April 2008- Steph and I were shopping in Warsaw. We knew Mom had yet another doctor appointment to determine why she hadn't been able to move her right leg for the past year, but weren't too worried since she had already seen more than 5 doctors and specialists. Mom called as we pulled into the Hallmark store and said she finally got a diagnosis but wanted us to come over so she could tell us about it. We convinced her that was a bad idea and to just say it. She said she has ALS, which honestly, meant nothing to either of us. We told her it'd be fine and we were just glad we finally knew. We had no clue about the pain, sadness, joy, and laughter that was yet to come.
Fast forward two short years later to April 2010. After losing her ability to move the majority of her body, Mom's speech became slurred and simple things like swallowing and breathing became difficult. One day she felt like she was choking so Steph drove her to the hospital assuming they would suction her out since she could no longer cough and they'd be back home in an hour. X-rays showed she had pneumonia, which is what many with ALS die from. After two days in the hospital she was stable, but we knew Hospice needed to be called. She died peacefully in her bedroom 3 days later with Dad, Steph, and I around her. April 21, 2010 was the last time we hugged our Mom.
Rebuilding our lives without Mom has been hard on everyone, not just the three of us. She was a wonderful and caring friend to many and an irreplaceable sister, daughter, aunt, and grandma. A hole was left in the hearts and lives of all that knew her.
In two short months it will mark the 5 year point since she passed away and that's why my family and I need your help. There have been many plans for Mom's headstone but she still has nothing except a copper gravemarker stuck into the ground. It's disheartening that a woman who touched so many lives still has nothing to stand in her honor. Both Stephanie and I followed our hearts and have jobs we love, but neither of us currently have the funds it takes to purchase and install a headstone. We've decided it's time to swallow our pride and ask for help. It's painful and hard to ask, but we NEED your assistance. Every single dollar will be greatly appreciated by all that knew and loved her. My personal dream is to create a small peaceful memorial where I can take my kids who were robbed of the opportunity to grow up with her in their lives. They need this. I need this.
If by some miracle we raise more than we need for a small headstone, 100% of the extras will be donated to the ALS Guardian Angels. This organization gives funds and supplies to ALS patients when no one else will. They sent Mom a check to fund her bathroom remodel so it was wheelchair accessible. I will be forever grateful to Stu for helping. http://www.alsguardianangels.com/
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