Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Reminder to Live Well

I started this 2 months ago, but haven't taken the time to finish it until now.

My Boo (grandfather) unexpected passed away on Feb 15 and I've been reminded on how precious the little moments in life are. We've been spending extra time as a family and not worrying as much about the tidiness of our house. We've had extra family in town and have been trying to figure out what the future looks like.

Boo slipped and hit his head in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Feb 7 causing a severe head injury. He and Nana were set to fly home the next day after waiting for some official forms from the Mexican government. We had a weekend full of celebration planned (Adrian's birthday) and could not wait to see them. My mom flew down as soon as she heard that he fell and together with my Nana, they made a plan to fly him back to Colorado, via air ambulance. We are incredibly fortunate to have friends in the medical field, who assisted in getting everything set-up, reviewed CAT scans, and provided the insight needed. Once back in Colorado, they took him off the sedatives to determine what the damage was - and it wasn't good. Within 18 hours, they told us that the expected level of brain activity wasn't there and he was brain-dead. Nana made the hardest decision in the world to take him off life-support, but that was his wish - he didn't want to be a vegetable. So on Friday, Feb 15th life support was removed and my Boo passed away shortly after. We were by his side the whole time, loving him to the end.

My Nana and Boo spent 56 years together and were truly each other's best friend. I had the amazing opportunity to grow up in the same town as them and spent every holiday and special event with them. I can't remember any special event that they were not apart of. I have the unique opportunity to know them not just as grandparents, but as great friends. Richard and I have sought them out for opinions and advice, gone to dinner with them just to enjoy their company, and spent many hours playing cards together. We treasured any time that we got to spend with them and the time that Adrian got to spend with Boo. 

My Nana and Boo did marriage right. I'm sure they had their troubles, but they deeply cared for one another. We would see them occasionally pick at each other, but it was always in a playful, loving manner. In the last few moments of Boo's life, I witnessed my Nana's heart break. He was taken off life support and once his heart rate was 0, my Nana leaned over and whispered something in his ear. Boo's heart rate jumped-up again, for just a few moments, but I think he knew that the love of his life was talking to him.

My Boo was a trouble-maker and the life of the party. He was a music teacher for many years and retired in the early 90's. He played in and with many bands and even some big name musicians. He instilled a love a music in his daughters and grand-children. Below is his obituary (edited for privacy):

Charles Ray D was born February 25, 1935 in Ponca City, Oklahoma to the late Edward C. and Sarah (Andrew) D. The nickname "Toby" was given to him as a child by his beloved uncle, Walt Andrew, and it served him well all his life. 

Toby attended Ponca City schools where his love of music was nurtured. He played his first dance job while in high school. Attending Phillips University in Enid, OK, he continued his study of and performance of music, graduating in 1957.

Toby taught music at all levels from Kindergarten through 12 during his career, starting in Oklahoma and Kansas. The family relocated to Broomfield, Colorado in 1964, where he was employed by Adams County School District #14 until his retirement in 1990. Throughout his teaching career he nurtured and inspired a love for music to countless students, including his own daughters.

In Denver, he discovered a large fraternity of professional musicians who became wonderful friends and remained very important to him throughout his life. Toby played in jazz combos and large dance bands on trombone and bass. He was an excellent singer of big band ballads and loved doing it. Classical music was also a favorite and a huge highlight for him was attending a live Pavarotti concert. 

After retiring, Toby enjoyed traveling with his wife, Marilyn, and spent winter months with a community of close friends in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 

Toby passed away Friday, February 15, 2013, in Boulder after suffering a severe head injury. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Marilyn; three daughters: Joy C of NV; Joni B of CO; and Kimberly M of OR; son-in-law Reginald M; seven grandchildren: Zachary C of Germany; Nathan and Caitlin C of NV; Rachel M of OR; R.J. M of CA; Sara B and Grace D of CO; three great grandsons; brother, Donald D of Ponca City, OK; aunt Wilma A; a multitude of nieces and nephews; and his treasured Yorkie, Mikey. He also leaves to mourn a multitude of neighbors and dear friends, both here and in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 22, at 10:00 am at the Christian Church of Broomfield, 12601 Sheridan Blvd, Broomfield CO. A Celebration of Life will be held following the services at The Chateaux at Fox Meadows, 13600 Xavier Lane, Broomfield, CO, from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm. 

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests any memorial contributions be directed to the Boulder Humane Society or the Salvation Army.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Shaken Baby Syndrome

I read an article today about a 7 month old baby boy who passed away this week from injuries consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome. Investigations are underway, but initially everything points to the unlicensed daycare provider. Out of respect for copyright - I did not include his picture, but he's one cute kiddo!

Before becoming a mom, an article like this would have touched my heart and made me sad for a few moments. That sounds terrible but now, being a mom, this article has stopped me in my tracks, my chest literally hurts, and tears coming streaming from my eyes. This is heart-breaking.

I cannot imagine what Leyton's parents are going through and honestly, I don't want to imagine it. Leaving your heathly, happy baby boy with someone you should be able to trust so you can go to work is hard enough. But then having this happen, getting that phone call telling you to go to the hospital. I don't know what that day looked like for his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles - did they get to interact with Leyton, tell him they loved him, hold and cuddle him. And then, being told your baby is brain dead and having to make the choice to take him off life support. It would kill me.

I recently had to live through taking a loved one off life-support. I haven't shared it here, I've started a post, but haven't finished it. The pertinent information here, is that my Boo slipped and hit his head which ultimately resulted in him being brain-dead. My Nana did the hardest thing in the world (and the right thing) to choose to take him off life support. I was there. My family was there. My Nana, aunt, mom, sister, and I never left his side. We sang to him, talked to him, and loved him. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Once we took him off life-support, it took 2 hours for him to pass. The hardest 2 hours ever. We were assured that he felt nothing and there was no pain, but it didn't sound that way. It sounded like every breath was hard. In reading this article, I have the comfort knowing that Boo lived a full, happy life.

According to the article, Leyton survived for a week without machines before passing.

A week! A week of the unimaginable. A week knowing that your babies current breath could be his last. A week thinking of all the moments you'll never get and all the moments that you didn't hold dear enough. He didn't get that full life that Boo did, but I hope and imagine that it was a happy life. From the pictures included in the article, he sure looks happy.

I don't know his family, but I want to wrap my arms around you and love you. So consider this a virtual hug. I know that no words will comfort you and any words will just sound trivial. So, I am crying with you and for you. I'm praying for you. The next few minutes, hours, days, months, and years will be hard - lean on those who love you and take life moment by moment. Even if it is just to remember to breath in, then tell yourself to breath out. 

Friday, April 5, 2013


Quick Blurb...

Last night at Nana's, Adrian took his first 4 steps unassisted on 4/4/13!! Such proud parents we are!

Lunch with Nana a few weeks ago