Friday, August 15, 2014

Too soon .....Carolyn

I have started a couple of other posts but never got to finish because on July 31st the world crashed for my sisters  and I. How could this happen? I'm getting ready for work when I realize my phone has been ringing. It's 5:47am and I've missed 5 calls from my little sister and niece. I'm thinking something must have happened to Dad. He goes to chemo treatment and has lab work almost every Thursday.  
Only when Jerri Lynn answers she says she's gone. It doesn't registered at first then I realized she's talking about her mom Carolyn /my step Mom is gone. How can that be? They transported her to the hospital for tests yesterday. As of today we still don't know what really killed her and will have to wait for the autopsy but they suspect a blood clot. 

So at 5:47am Carolyn Lee Heathman Whitney died unexpectedly of  unknown causes. The whole family is in shock. Carolyn was one heck of a woman I can tell you that. She loved listening and going to see The Gaithers a southern gospel and contemporary Christian music group. She got her picture taken with Guy Penrod from the Gaithers. She displayed that picture proudly in the house. I mean it ranked up there with her marriage to Dad and the birth of her girls. She had a heart of gold and did a lot of good deeds in the community.
She was a fun loving woman who always enjoyed a good laugh. 
The gentleman on the left is her X and the one on the right is my Dad. When visiting Houston one time my Mom picked her and Dad up at the airport for me and even took Carolyn shopping. It was this type of attitude that made it easy for all our families to get along and made it easier for us girls growing up and dealing with divorced parents.
She loved her family which was obvious from all the pictures hanging and/or sitting in her office. 

On Thursday I got another call at 10:30am from my Little Sister asking if I was sitting down. I was at my desk so yeah. My heart was pounding and she says "Dad is in full remission. The is no cancer in his body." OMG What glorious news!! But this isn't fair! Carolyn wasn't there to hug and cry with joy with Dad. I know she was there in spirit but it's not the same. Thank you everyone for you continued prayers for my Dad and family.

Pamela and I head to Missouri on that Friday. David wasn't able to join us on this trip to Missouri because he was headed offshore for work. When we arrive on Sunday I kept expecting Carolyn to run out with tears in her eyes as she would with her arms opened wide to give us hugs upon arrival. Only that didn't happen this time. 

Sunday Before the visitations we took various family pictures with Dad. Something Carolyn had wanted forever. 
This is everyone but my husband and my nephews girlfriend Hannah. These pictures were taken by Jerri Lynn's friend Michelle Vandevender. If you click on her name you can go to her Facebook page to check out more of her work.
And this one is all of us girls with Dad.  

Me  Barbara  Nancy  Jerri Lynn
 and of course dad.

I don't know who thought of this but my sisters, nieces, nephews and brother-in law all went to the radio station and recorded a CD with their tributes to Carolyn to play at the services. Pamela and I texted our thoughts and another family member read and recorded it for us. 
My sister Barbara probably got to me the most with her tribute.
"Mom, Mother, Momma" I don't remember the exact words but Mom is what she called Carolyn on an every day How ya doing call or visit. Mother is what she called Carolyn when she scolded her mom. I have heard Barb say Mother you need to calm down or whatever.. It made me smile at the memory. And last it was Momma when Barb was hurting emotionally or physically. Today was a Momma day. Barb said it well. My my niece Emily gave one that made us smile. She said the last question Grandma Carolyn asked was if she had a boyfriend which shocked Emily and she replied Heavens no.  Grandma's final word of advice was to ignore her two big over protective brothers and dad or she would end up an ole spinster. 
My Niece Shelby B. gave a beautiful eulogy for Grandma. Shelby was amazing.

On Monday August 4th my step-Mother Carolyn was laid to rest. She had over 200 in attendance to pay their respects.

Hold my family in your prayers as we work through our loss. And continued prayers for my Dad as he continues on his chemo maintenance and that the cancer stays away.
There was some lighter moments while in Missouri like when Jerri Lynn corralled everyone out the door and into cars for the luncheon before the service and off she went. One problem with that... she forgot me and Pamela. I called her and as soon as I said Hi she realized she had forgotten us. We got a good laugh out of that. My little sister knows we won't let her forget it too soon. Oh but wait it gets better. After the service a family friend invited the family over for dinner. So again Jerri Lynn was gathering everyone up and got in the car and started the car. As Pamela and I walk to the car I slide in and look at Jerri Lynn and ask her if she knows where her son Josiah is??? We all started laughing. 
She spins around in the seat and realizes that he's not in the back.
Josiah was laying on the couch watching toons.  I love you Jerri Lynn. ;o) Thank you for being there for Dad and Carolyn, for all that you do, have done and continue to do.
It's always so hard to say Good Bye when it's time to leave my Missouri family. An this time it was even harder and more emotional..As I hug Dad he says "Things are about to get real and everyone will be going home. I wish you could stay another week.
I hugged him harder and through my tears I whispered I wish I could stay another week too.

Thanks for letting me ramble on this post. Thank you for your kind words, support and prayers for me and my family.

'Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.'
~ From a Headstone in Ireland

1 comment:

KaHolly said...

So sorry for your loss. My mom went unexpectedly like that, too, and I have always felt cheated out of saying good bye. My thoughts are with you and your family.