9.11.14. A totally crazy day.
The kids had early dismissal day from school, so I picked them up at 10:45 and ran a few errands. We stopped at Kroger to get ice and a few groceries. I walked out to unlock the van and soon learned the battery in our remote was dead (and the little key inside wasn't working either), so we were stranded. All four of us. In the Kroger parking lot. In the rain.
There was nothing anyone else could do, so I called Scot and he rushed from work to help. An hour later with a spare key in hand, groceries retrieved from Kroger's freezer in the back - and we were good as new.
Then, I got the call that our sweet neighbor Patsy passed away. I was heartbroken. Patsy wasn't just a neighbor to us. She was a grandmother, a friend, our "little Bitty" and neighborhood crime watcher. She was like a second mother to me and Scot in many ways, we already miss her dearly.
This was her when we visited just a few weeks ago:
But, this is how I want to remember her:
Her fiestiness. Her stubbornness. Her zest for life.
She was funny, sarcastic.
A strong, independent woman.
Caring for her three children, while working two jobs as a single mother through life.
She craved love, but never received it from a man.
She loved her family and loved them well. Her family loved her dearly.
She cooked and cleaned and baked all her life.
(Her Baked Ziti with homemade meatballs was the b-o-m-b.)
She loved nature, working in her garden outdoors.
She taught Jake how to rake and bag leaves, giving him his first paying job.
She brought over goodies for the kids at Halloween, Christmas and Easter.
She let us swim in her pool whenever we wanted.
She loved her dog Punkin. And fed her dog well. (Like baked chicken kind-of-well.)
She cracked jokes and made hard things like chemo and death look like fun.
She was a hairdresser. A mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, too.
A Stage IV lung cancer survivor.
Then, God called her home.
She was with us after the births of our two babies. Brought countless meals over after illnesses and surgeries. Held babies, babysat kids. Came over twice during the night to stay with the kids, while Scot rushed me to the hospital for emergency surgery. Saved the day when Brooklyn locked us out of the house, all piled in her car to pick up Jake from school.
And the night I'll never forget - the night I broke down at Walmart. Connor was just 7 weeks old at the time, and he had been having screaming/crying fits for hours at a time for weeks. Mostly at night. This night was no different. Except we desperately needed some groceries. Scot stayed home with the kids and I took fussy Connor to Walmart with me, thinking he'd fall asleep on the way there. He woke up halfway through our grocery trip, screaming in pain and red in the face. I tried rocking him, giving him a bottle, gas drops, burping him, checking his diaper...nothing worked. I was so exhausted, so drained, so helpless, so overwhelmed - I literally stood there in the baby aisle with a screaming baby in my arms and just bawled. I knew something wasn't right. And it paralyzed me not knowing what it was.
A sweet Walmart employee happened to walk by a few minutes later and helped me to the checkout counter, loaded up my groceries for me and swiped my debit card. I barely made it home through the tears, and Patsy greeted me at the door when I got home. Scot had called her and said we needed help. He had never seen me like that before, and I'm sure it scared him.
Patsy took Connor in her arms and, somehow, rocked and sang him to sleep, while I took my first shower in days. Scot unloaded groceries and put everything away. A week later, we discovered Connor's severe milk protein allergy and switched formulas. A week after that, Connor was rushed to Vanderbilt for a CT scan and underwent emergency surgery for pyloric stenosis.
Patsy was such a huge support system to our family. We couldn't have gone through all that we did without her.
My only hope is that I can love and serve others in my life like she did for us because just one meal, one kind word, one night of help can literally change someone's life. Our lives are forever changed because of her.
9.11.14. A day we'll never forget.