Thursday, June 3, 2010

♥ How we began

So here is a picture of last year's garden *Rick's favorite place to be from late February until late October! He worked in that garden every day. This particular area is not the area where he was saved by God's grace, but it is his garden.

Tonight a friend at work said, "I really want to read your blog, but I was hoping for the beginning of your story, not the sad part first." So I thought about it; and I decided that for a few posts I would talk about how we met and our life together. I needed that sad part to help me deal with losing my very best friend from the past 26 years. Even though I know he couldn't stay, I am selfish. I really wanted this to have a very different outcome. So writing about it has helped. Another friend told me writing was like soup for the soul. I believe her! Thanks Tammy! I would post some pictures from the "old days" but we lost all of those in 1998 when our house burned. If my mom or Beverly has some pictures from then, I will copy them and post some of them.

So here it is Rindy, from the beginning:

October 13 1984

It was a rainy Saturday night. I had just finished a very difficult 12 hour shift in CCU. At that time, we were only working 8 hour shifts, and 12 hours were pretty much unheard of. So I was exhausted and had sat down on the couch. I was waiting for my roommate to come home from work so we could talk about some issues concerning the house. Anyway, I was "rudely" awakened by a ringing noise--it was the phone! In my tiredness, I thought I had overslept and it was CCU telling me I was late for work. I was in a fog--how could that be-- Fantasy Island was on and I'd left the front door wide open! Anyway, I came to myself and realized I needed to answer the phone. It was a neighbor who had been introducing me to friends of his trying to "fix me up" with someone. I said I was exhausted and really didn't feel like meeting anyone. He would not hear of it. He said "we will be right over" and they were! He introduced us and scampered back across the street leaving me with this stranger. We started talking and the next thing I knew it was 2 hours later. I had to be up in 5 hours for another 12 hour shift!

He said, lets go to Shoney's for the breakfast bar. Back then every Friday and Saturday night at midnight they had their breakfast bar open. We went. We were out until after 2 am. He took me back home and we decided we would see each other again. I knew that night he was the man I would eventually marry. Some of my other neighbors told me I needed to leave him alone, he was too old for me. I told them it was none of their business! He was 11 1/2 years older than me and very set in his ways! I was 25 1/2 years old, he was about to be 37. The age difference did not bother me. I was off work on Monday so we made a date for me to cook supper on Monday.

He called me after I got off work Sunday night. We talked for several hours. I found out how much he liked coffee. I did not even own a coffee pot! I went to the grocery for chicken and whatever else I was gonna fix. I also bought some instant Folgers coffee. I had a ceramic tea pot so I made instant coffee in it. It must have been horrible. He drank the whole pot and asked me how I made it. I told him. He said it was very good and that he thought it was "perked" coffee! Of course, I believed every word he told me. I always did!

There were many more "home cooked meals" and dinners out and picnics at the relatively new Three Springs Park. (now Basil Griffin Park I think.) We fed the geese there many times.

Christmas eve 1984 we were opening gifts. He got on one knee, took my hand and asked me if I would marry him! I cried. I also said 'yes' without hesitation. Christmas day we went to my parents for Christmas lunch. I had to be at work at 3 pm. He went into the living room and asked my dad for permission to marry me. He said whatever I wanted to do. I thought that was very sweet.

February 1985 Delores Wisdom, Debbie Daugherty and I went to Lexington KY to sit for the CCRN exam. There were only 2 nurses at our hospital certified in critical care. They were Lea Ann Cook and Alice Phelps. We took our test which then was a 4 hour paper test proctored and taken by probably 100 nurses. Rick had been there when we studied. We had a book of 100's of questions. We could tell you why the right answers were right and the wrong answers were wrong! We had mnemonics to help us remember various things such as which murmurs were systolic and which were diastolic. If you wanna know the mnemonic for the murmurs ask me and I will tell you. We told Dr. Fitts about it one night at work. He said that is all well and good to memorize the words but LEARN why the murmurs are what they are. We did and I still remember that today. Had I just kept the mnemonic, I may have never actually learned a valuable lesson. Anyway, we took the test and 2 of the 3 of us passed. I have maintained that certification since then. I haven't asked Dee if she still has hers. With Rick being there while we studied, he learned a lot about critical care issues. You would be amazed with NO medical background just listening to 3 nurses studying how much you pick up. He could talk MI's with the best nurses!

We were going to be married in May but he date had to be pushed forward because of job issues with Rick. I was OK with it because I wanted everything to be right. On July 3, 1985 we went to eat lunch at Sonic. Then we drove south where we were married in Springfield TN. We came home to our trailer after going out to eat at Bonanza Steak House. We didn't really have the money for a wedding trip at that time.

On January 14, 1986 4:41 pm (2 1/2 weeks late) a 10 pound 5 1/4 oz 22 inch long baby girl was born by cesarean section. We named her Valarie Kristen. Yeah, do the math! She did! I woke in recovery in much pain thinking 'put the baby back - I will just stay pregnant forever' - it hurt sooo bad! Labor had not progressed....actually it never started on its own! Membranes ruptured the midnight before and no labor. 7 am no labor. 10 am pitocin (I hate that drug) was started and ouch! Very strong contractions from the first one. Yes, I am a wimp!!! At about 3 pm, the nurses came running in. They flipped me on my side so fast your head would spin! The baby had experienced a "late decel" which meant her heart rate dropped after a contraction was over. If that happened again we would be going for a section. Well, in about a 45 minutes it did happen again. The pit was stopped, same thing happened except they said sign here, up on my side non-rebreather mask on me and running down the hall towards the OR! They moved me over to the OR table and a contraction made me sit up! Dr. Hatcher said you will have to lie down. I told him the baby made me do it! He didn't laugh. The CRNA, Ed Petrusch (Emily's dad) said "I will help you!" I didn't remember anything else until I woke briefly in the OR with the ETT still in. YUK. Then I was out again and in recovery as I said already. In a little while after a bit of morphine or demerol or some good pain reliever, they let Rick come in. See, he couldn't be in the delivery because of that wimp thing I had no epidural and had to be put to sleep for her to be born. He had tears in his eyes. He had held her. I thought something was wrong. He said, no, everything is right! He had talked to her every day since we found out she was coming. She was crying in the nursery. He said "shhh, baby girl, daddy is here" and she did! A bond was built between them that was stretched a little as she got in her late teens and early 20's but never broken. She was holding his hand on one side and me the other when he left us. Sorry Rindy!

When Valarie was about 14 months old Rick moved to Massachusetts to stay working for GM. He had been a local hire at Corvette and when they shut down the second shift all the local hires were laid off. To stay with GM, we had to move. He went first, got established and I followed in July with Val. We sold the trailer, packed up and moved 1100 miles away! I had been out of the state two or three times, once the summer before I started eighth grade mom and I went to Fredricksburg VA with my uncle (her brother) to see his family. The other time or two was to Rivergate Mall. Talk about culture shock!

Rick had learned his way around way up there and taught me how to get around there. I worked in Worcester MA at the University of MA Medical Center in the CCU. I was amazed when I first got there when I heard report for the first time--they were giving IV NTG (nitroglycerin) to a patient at 1000 mcg per minute! We rarely got up to let alone over 50 or 60 mics here. I was also amazed by the fact that that was about the only difference in the care delivered to acute MI (heart attack for you non medical folks) in that large city and little old Bowling Green KY!!

He had also made some very wonderful friends there who became like our family and also became substitute grandparents for Val. We spent holidays and birthdays with them. We stayed in contact with them even after we moved back here. Jack passed away about 10 years ago, but Aurora is still alive. She taught Val to count to 10 in Spanish before she could count to ten in English! They cried like babies (as did we) when we moved back.

To be continued.....

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