Friday, December 26, 2008

Hope for Christmas

This blog is late being posted because our internet has been down since I started writing it and it just hasn't been a priority to get it back going but I do apologize for the lack of updates for those of you depending on the blog for Hope's health updates. For a month it has been my one goal to have our Hope home for Christmas and it appeared everything was on course after coming home the Thursday before Christmas. We spent the next 6 days and 5 nights trying to keep her comfortable with multiple emergency late night visits from the Hospice team and Rochelle, one of Hope's all-time best friends and one of my first friends when I moved here in 5th grade. She's a nurse with a daughter in Nathan's class so almost daily we have requested babysitting, a shoulder to cry on, transportation, and medical advice. We had only one good night, and it was obvious we had to have 24-hour attention at this point to make it. I just could not keep up after Hope and the boys even with all the love and support from our friends, family, and hospice.

After fighting with the insurance agency (at one point I was on the phone with them saying I would send them a U-Tube video of Hope, have them talk to the hospice nurses which they actually did, and then I would send them another video of our two children begging for their mom to be home for her final Christmas) they finally relented and offered 24 service until Friday morning. My Christmas wish fell apart late afternoon on Christmas eve when there was no other choice but to bring her back to hospice as she almost stopped breathing completely, and swelled up so much calling her Peter Griffin with chicken legs (by the way I always love the impromptu fight scenes on Family Guy between Peter and the chicken) did not do it justice. It was one of the scariest things I had ever seen, worse then my brother Kurt's bedhead.

So we had a quiet Christmas morning at our house, my parents spent the night, and we opened our gifts. Hope's two brothers and their families joined us late morning before we all came to the hospital to open Hope's gifts and let the boys help her out. Christmas night my brother and his two children arrived followed the next afternoon by my cousin Brad, his wife and two kids from Maine (after driving 22 straight hours to be here they came straight to the hospital and visited with her the last time she was communicative). They are all staying at our house helping with everything and making it as easy as they can on the boys and I. The two grandmas and Hope's brother Will, his wife and two children are also here making it easier on everyone. Our wonderful neighbors, and long-time friends Ann-Marie, Jennifer, Cheryl and many more are helping too. Everyone that has ever encountered Hope loves her, and the silver lining of this tragedy is that it has brought everyone closer together along with defining what the true spirit of Christmas is for all of us.

I am also proud to say that with the unbelievable help of my office, I was able to buy every Christmas present in 2.5 hours on Wednesday afternoon for the boys and family to have an amazing Christmas. I am even prouder to say I didn't have to go into a mall, to get it done. An amazingly generous and anonymous donor from Nathan's school donated some incredible presents that were perfect for our boys. I'll never forget the love and support we have received from both schools as well. Don't worry, I'll be asking for more help in the future too but I'm certainly not going to be the only single dad around. I have coached all of Nathan's teams he's ever played on and plan to try and do the same for Reese. However I'll have to start taking the advice of an old coach of mine to select the kids based on the GLM principle (Good Looking Moms) so we might not win any games but we'll have the best looking fans in the stands.

There's no easy way to tell the rest of this update as Hope is no longer able to talk, write notes, or communicate in any way. She is resting comfortably except for a bed sore we're working on. Her breathing is intermittent, her swelling is down, and she basically does not open her eyes anymore. She has already begun the process of her spirit leaving her body, and our friends and family have told her it's okay to go. It could be minutes or days, but soon Heaven is going to have the greatest spirit we have all been lucky enough to encounter in our lives. We will always be a family, she has promised to haunt me and the boys, and she will be with us forever. We have no regrets, and she made me the happiest man in the world for a long time along with giving me the two greatest presents ever.

We have been open and honest with our boys since birth, and this process has been no exception. Last night Reese told me he wanted to die with Mommy, and there is no tougher conversation to endure in the world then ones we have with the boys every few days. They each have a new stuffed animal that we told them they can squeeze tight and Mommy will feel the hugs. She will always be with us and listening so they can always talk to her no matter what is going on. They have otherwise been acting fine, just loving all the extra play time with cousins. They have 6 (yes that's not a typo) light sabers after Christmas morning so our house has become like the Death Star and the play room looks like the Jawas Rover after the storm troopers destroyed it (now I know no one will get that reference unless they are a sci-fi freak --- so both of Hope's brothers get it --- or have kids like I do that love Ewoks more than their Dad).

At this point I honestly want and have asked Hope to move on quickly. It should be painless and easy on her already ravaged body. It won't be easy on anyone that ever knew her, but I don't think death ever is. I am hoping she passes in 2008, because this year already sucks and I'm up for a fresh start and celebration of Hope's life in 2009. If we could just eliminate from 11 June 2008 on my eyes might not look like Cheech and Chong as they tried to climb out of jail look at "Uranus" and the bags under my eyes would not look like Rocky after the first Clubber Lang (Mr. T) fight in Rocky III when his manager Mic died. Goodbye 2008, you really sucked, and let's all hope 2009 brings a fresh new start from the President to the economy to my family being boring and not needing any attention. Love to all of you and thanks for all the support to get us through this.

- Just Jake.


Pam said...

Love and peace for all of you with strength for the days ahead. May the new year bring a time of rest, renewal and healing for you.

Myrtle's Mayhem said...

May God bless you and your family. You continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

May God bless you with more strength for the coming days. You & the boys are in my prayers daily.
Melissa Hadwin

Life is beautiful... Mostly said...

We are praying for peace for Hope and your family. Love and strength to you.


Anonymous said...

I pay for peace and rest for you, your family, and your friends. In your sadness and anguish I am thankful for the reminder of how fragile and unpredictable life is.
Love & strength to you all!

Anonymous said...

HOPE for peace, HOPE for strength, HOPE for courage and HOPE for the future. Accept help with an open heart and open arms, just like HOPE would give. Let us pay it forward
to you and your family, for one
day you and the boys will be able to do the same. 2009 will be here
shortly - may it start with peace.

Karen Price

Mom Tu-Tu said...

I haven't been to Hope's blog in months and I was so sad to read about what has happened to your family. Her blog was always a bright spot in life! I'm so sorry!

Anonymous said...

Durant and I think of you and speak of you often. The Wise family has our prayers, tears and heartfelt concern. I pray for strength and courage to get you through this dark winter. Love Courtney

Tom said...


In times like this we pray harder than ever. To know Jesus is the key to Heavens Gates.
Want you to know we pray for you, Jake and the boys everyday.
I pray that your at Peace and have Faith. It is OK to go home if that is the way God has planned it. He has a plan for us all but sometime another force interfear with God's plan. We pray that God has Blessed you and all of your family.
Lord be with Hope, Jake and the boys. Bless them keep them filled with the Holy Spirit, Let them feel you there with them. They need you dear Lord, show them the way. In Jesus Name Amen

Tom Bartholic
Stephen Minister

buhtafly said...

I am just at a loss for words.. :( My heart just breaks.. May God shower you and the boys with peace, comfort, strength and prayers are with you, the boys and most of all Hope.

Bree Hughes

Anonymous said...

Hope has had such an impact on my life, and I wish her peace as she enters her new life as an angel she has destined to become to watch over you, Nathan, and Reese. Jim and I right near you, please call for anything you need from help with the boys, to just sitting watching the Noles! You are all loved and thought of every moment of the day now for weeks since I've heard the news! We're there in your pocket, Hope's love and strength is in my heart always! hugs, Joanne Price