Saturday, November 14, 2015

Birthdays, Blindsides, and Goodbye Kisses

We couldn't believe how quickly September had come and gone.  We were in full-scale planning for all things Fall & Winter.  October is a jam packed Birthday month.  Josiah was about to turn 4.  My birthday is at the end of the month.  We had a birthday celebration planned.  Our annual trip to the pumpkin patch was approaching.  We decided, this year, to bypass the mall trick-or-treating and take the boys "real" trick-or-treating - we were going with Josiah's best friend & her family!  Things familiar and new - we couldn't wait.

The boys had their flu shots.  Carl had a few MD appointments.  By Columbus Day weekend, we all had colds.  New England living makes this a common occurrence - cold one day, hot the next.  This wasn't unusual, nor did it concern us.

On Sunday, October 11th, family gathered to celebrate the 4 October birthdays.  It was a beautiful day.  Carl spent a lot of time outside with the boys.  We enjoyed good food, exchanged gifts, had cake, and celebrated a day of making memories.  The boys were happy.  I was happy.  Carl was happy.

On Monday, Josiah turned 4.   Carl had an MD appt.  I took the boys to a dentist appointment.  After, we met up with Carl at the YMCA.  We had registered the big boys for their first-ever mud run!  We spent a beautiful afternoon together.  It was a gorgeous day.  The boys had a blast and each won a medal.  Carl got a call, from his doctor, in the afternoon.  Carl had pneumonia.

Carl had gone through bouts of pneumonia countless times in his life.  This was not new to him.  It was not concerning.  A prescription was called in and we headed home.  The boys had school on Tuesday.

Tuesday & Wednesday were normal school days.  They were routine, at home, for Carl & I.  Thursday morning, we put the kids on their buses, for school.  Carl waved goodbye as the buses drove away - just as he does every morning.

Carl didn't seem to be getting better.  If anything, he seemed worse.  After some pleading, and a call to the MD, Carl agreed to let me drive him to the e.r.  We were sure he simply needed a more powerful antibiotic.  We weren't concerned.  Josiah and I brought Carl to the e.r. and said we'd see him later.

Carl was admitted to the hospital, for pneumonia.  He was being pumped full of antibiotics.  Friday, the boys and I went about our normal routine.  We talked to Daddy on the phone, Friday night.

By Saturday morning, I was concerned about Josiah's cough.  So, I bypassed the pediatrician and headed straight to the Children's Hospital.  I missed Carl & wished he were with us.  I thought about the last 10 years of Carl's health issues - chronic ulcers, several near death experiences, and several major surgeries.  He came through all of it.  He was a fighter.  This was just pneumonia.  This was nothing, comparatively speaking.

At 11am, we were still in the e.r.  Josiah had been seen but we were waiting for scripts, etc.  Josiah had bronchitis and an ear infection.  I realized that I had missed a call from the local hospital.  The message - Carl was in critical condition.  I called & spoke with the ICU MD.  Carl had strep pneumonia which had seeped into his blood stream; he was in septic shock.  I looked at the 3 boys through the window of that little room.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

We were able to leave a short time later.  Carl's brother was cutting a trip short; he was headed home to be with Carl. 

Carl's condition continued to spiral.  Strep pneumonia.  Septic shock.  Kidney failure.  Catastrophic medical phenomena continued.  I made two trips to the hospital to see him.  I kissed him, held his hand, thanked him for being my husband, thanked him for being an awesome father to our children.  I begged him to fight & told him how much we loved him.  His brother spent hours at his bedside.

On Monday, October 19th, at 8:13am - Carl took his last breath.

How had we gotten here?  How could I be saying goodbye to my Love?  How could this be happening?  One week before, we cheered our boys on during their mud run.  Now I prepared for the bus to arrive home.  Now I had to tell the boys that Daddy was gone.

A week before, it was picture perfect.  It was perfect until it was no longer.....


  1. I am so incredibly saddened to learn of your loss, Julie and of your boys' loss. I know we're friends on Fb too, but somehow this was not something I saw. I wish you all my light, all my love, all my support, and all my strength.