I mentioned in my last post that we had a long, hard journey ahead of us. As it turned out, my sweetie’s journey would end just six days after I typed those words. He is free of the cancer and pain and in glory with our Lord. And the long, hard journey is left for me to travel without him, but not alone; as our many friends and family are beside me all the way. My sweetie lived just 17 days with the knowledge that he had Leukemia; and he had only felt poorly for about 17-18 days prior to his diagnosis. We truly never do know what tomorrow has in store.
(I promise I’ll post about other things one day soon, but it’s healing for me to share his story, to share his light – he is so worth writing about, and worth reading about, too, IMHO. So bear with me…) :-)
The first day he felt really sick, sick enough to come home and go straight to bed, was Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14). I cancelled our dinner reservations, and the next morning made him come to the table and try to eat something before I drove him to the Urgent Care Clinic. I gave him a few small trinkets for Valentine’s Day, and a card in which I wrote “you make me happy every day”. The truest thing I could have written. Even on my “blue” days, he could bring a smile to my face.
He was my best friend, my Number One Cheerleader, and he supported everything I did to foster my creative spirit, (including encouraging the purchase of MORE fabric and traveling to quilt retreats!). We had less than nine years together, finding our perfect mates later in life, but they were truly wonderful years. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you might remember my Wedding Wednesday posts, when I blogged each week about the plans for our April 2011 wedding. He’s always been referred to as “my sweetie” here, maybe in part because we were still newlyweds. But I’d like to think if we were married 30 years instead of just shy of 3 years, I never would have stopped referring to him as My Sweetie; because he absolutely was. This is one of my favorite photos of him from our Wedding Day, his oldest daughter is pinning his boutonnière on before the ceremony. His face is so full of joy, as it often was, but he was so happy that day and every. single. photo. of him shows it all over his face.
I was so blessed to be loved by him. Yes, I’m angry for what we didn’t get to experience together, for what he was cheated out of, but I am so, so thankful for what we did experience together. I can’t say my Faith was not shaken by the outcome of his illness; but I am grateful that I have the Faith we shared to get me through this. My life will never be the same, for better or for worse, and I miss him like crazy. But, he would want me to move forward, press on, and live a good life. So, I’m going to do my best to do just that. My little brother and I made a road trip the day after the funeral to see my sweetie’s favorite musician in concert, at the same theater that Frank first took me to see him, in June 2007. As my little brother put it, “It was a great show, a great trip and an overall great time. We told stories, laughed, cried and peeled thru piles & piles of kleenex.” True story. (Thanks again, Ted).
Frank was admitted to the hospital on a Friday evening, the following Monday was February 24th, the day this was announced. He and I knew the previous Thursday that my quilt had been selected the 1st Place Winner; but it was hush-hush. He kept asking me that Monday if the “internet had lit up with my quilt yet”. He was crazy proud of that accomplishment and told anyone who would listen. I was amazed at how many of his doctors and nurses were either quilters themselves or married to quilters–Quilters are everywhere I tell you! My prize for winning the Riley Blake Challenge came a few weeks ago:
There are 45 fat quarters, (I believe) every color of the new Riley Blake Solids! A Rainbow of cheer, for sure. There are also two 3.5″ Stackers of Riley Blake’s Star Spangled line. Expect to see a Row House Creations project using the Star Spangled fabric!
I’m slowly getting back into sewing and quilting, I returned to work this week, and I have a quilt retreat scheduled for the end of the month. And I cannot wait to go see my Modern Quilt Guild girls next Friday! I promise some sewing and quilting posts again, soon!