused a blood clot.  The blood clot caused him to go into cardiac arrest.  There is nothing worse than hearing your husband’s last words, as he looks at you with a haunting look in his eyes, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,  why can’t I breathe?”  I never got to talk to him again, only rub his legs in comfort, as the nurses rushed me out of the room as code blue was called.

So again…fuck you to all the flu shot naysayers.

 

*this post brought to you by another ignorant Facebook poster who has now been unfriended.  I’m going to go outside now and pick up my youngest from school because I can feel an anxiety attack hitting me as I write this. I don’t want to cry right now :(

Dear Barry…

Dearest Barry,

Seems like it’s that time again, time for your letter that I write you every year.  Like always, I start this letter a couple of weeks before your death anniversary as it allows me time to work on my feelings and process things yet again, rather than forcing myself to do it all in one day.  Good thing I am wearing waterproof mascara today!

I can’t believe it has been three years.  I think you started getting sick right about this time in 2009 (late September), and I remember how worried I was.  You just weren’t getting better, and I confessed my fears to you about you dying.  I was so scared.  I remember how you told me “don’t worry, if I feel like I’m going to die, I’ll go to the hospital”.  And you did.  And you never came home.  I’ve had so much time to reflect on our marriage, and after you died, I remembered how I always had this feeling that I wouldn’t get forever with you. You always said you would die young, and I didn’t want to believe it, but deep down I knew, but hoping it would never come true.

I miss you.  I will always miss you, and I will always love you.  Did you know we still talk about you every single day? Not a day goes by that you don’t enter our thoughts or pop up in conversation.  I make sure to do that for the kids, as it’s important that you are kept alive in them.  I still cry for you, though not as often.  I think the third year has been the easiest for me.  The first I was in a total fog and just putting one foot in front of the other.  The second was the absolute hardest for me, so far.  The fog had lifted, and I was left with two broken hearts…one from you, and one from a jackass that took advantage of me.  Everything was so real last year, final…it had all sunk in.  Then this year…while it has been the easiest of the three, it has not been without its trials as well.  Our family has definitely been on a roller coaster, and I am still trying to make heads or tails of it all.

I met a man a year ago on eHarmony.  I didn’t want to join, but several friends pushed me towards it, and I reluctantly joined.  Less than a month after I joined, he and I went on our first date on October 15th, and then this past August, he proposed! Oh Barry, you have sent me such a gift in Andrew.  How lucky am I to find two men who have loved me with every fiber of their being?  He loves the kids, and he is so respectful of your memory, and he also talks about you with them as well.  He is a wonderful man, and has pushed me and pushed me out of my shell, just like you wanted.  Guess what I accomplished this year? I hiked mountains!  Yes, ME!  I look back to the person I was three years ago, and the concept of even thinking about that was foreign to me, but I did it!

We’re getting married next year, and Andrew suggested we have a chair reserved for you at the front where the kids will be sitting.  And a picture of you as well <3 He wants you to know that we will always remember you, and how this family started.  Our son will be walking me down the aisle, giving me away.  Speaking of the kids…you would be so proud of them.  They are growing and changing every day.  V & M will be 12 in a few short months…remember the day we found out we were having twins? “Ya, I zink I zee two in there” with Dr Westerburg? I was only 19 years old and you were 20! we were babies ourselves, and now our babies will be teenagers in just over a year.  The boy is already almost as tall as me! Less than an inch  to go now :) He looks just like you, and I love that. I can see your face through him as he grows up.  He got a much coveted spot on a basketball team and starts in November! He’s 5’8″ now!  The girls….V is such a little lady.  She inherited the short gene from your mother and we always tease her about it.  But the pipes on that girl! Oh can she sing!  I’ve put her in voice lessons and her coach is looking for a spot for her in one of his bands.  She is going to give us trouble when she is older, I can see it now…and all the boys will love her. Oy.

E…E is still her same self that she was three years ago.  She hates the thought of growing up, scoffs at the thought that she has to wear a bra soon, is still a tomboy, and her hair is a wild untamed mess of thick unruly curls.  She has a gentle heart though, and is such a sweetheart who still loves giving hugs all the time. All she wants for her birthday again is Art Supplies!  I can’t believe our little indian papoose will be 10 in less than two weeks! She is having her first sleepover party this year and is so excited for it! A is in first grade now…our little baby is almost 7 years old!  She takes after her oldest sister, and is a total girly girl.  She is reading like a champ, taught herself how to tie her own shoes!, and loves birds.  She’s still as quirky as ever though, and has a toy lizard that she named….Bacon. I can’t believe that our children are growing up so fast, they will be out of the house in a blink of an eye.

I cried writing this to you, as I always do.  I promise to always hold you close to my heart, to always remember you and make sure you are remembered.  I will always talk about you with the kids, and anyone else who will listen.  You will live on forever because you will always be loved.  Thank you for watching out for us, and sending Andrew our way.  As hard as my life has been the last few years, I feel blessed to have, and have had, the love that surrounds me.  Thank you for giving me four wonderful children, who at times make me want to run away forever and forget I am a mother, but also allow me to see you through them every single day.

Love forever and always,

me

xoxoxoxp

A Winding Down Summer…

Less than a month till my kids go back to school, and I am eagerly counting the days.  I don’t do well during summer break, as it throws my entire schedule out of whack.  I can never get to bed on time, or wake up on time either, which leads into me feeling like a big ‘ol slob!  Needless to say, I am definitely looking forward to September 5th, when all four of my babies will be back on a normal school schedule.

Fall is my favorite time of year, but it also brings a lot of heartache and joy for our family.10 years ago, I was 8 months pregnant with our third child, a girl, who was born on October 8th. Three years ago, we were a family of 6, and I was again, looking forward to summer break being over.  Little did I know that the next two months were the last two we’d have as a family of six with my husband.  He did October 10th, 2009 due to severe and horrific complications from H1N1 (Please, get your flu shot every.single.year).

I was only writing about this because on twitter today, a friend of mine asked me about his death, and how our daughter handled it.  You see, he died on the day of her 7th birthday party.  Not many people can say they have had that “privilege”, can they? I woke up on the 10th, the day of her party, and headed to the hospital for a short visit before the party festivities began.  She was having a halloween themed birthday party at a local glow-in-the-dark mini golf place here in town.  Thankfully I had prepped all the party stuff beforehand, as all hell broke loose less than an hour after I got there.  I’m not ready to share the gory details yet, and I am not sure if I ever will be, but what I am about to write will be a true testament to my strength.  Strength that I didn’t even know I had, strength that came out of the depths of my soul and heartache, strength that made me keep putting one foot in front of the other.

My husband died less than two hours after I got to the hospital.  The party was supposed to be at 1PM.  Shortly after he died, I had to call my mom at my house to tell her I couldn’t make it to the party.  I remember standing at the nurses station, phone in my left hand, tissue in the right, and steeling myself as I made that phone call.

“Mom, B is very sick.  I can’t make it to the party, they don’t want me to leave.  You’re going to have to take care of it for me.  Everything is ready and in the bags by the front door, and you can pick up the cake at Safeway at noon.  Tell E I’m sorry and I love her”.

But he had already died.  I couldn’t tell her, I couldn’t tell the kids, and most of all…I COULD NOT ruin her 7th birthday party.  I just couldn’t do it.  So I bore that heartache by myself till two friends came to the hospital, and thankfully the nurses called them to be at my side.

I don’t remember much of the timeline after that, but one friend went to the party and told my mom, and took my mini van to pick up the kids, leaving my mom to drive her car.  She told my mom privately, and my mom sped home to meet me there.  Another friend drove me home and forced me to eat some yogurt.  To this day, I can not stomach yoplait light yogurt, the taste and texture of it makes me gag and feel like I am going to vomit.  The kids probably came home at 3 something, I don’t remember much of that.  They burst into the door with my friend Sara, all excited and full of sugar.  But they didn’t see me, my mom, Angela, Lisa…all of us sitting around the kitchen table.  All four ladies grabbed a kid and held them as I told them the worst thing I have ever had to tell them.

“Your daddy was so sick, and the doctors couldn’t fix his heart.  He died this morning”.

To see their little faces crumple into sorrow was one of the worst things I have ever had to experience.

I honestly don’t know how I held my composure as I called my mom that morning.  And I hope one day that the kids, and E especially, will understand why I did things the way I did. Out of a mother’s love.  Every year since then, I’ve made it a huge point to make a big deal out of her birthday.  All we have are bad memories of her birthday now, but hopefully the following years will help negate some of that.

I think I rambled a bit… I had a 2nd point to this blog post, but the first half got away from me!

My other point was that, though we have so much tragedy surrounding the  month of October, our lives are also changing, and some really awesome things are starting to happen already that will be fully implemented this fall.  He would have wanted that, for us to move on and be happy.  B was the beginning of my life, my 20s, the man that gave me four wonderful (yet very annoying lol) children, but I am ready for more.  I am ready to LIVE again, I want to be a wife again….but I will always remember and love him.  Always.

Mr eHarmony and I are coming up on a year of dating, can you believe it? I never thought I’d find someone who reminded me so much of my late husband!  He is a real blessing to this family, and I can’t imagine life without him.  He makes me laugh and snort in ways I thought would never be possible again.

This post is getting quite long already, so I’ll just give you some “teasers” and write about them later on…. We’re taking the next step in our realtionship! And taking an amazing family vacation to LA/Disneyland in November.

More on that…..soon!