We’ve been getting ready for the end of the month taking small steps. Getting all the chemo out of Bobbi’s system. First few walks consisted of 40 yards, the next day 50, and so forth. Now it’s usually twice a day for a pretty good distance. Had a nice weekend visiting with Lori and Jim in southern Michigan. The rubber separated from the wheel rim going about 55mph on the trip there. Made for an interesting moment. On the way we stopped at the Mackinac Bridge where “Blue Ice”, which doesn’t happen very often, accumulated along the shore. Was a nice break. Showed how beautiful nature can paint the landscape. Never seen anything like it before.
Waiting for things to take place is agonizing. When every thought is on one thing it’s trying. Bobbi has good days and others more challenging. Yet I know she’ll be ready both physically and emotionally for surgery on the 27th. Sean, Jen, the grandkids, will be visiting the 22nd to 25th so that’ll be nice. With this down time I think a lot about different events and things that have taken place in our lives together the past 25 years. She’s been a real godsend in my life.
In my early years I had absolutely no idea what a home was. I knew what it wasn’t, but not what it was, or should write “is”. The county social services removed me from the house I lived in at nine. My siblings and I are all survivors without getting into details why. For me it was foster homes, shelter homes, etc. At the age of 18 I was on my own. I took off like a caged dog breaking loose of its chain. Put my feet in the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The word home had no real meaning. It was always onto the next new place.
That was until I met Bobbi. After meeting her I learned a lot about it. Once a year we traveled the eight hour trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, bringing her home to visit her family. This was important to her so it became important to me. I always told her we’ll get her home at least once a year. When you love somebody you naturally want to see them happy. I always promised to her that I’d get her home. In time I felt part of the family and looked forward to seeing everyone. Oh, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. But family always seems to find a way to make things work.
Eventually we married and bought a house together in Wisconsin. It wasn’t anything particularly fancy or extravagant, it was about 80 years old. It took a lot of work and money in making it comfortable. She worked the soil and I hammered. It wasn’t long before we heard the piddle – paddle of little feet running up and down the stairs. Grandchildren. We marked their heights and dated them on the kitchen doorway frame. It had all the feeling never felt before of a home. Our travels slowed down, and cookouts with family, and Christmas concerts became our adventures.
Before this we each drove motorcycles and took a lot of trips. Northern Wisconsin terrain is thick deep forests with lots of wild animals. Not tigers and lions but deer, raccoons, skunks, etc. Fall rides often cold and wet. Many a ride I remember her tucking herself behind my back, hands in my coat pocket, trying to stay warm. I’d tell her “we’ll be home soon”. My own hands and fingers seemingly frozen to the handlebars feeling like ice. Not pleasant. I kept my eyes on the road and hand twisting the throttle. In the winter weather can be brutal. Ice and hail storms, random blizzards. Driving a car during the midst of a storm is challenging. Bobbi would sometimes shut her eyes listen to my promise of “we’ll be home soon”. While often being unsure about when but driving accordingly to see that it happen. Everyone’s been there in their lives. The sigh of relief when finally pulling into your driveway after a long trip. Bad weather having made it more difficult.
When Bobbi first became ill, while still living in Wisconsin, I knew it was time to bring her home again, permanently. I knew the kids would have a difficult time comprehending this. They were family so why move to family? She needed the tranquil sounds of water, where her siblings and mother lived, Michigan. I don’t know why. Just knew that it was important. I drove her to Michigan and returned to Wisconsin to sell our home, packed what belonging would fit into a large U-haul, giving the rest away, and Sean drove it to Michigan. I stayed behind to take care of remaining business and soon joined her. I had no idea what we were doing, just knew that it was the right call at the right time.
Soon after we got settled into our new home Bobbi was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A “WTF” moment for sure! All the unknown became crystal clear then though. Maneuvering through this has been a road neither have traveled on. My cardiac battle is pale to this experience. A storm of a different type that no weather pattern can be compared to. After thousands of miles, many different hospitals, 5 months of chemotherapy, now a major surgery March 27th. I don’t exactly know how we’ll get through it, but I do know that she’ll be home again. We have a whole lot more of living to do. Just because you don’t know the exact road map to your destination doesn’t mean you won’t get there. Somethings are simply figured out on the way. Sometimes you just have to “wing it” and keep your eyes on the prize.
Spring is close. Time for renewal and seeing life blossom again around us. The same is true for Bobbi. Surgeons will finally decimate Twisty. Been one hell of a long fall and winter. So proud of her. She is one tough woman. She IS bringing the fight to this. I can’t express enough the appreciation felt to everyone whose helped us during this time. Thank you.