Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

I’m not fishing yet.

Chilly WillyRegular readers of this blog are aware of the fact that two months ago my wife passed after an extended battle with breast cancer.  I’ve been coping with the aftermath of her passing (paying off her debts, hospital bills, incurred expenses, etc.).  While I’ve been doing this, I’ve also been back at work during one of the busiest points of the year.

Because I’m back at work I’m left with one day during the work week to get the 9-5 M-F stuff done.  Yes my boss would gladly give me some extra time to accomplish these things, but I’m the ad man for a small town Iowa paper.  I have deadlines to meet and if I don’t get my job done the paper has no advertising.

In the past two months, I have been coming to grips with the fact that  my wife is not coming back home.  She has been healed of pain and has finished her fight.  As much as I’d like to pretend she’s away at a conference and will be coming back, she’s not going to walk through the door.

It’s tough.  I don’t have anyone to snuggle up against at night.  I don’t have anyone to sit listen to how good or bad my day at work was.  Yes I’ve still got my boys at home, however there’s a very large difference between one’s partner and one’s offspring.

I’m only 43.  I have to realize that PIT #2 is closer to leaving home than I care to admit.  PIT #3 will be home for a while longer but eventually (despite his protests to the contrary) he’ll go off to college, find a girl, and settle down somewhere (hopefully) other than Daddy’s house.  Even if both of my boys decide to attend local college and live at home during that time, they’ll still be gone before I’m 60.  I’m not spending the rest of my life alone.

This brings me to the title of this post.  I took stock of the number of (known) single women in my life.  Including my writing partner and baby sister, I came up with five.  As I said, one of those is my sister, that leaves four.  My writing partner lives in California and has made it clear she’s not leaving the state of the Governator, down to three.  One of these is a co-worker and good friend.  Aside from the fact that she has a boyfriend moving to Iowa later this year, we are neither’s particular cup-of-tea. Two.

The other two are nice enough but after talking with both of them and going on a few dates, it’s quite clear that there is no future for me and either of them.  One of them keeps bringing up a past boyfriend in EVERY conversation and makes it quite clear that he holds the strings to her heart.  The other expressed an interest in pursuing a relationship but since that pronouncement, she has hooked up with not one, but two different guys.  OK, I’m not stupid.  I don’t need to have it spelled out for me.  That leaves me at zero.

Now, I have a lot of meatspace acquaintances.  They are all either married, children, or well past retirement age.  In my social circle, aside from the previously mentioned women, there are no adult single females in my life.  Four months ago that wasn’t a problem.  It’s still not a problem but left untouched it will be.

I’m looking for some specific traits that the next Mrs. Nibbelink should have.  She should share my faith.  She should like children as my puppet team and volunteer work deal primarily with children.  She should also understand my geek factor.  I’m not saying she has to like the same movies, TV shows, gaming choices, or even like going to Renaissance Faires (those would be a nice bonus but the first two are the deal breakers).

So where do I go to find said person?  The local bar? no not if the first two are my primary conditions?  A singles club? possibly but there aren’t any locally and I still have my boys to look after.  A church that shares my faith? well yes that’d be the first place to start looking.

Therein lies my problem.  My current church has NO singles group.  So I need to find a church that has what I’m looking for.  I’ve been asking around, checking out local church websites and basically shopping for another church to attend.

Oh my.  You’d think I announced the apocalypse.  This is causing more furor than my looking into getting a tatoo.  I’m getting lambasted from all sides for everything from disrespecting my wife’s memory to leaving a church home for no good reason to being in mourning long enough.  *sigh*

To put it into the metaphor.  Just because I’m trying to find the pond where the fish are does not mean I’m planning the fish fry for this weekend.  I’m not ready to go window shopping yet, I just want to know where the mall is located.  I’m not ready to start dating, but when I am I need to know where to go looking for single females that meet at least the first two conditions.

Gals, I’m not yet ready for any sort of a serious relationship as I’m still grieving my departed wife.  I am lonely and I am looking to meet some new people.

Thanks for listening.

July 25, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Memories of Virginia, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Vulcan Stev, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , | 7 Comments

Tattoos are not leading me down a path paved with good intentions

Recently, I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo.  I realize that getting a permanent scar is not everyone’s cup of tea.  I also understand that some might have moral or aesthetic objections to tattoos.  However, this posting is not about the moral and/or philosophical implications of getting a permanent body decoration.  It is, rather, a look at why I’m thinking of a tattoo and what I’m thinking of getting.

A tattoo is not something that I lightly contemplate.  I am deathly afraid of needles.  Don’t like ‘em, try to avoid them whenever possible.  See, needles come in two sizes; the 5-inch small needles and the four-foot three-inch diameter large needles.  To say that I don’t like needles is an understatement.  Yes I know, that needles are what a professional tattoo artist uses to ply his trade.  That has always been the deal-breaker for me in the past.

Flash forward to now.  Virginia’s wish was to be cremated and have her ashes scattered on the wind.  We actually used some of her ashes while planting a tree that was a gift from her best friend.  For this reason, there is no memorial, no marker, nothing that says to the world Virginia was here.

I began thinking of what I could do for a memorial.  I still want to donate some of the life insurance to cancer research but I have to finish paying off the bills before I do that.  The P.I.T.s have suggested the Virginia Nibbelink Memorial Entertainment Center (basically a new HD Big Screen TV).  I haven’t ruled that out but I’m not quite sure I want to spend quiet time thinking of my wife while the boys are playing video games.

The thought hit me that I could get a tattoo.  A tattoo with Virginia’s name on it, something that would mean something to me.  What design should I get?  A pink ribbon with her name on it? possibly.  But that’s almost cliché, I wanted something unique.  I thought about getting a tattoo of her RPG character with the pink ribbon, but that seemed to be a tad excessive and would require wa-a-ay too much explanation to the casual observer.

Then it hit me.  I’ll get a tat of a Klingon bat’leth sword with a pink ribbon encircling it.  I’ll put Virginia’s name on the ribbon and underneath her life span.  The sword would symbolize Virginia’s determination to defeat the cancer.  I ran this idea past my kids and was given the thumbs up across the board.

I began to tell family and friends about this idea.  My parents cautioned me on the fact that some folks that I deal with on a daily basis find tattoos offensive and I wouldn’t want to alienate those folks.  After taking everything into account I decided that I’d go ahead and get a tattoo on my arm right where a short-sleeve shirt would cover it.  That way it would a personal thing visible only to family and close friends.

My daughter’s best friend who has been helping the Nibbelink bachelors to survive without killing themselves, loved the idea and gave me $20 as a Father’s Day present.  The bill was inscribed “Tattoo Fund”.

Honored by her simple act of generosity, I posted about her gift on Facebook.  Oh my you’d think I had announced the apocalypse.  No fewer than 13 people chimed in each telling me that it was either a good idea or telling me that I was going to hell for even thinking about getting a tattoo.  One friend who shares similar religious beliefs almost ignited a flame war with his tongue-in-cheek comment (Hank I understood what you meant and we’re cool).  Somebody else in his own unique way directed me to the attached flow-chart to help me make the decision (ironically the flow chart actually indicates that I should get the tattoo).

So here I sit.  I have examined my own personal convictions and beliefs.  I will be getting a discreet tattoo in honor of my wife.

I will post pictures of it when I get it.

I just wanted to let everyone know.

Graphic courtesy of The Daily Weekly

June 26, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Memories of Virginia, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , , , | 4 Comments

Cancer Crisis an Epilogue: Thank You

Last night I spent the evening writing out thank you cards to everyone who gave monetary gifts, flowers, cards, and gifts of time and services.  We knocked off at 9:30 and we’re still not done.  The fund started by Daniel Perez raised nearly $1,000.  That money has come in very handy in paying off the bills that piled up during my many trips to and extended stays in Iowa City to be with my wife.  My thanks goes out to the entire RPG community.  Those of you who provided addresses with your donation will be getting a hard copy Thank You card.

We appreciate all the kind words, messages of support, and when folks started making baseless accusations, the stand of solidarity.

Virginia will be missed by those whose lives she touched.  We’re slowly but surely getting back to a “normal” existence.  I can’t say that I like the “new” normal, but it’s nice to know that this community that I am proud to be a part of has got my back.

Thank to all those who have made my life a little more bearable these past three weeks.

Pictured the Vulcan Stev family (Clockwise starting with the handsome character in the Jimmie Johnson jacket: PIT #2 Gerrit, Me, Virginia, Pvt Black Spartan Janae`, PIT #3 Chris).

The RPG community was absolutely fabulous in posting, tweeting, and reposting the news about Virginia’s hospitalization and death.  Please pass this thank you around.  I don’t want anyone to miss this.

Again, Thank You

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Memories of Virginia, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, News, Reviews and Culture, RPG | , , , | 3 Comments

What’s going on with the Database?

You may or may not have noticed a new feature that ran this week.  The Destination Iowa article is going to be a regular summer feature (we haven’t decided if it’s going on past that or not as yet).  My boss and I decided back in April that he would foot the cost for transportation of my family and I to and from various Iowa tourist destinations.  I would then photograph the spot and write up an article for the paper (The Record: Serving Beaman, Conrad, Liscomb, Union, Whitten and Central Iowa).  The idea behind this was two-fold: One I would get paid to take my family around on mini-vacations and Two I would spend as much time as possible with my family while still providing for them.  This was desgined so that I could be with Virginia during what we knew to possibly be her last summer.

We were not expecting Virginia to pass before this assignment began.

Towards that end, with my boss’ permission and blessing I am sharing our adventures across Iowa this summer as written for The Record.  This is my way of fulfilling one of Virginia’s last requests.  She wanted these mini-vacations to be memories.  I’m sharing these memories with you.

For those of you wondering why I’m posting this article under the RPG: News, Reviews and Culture, simply put you have been more than generous and this is one way I have of sharing Virginia with you.  The second is that the next installment is one of Iowa’s two annual Renaissance Faires.

If you have already checked out the first installment, I urge you to check it again as I have now provided the links for the photo album of all the photos I shot in Pella.

May 28, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Memories of Virginia, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, News, Reviews and Culture, RPG, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cancer Crisis: the Aftermath

Don't let cancer steal second base.

As I write this it’s been less than a week since Virginia’s funeral.  I’ve spent the week at work, mainly because I needed to get back and spending the time at home in an empty house does no one any good.  In that time frame I have worked on putting Virginia’s affairs in order; paying bills, getting the death certificate, and dealing with the estate.

I have been accused of being responsible for her death, that my lack of attention and “caustic enviroment” caused her to pass so quickly.  I have been accused of whining over her death “Too #%@&-ing much”.  I’ve also been accused of using her death for personal financial gain.

To the first, I respond that the move to Holland was not a popular one with my immediate family.  Virginia and I agreed at the time that it seemed like the right thing to do but were troubled over why we had to do it.  Virginia, the family and I shared frustration over the circumstances of our situation, however never once did she accuse me of “Lording it over” the family.  In her last week of life, Virginia came to the conclusion that one of God’s reasons for having us in Holland close to my family was for the support that I’d need after she passed.

To the second, when you’ve lost your spouse of 22 years then you can tell me if I’ve been whining too much.

To the third, I never asked for the Vulcan Stev solidarity fund.  That was started by the RPG community completely of their own volition.  The news paper added the line to her obituary about memorials can be directed to the family, that was not my doing.  Am I thankful for the funds that have poured in? Yes! Are times going to be tough for me and the boys?  Yes, we lost half of the family income.  But I have asked for only one specific thing for financial help and that was after the specific request of the individual over what immediate financial help was needed.  Aside from that I have NOT asked for money.

Money can not and will not replace what I’ve lost.  Most of my tears have been in private.  If there’s one recurring phrase I’ve been hearing from everyone else it is how much my wife and I truly loved each other…

The picture posted with this blog comes from one of my Facebook friends.  Virginia lost a breast to the cancer.  Did I stop loving her? no.  I married Virginia not her boobs.  Virginia lost her hair due to the radiation treatments.  Did I stop loving her when her crowning glory vanished? no.  I shaved my own head in solidarity.  I loved and still love the person, not the shell that housed her.

When we received the diagnosis that Virginia had in fact developed breast cancer we were shocked but yet relieved.  Breast cancer was “curable”.  We were going to beat this.  Looking back at the year and a half since that diagnosis it is more obvious to me now that the cancer was taking its toll on her body.  She was tiring out more frequently.  Things that had once been easy were no longer.

The thing is now that I know more about breast cancer, I realize now that my wife was at a higher risk.  Back in the 80s Virginia’s doctor put her on birth control to help regulate a hormonal imbalance.  She took those tablets right up until the time we started actively trying for a family.  From what I’m reading the cancer that killed Virginia had been estrogen fed.  Did those birth control pills contribute to Virginia’s cancer?

Virginia had always wanted to breast-feed her children.  We determined early on when Janae was a baby that her left breast had some sort of defect the precluded milk production.  Was this defect a cause of the cancer?  We don’t know.  It is my hope that whatever scientists and doctors are working on developing a cure for cancer will take these facts into consideration.  Do not let my wife’s death be in vain.

It is my firm hope and daily prayer, that I am the last husband to lose his wife.  My children the last to lose their mother.  Mom and Dad Young the last parents to lose a daughter.

Once the bills have been payed and the children provided for, we will be taking a portion of Virginia’s life insurance and starting a fund for cancer awareness.

Don’t let cancer steal second base….  or anything else for that matter.

May 25, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Memories of Virginia, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , , , | 11 Comments

Memories of Virginia: Obituary

Courtesy of The Record

Virginia W. Nibbelink, 46

Virginia Winona Nibbelink, 46, of Holland, was born to eternity on Wednesday, May 12 at Oakview Nursing Home and Care Center in Conrad, while under the care of Iowa Hospice from complications following breast cancer.

Services were held in Holland at New Hope Fellowship Church on May 16 with Pastors Gary Nibbelink, Ken LeHew and Darren Nibbelink presiding. Memorials may be directed to the family.

Virginia was born on Oct. 25, 1963 to Ronald and Joan (McIntyre) Young on KI Sawyer AFB in Sands Township, Mich. She married Steven Nibbelink on Jan. 21, 1989 in Mount Prospect, Ill.

She attended Evangel College in Springfield, Mo. and receiver her Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She also attended Central Bible College where she learned sign language. Virginia became certified by the state of Iowa and worked for Area 267 as an interpreter in several school districts including Waterloo, Aplington-Parkersburg and Cedar Falls.

She is survived by her husband Steve; daughter Janae of Aurora, Colo.; and sons Gerrit and Christopher, both of Holland; her parents Ron and Joan Young of Oscoda, Mich.; two brothers Samuel (Penny) Young of Lafayette, Calif. and Timothy Young of Grundy Center; and a sister Elizabeth (William) Parks of Parker, Colo.; parents-in-law Gary and JoAnne Nibbelink of Holland; sisters- and brothers-in-law Susan (Bill) Catron of Holland, Darren (Jennifer) Nibbelink of Ozark, Mo., Allison Siefken of Holland, Gary Siefken of Holland, and 13 nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her maternal grandparents Duncan and Aileen McIntyre, and paternal grandparents Frank and Elsie Young along with her Opa and Oma, Godert and Grada Vander Hart, grandparents-in-law.  Also surviving her is one RPG character that she played in EVERY game, Wink will be missed.

Memorials to can be directed to the family by following this link.

May 19, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Memories of Virginia, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight | , , | 5 Comments

Thoughts as I enter my 43rd year as a widower.

It’s 12:30 in the morning on the 14th.  I have been 43 years old for thirty minutes now.  In another fifty minutes I’ll have been a widower/single parent for exactly forty-eight hours.  My brain is mush but I can’t sleep.

I’m writing this mainly to try to make some sense of things.

I’ve had folks who have told me that they were praying for Virginia’s healing and that they were so sorry that God chose not to heal her.  Stop right there.  God has healed my wife.  She is in a place where the cancer is no longer part of her.  She is once again whole.  She has been healed just not in the way we might have expected or wanted for that matter.  I have been told by every doctor we talked to that liver cancer is one of the more painful cancers a person can endure.  If that is true than I am thankful that Virginia did not have to suffer long.  I miss her but we’ll have very few memories of Virginia’s shell, unlike my Grandmother Nibbelink who spent most of my life confined to a couch and barely able to move.

Would Grandma N. say that her life was wasted just because she spent the better part of two decades unable to breathe without oxygen or unable to walk more than the few steps from her bedroom to her bathroom and back?  No, she’d be the first to tell you that she lots of time to spend talking to God.  However her children and (most of) her grandchildren have plenty of memories of Grandma at her most vibrant.

I am very thankful that P.I.T. #3 (Chris) does not carry the burden of most of his “Mommy Memories” being of her as an invalid in a bed or on a couch.

Pvt. Black Spartan (Janae) has matured in the year that she has been in Uncle Sam’s (that would be the army and not Virginia’s brother) care and tutelage.  She has stepped in and taken some of the burden of dealing with life off of her father’s shoulders.  I thank God for my baby girl.

PIT #2 (Gerrit) has been somewhat of an enigma during this time.  I can tell he’s hurting but he’s got his father’s mis-guided notion that “Men Aren’t Supposed to CRY”.  I know my son and can tell when he’s not happy, right now he’s not.  I haven’t seen him cry yet but then he  probably is thinking “Dad is falling apart and I need to be strong for him”

Most of the immediate family from both sides are in town.  My brother will get here tomorrow and Virginia’s brother Sam finally got here today, in his haste he mis-booked a flight and was stuck in Denver for a couple of hours.

The boys and I have taken a pledge to keep the house from looking like it was the sole domain of three bachelors.  I don’t know how we’re gonna pull that off.  We’ve had friends (thank you) over helping us make it look nice now.

I honestly cannot comprehend the outpouring of love and generosity from all walks of our lives.  PIT #3′s school has taken it upon themselves to make sure that not only are me and the kids fed during this time but my parent and siblings and Virginia’s parents and siblings as well.  Thank you to TCS

Churches that we have attended in the past are taking up collections to help with funeral expenses.  The RPG community has set up a fund for donations (Dudes and Dudettes, I’m touched).  Each of the schools that Virginia interpreted for is getting unsolicited donations from their students.  I don’t know if I’ll EVER be able to thank every one individually for all they have done, are doing, and have pledged to do.   Each of those donations will be a very big help as Virginia missed the last month of her contract and I’ve basically taken a two-week unpaid vacation.  I’m overwhelmed and humbled, may God bless each and every one of you.

We found out that Virginia did have a life insurance policy.  Enough that once it comes through some of the larger recent expenditures (medical, funeral, etc.) can be paid off without my having to sell myself and the boys into slavery.  We might even have enough to take a vacation with Pvt Black Spartan to a gaming con (any suggestions?)

I’m still not excited about raising two boys by myself.  I’m not excited at all about the loneliness at night.  I’m realizing just how much of a rock Virginia was in my life and I don’t look forward to the future months once the flush of her passing has been forgotten.

I do not expect, nor do I want meals to continued to be provided for us, our home cleaned by others, the laundry done….  Eventually the extended family needs to return to their lives.  Gerrit, Chris and I will need to learn to get by on our own.  I’m not looking forward to that either.

So here I sit in (now 1:00 am) my chair.  My kids are taking me to see Iron Man 2 for my birthday.  I need my sleep for today will be busy.  I don’t want to go to bed because I’m getting lost in the queen sized area without my partner to snuggle against.  I’m trying to make myself sleepy enough now so I can go to bed without having to read one of my comic books to wind down.  (I ruined a Batman graphic novel because I wound down enough I fell asleep in it and drooled).

I miss my wife.

May 14, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Vulcan Stev, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , , , | 12 Comments

Cancer Crisis: Her Journey is Over… and ours has just begun.

Good Morning World.  It is 11:00 am Wednesday May 12.  I wake up this morning as a single father.  I am simply overwhelmed by the support, love, and friendship… (how do you translate tears all over the keyboard and screen?)

Virginia took her last breath at 1:2o this morning.  I stayed around doing the normal paperwork shuffle until about 3:15 this morning.  I got home at about 3:45 and shut off the phone, the alarms and went to bed.  I woke this morning to a very wet pillow and an empty bed.

Virginia’s folks and sister made it to Iowa in time to see her.  Pvt Black Spartan (Janae) made it home in time to see Mommy.  We had a ad-hoc family reunion in Virginia’s hospice room as we all shared stories of our favorite Virginia memories.

The family (especially PIT #3) started to get tired about 10:30.  11:00 I wrote the “Counting down the hours” post and read each of the 113 e-mails.  I hope everyone will forgive me for not replying personally. 8-)

Pastor Ken of my church and Pastor Troy (not my Pastor but I’ve worked with him on a number of occasions) sat with me and talked from 11:00 – 12:30.  I shared with them stories of Virginia and I.  We watched Virginia’s breathing get shallower and further apart as I held her hand.  Pastor Troy left at 12:30 and Pastor Ken sat with me.

At 1:20 this morning Virginia breathed her last.  My wife is now healed.  Praise God!  The shell she lived in on this earth is at rest.

I’ll probably be saying this a lot in the next few days.  THANK YOU!  I don’t remember who started it but the Vulcan Stev family fund is appreciated.  I never would have asked, but I’m man enough to admit we need it and I certainly won’t turn down the assistance.  Posting the link here seems a little self-serving to me (besides in all honesty I’m not sure I remember who started it or what the link is)  Again thank you.

Virginia Nibbelink is at peace.  She has fought the good fight.  She has finished her race.  The Cancer Crisis is over.

Right now plans are for her memorial service to be held Sunday morning at New Hope Fellowship in Holland, Iowa.  You are all certainly welcome to attend.

I plan to write up a post (when I’m feeling more articulate) about what Virginia meant/means to me.

I have had a number of folks tell me that my posts about the battle have been a source of inspiration (Berin, I think I understand a little how you feel).  Towards that end, I will also probably blog about how the family is coping with the transition.  I figure if what I wrote has helped folks going through similar experiences with cancer then what I write might help folks who have lost someone.

I apologize if this has been rambling.  I’m still coming to grips with the fact that Virginia isn’t coming back to this house.  She has gone home.

Virginia Nibbelink b. October 25, 1963.  Born into Eternity May 12, 2010.  Godspeed my love

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Vulcan Stev | , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Cancer Crisis: 11:30 at the Conrad Hospice unit.

Virginia left the UIHC at 12:00 noon on Tuesday.  It was exactly on week ago from that moment that I picked her up in Waterloo for a three-week check-up regarding her chemo pills.  The slippery slope has been chronicled here on this blog.  I’m not going to rehash the whole week right now.  I will state that her prognosis has deteriorated rapidly.  We went from “These labs are a little out of whack” to “Steve I am so sorry” in the course of seven days.

The deterioration has been on a seemingly exponential slide.  We’ve gone from months, to weeks, to days and now hours in the space of 48 hours.

I’m sitting here in the corner writing this and talking with a couple of friends.  Virginia is currently running a temp of 104 breathing about once every 6-8 seconds and her lungs are rapidly filling with fluid.

She has been unresponsive since breakfast this morning.  I’m going to sit with her until the time comes.

Her journey is almost over.  I have found this series of articles to be a catharsis.  I do not enjoy sharing all this “bad” information but it helps me deal with the emotional upheaval.  It also serves as on stop clearing house for “How is Virginia doing.

I’ll let everyone know how things continue.   I appreciate all that has been said, re-posted, tweeted, blog, and IM’ed.

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight | , , , | 16 Comments

Cancer Crisis: Counting Down the Hours.

It is 11:20 in the morning Tuesday May 11.  I am sitting in the chair that I have basically occupied for the past 48 hours.  Yesterday Virginia’s dietary intake went from solids that she couldn’t eat on her own, to fluids, to liquid, to nothing as of this morning.

Her last (as of now) spoken sentence was to the boys last night.  She told them goodnight as I held the phone to her ear.  Sometime between that phone call and 6:00 am, Verizon decided to shut down our phone service.  I’ll admit that I had promised to get them some money last week, but God forbid that I be given any slack because I’ve sitting in the hospital.

/begin rant/ I couldn’t call anybody this morning.  My daughter was en route from Colorado without a phone.  I couldn’t call the boys this morning so they could tell Mommy good morning.  I couldn’t call Virginia’s family to let them know to get here sooner rather than later.  I spent three hours jumping through Verizon’s hoops before I actually got to talk to a real live person.  (No I don’t have my blasted account info handy.  I wasn’t expecting to be in Iowa City for 72 hours straight.)  Verizon compassionately informed me that for only $15 per line they would have my cell phone service reconnected in about an hour.  *sigh* /end rant/

I’ve called her family.  I’ve called my family.  Pvt Black Spartan is on her way and should be here about 8:30.

Virginia is not eating.  She is sleeping most of the time and will occasionally open her eyes.  Her breathing is somewhat labored but not the “Death Rasp”.  I asked the doctor about an IV for nutrition.  Imagine my surprise when I was told that food and water is counter-productive at this point.  Apparently the body works harder to process the intake and hastens the body’s demise.

We’re waiting on the ambulance to take her Hospice care at the home where my sister works.  It’s in the same community where I work and is only 10 miles south of the house (as the crow flies, call it a fifteen mile trip).  I’m on FB when I’m in the room (until the ambulance picks her up).  I don’t know what kind of coverage I’ll have at Hospice.

I appreciate all the kind words, prayers, buddy pokes, IMs, phone calls, text messages….  My eyes are currently dry but only because I’m cried out.  I’ll close off this update with the lyrics to a song that has been constantly running through my head these past three days.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight | , , , , | 15 Comments

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