Evan Cousineau's Journal
Six years without our boy....
Written Nov 3, 2013 12:14am
November 2, 2013. Hard to believe it has been six “long and fast” years since we lost our perfect boy.
I wrote this early this morning, but just coming back now to post. I had to share my day….woke early to write, thinking about Evan. Spoke to both Mary and Derek. Mary at work and D at college. Off to mass at 8am with Mark and Alaina. Headed to another neighboring Catholic church for a memorial mass with a group of my grieving momma friends. Home to get ready for Alaina’s big bday bash tonight and I get another call from Derek asking me what I was doing. Then I hear the doorbell and who do you think is there, my son. He came home to surprise Alaina for her bday. What a great brother!! Lots of messages via FB, text and calls sharing Evan thoughts. Super important to this momma. Now taking breather, one hour before the festivities begin. Lots and lots of tears today….
The memories of the last six months with Evan will be etched in every fiber of my being forever. When I allow myself to go back, I can literally “feel” each and every moment of each and every day that began on April 30, 2007 when Evan had that seizure on the pool deck at swim practice that started us on this journey.
Today is All Soul’s Day. Could not have been a more perfect day for my perfect, vibrant boy to enter the pearly gates of Heaven. Add to that that tomorrow is he and his twin sister Alaina’s 16th birthday, I for one am glad all this bittersweet emotion is shoved into one two day experience so that like the half marathons I have taken to running this past year, I can just “get it over with”.
This year has been momentous on many levels. I know many of you look forward to my yearly updates so that you can share our lives still, like you did for so long, starting with the six month fight for Evan and then the early years of the grieving process. Six years later nothing has changed with the process. We can still can feel the agony of missing Evan on a daily basis, but the difference is that we have all learned to “tolerate” missing him, something we as human beings must be able to accomplish, otherwise our psyche could not survive.
After touching base last year, I started to think about turning “50” and how I would mark this momentous occasion. Since I could get no takers on climbing Mt. Whitney with me, I knew something else pretty big was in my future, and when exercise friends mentioned they were training for a half marathon, I decided that since I “hated” running so much, this would be the challenge to take on. Training with my new friend Liz was great, if you could actually call running in any capacity great, but she has always kept me entertained, an important aspect in a running partner. As we were about two weeks from the race date, we learned our race had gone bankrupt, so we quickly scrambled to find a replacement, which was known as the “beach series”, three races throughout the year, this first one being on Super Bowl Sunday. Always up for a challenge, I embraced the race and came out 2 hours and 16 minutes later no worse for wear, and feeling very accomplished, knowing that at almost “50”, I was in the best shape of my life.
Three days later, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I will tell you that every single person I knew would say the same words, “Gina is the LAST person we would expect to get cancer”and I have to admit I agreed. I should go back to last December, and tell you after a long training run that I saw some pink after going to the bathroom. Never one to ignore a symptom, Mary quickly googled “blood in urine”, even though at that point I wasn’t sure where it was coming from, and along with cancer being mentioned, “strenuous activity” was stated. FYI, I had just returned from my longest training run ever. Lucky for me being so diligent, I kept an eye on the pink and knew when my urologist friend returned from his winter vacation, I would mention it to him. Needless to say, he was all over me to get some testing done and three days after my latest, biggest accomplishment, that half marathon, we looked at the tumor that grew inside of me.
As Mary and I sat in that conference room, listening to my future spelled out, we were both numb. I had NO risk factors, as a matter of fact, I could not have been in better health. But, lurking in the back of my mind was what had the environmental impact of living by the Los Angeles airport had on me. Or perhaps it was all the fertility drugs I took to build my family. Then of course, we do know that stress plays a huge role in our health, perhaps, like 4 other parents who are in the fight or who lost the fight with their children, we are victims to the cancer that took advantage of us in our weak states?!
Regardless, the fight for myself had to begin. One week later I had surgery to remove this foreign body from my body. I could not wait to remove this cancerous growth from me, and to celebrate, I made my running partner go on a 10 mile run two days before surgery to just prove to myself I was going to win. Literally three blocks from the finish, I caught a curb and went face first to the cement, just adding to the misery I was already experiencing. Awesome to say the least!! At least I now looked like the prize fighter I was gearing up to be.
Three days after surgery my friend, lifesaver and urologist walked up my stairs to where I was recouping and told me of my prognosis. Low stage, which we know is critical. Thanks to Jim’s insistence on testing right away, the cancer was superficial and had not invaded the muscle wall. A huge sigh of relief on that one. Didn’t know though that cancers were graded, and now I was told mine was high grade, which meant that it wanted to beat me and that for the rest of my life, we would chase this thing. Hmmm, was I really up to another life long challenge? And now the treatment….thank God no chemo or radiation. In the bladder cancer world, they are able to use “tuberculosis” instilled into the bladder to kill cancer cells, and hence the two year treatment plan began. I have tolerated treatments better than my doc and the web has expected. In June I went to the top urologist/oncologist at Stanford University and she went into the OR to take a peak and biopsy my bladder, all good! And just a few weeks ago my doc gave me my latest “all good” for the moment. Big sign of relief. But as all cancer patients know, you are only good until your next symptom or next scan, and you lie in wait for your sentence to be handed to you. Sucks! But here is the bottom line, at least it was me, and not my kids or my husband, for that I was grateful indeed. By the way, I went on to train for my 2nd and 3rd half marathons ,this time Mary joining us, and have recorded my personal bests each time. My physical therapist has made me promise no more races for one year, and even though I told Mary on mile 11 of our last race, “remind me of how horrific this feeling is”, I am bound and determined to break 2 hours, only 3 minutes away, next October!! Man, wish I didn’t have that “competition” gene!!
Mary, now 26, almost two years into her nursing career, has excelled as we all knew she would. She has her dream job as a critical care nurse at a major hospital just 20 minutes from home, has never worked a night shift, and is looking toward her future. Mary is now home, packing away the money for her future home, and we are enjoying having her with us. I am forever grateful to have her with me with my medical issues for sure. FYI,searching for single, self-motivated 26-32 year old male, who lives local and is a practicing Catholic….
My man child Derek turned 18 in December, swabbed his cheek,and in June, graduated number two in his class of 800, with numerous accolades, with his international baccalaureate diploma. He is off to UC Berkeley, the number one public school in the world, and LOVES college life. At this point he is a declared double major, “environmental cellular biology” and “molecular cellular biology” and while he has no interest in med school, a Ph.D. is his desire, leading him to a career as a researcher and college professor. Let’s see where the future leads him. Incredibly proud of my son.
Alaina Marie turns 16 tomorrow. Tonight we host her “sweet 16” party with no less than 100 kids expected. Wish us luck!! She has recovered beautifully from her dual shoulder surgeries and along with winning the national championship in water polo this summer, she was chosen as an All-American. She finished her freshman year with straight A’s, is sowing her oats to be sure, and working hard in school and polo as she looks to a great university to study and compete at. Monday we go to the DMV for her behind the wheel, and she is hopeful to be driving off in the sunset without us!!
Mark is well. He and Alaina had the privilege to travel to Italy this summer for a water polo training trip. He continues to volunteer for USA Water Polo and is definitely “farmer Mark” now, spending lots of his little spare time in his garden.
I am proud to say Evan continues to leave quite a legacy. This year we hit over 20,000 donors recruited to the national registry, every one because of Evan and his foundation’s work. Every one on there because of the volunteers around the nation who made the decision to help honor my vibrant boy and participate in some capacity to share his journey.
I would ask you all to read the following letter I wrote to commemorate Evan’s 6th Annual Water Polo tournament last month. I want to share all the good that has come out of our water polo community, great video on our latest donor match, and ask that you please consider helping us celebrate Evan’s 6th Heavenly Birthday and to make a donation to help us keep Evan’s legacy alive
If you don’t care to read the letter but would like to make a donation, the link to the site is http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/BAHBAD/beaherobecomeadonorfoundation
Thank you for continuing to be part of our journey, without all of you, I am not sure I could have survived.
Forever Grateful, Evan’s Mom
Life is Funny
Written Nov 3, 2012 1:03am
November 2, 2012
Life is funny.
I am finally getting a chance to come see my CB friends and share the last year of life with you. Last November, I made the decision I would be connecting now only on a yearly basis, and while I could have come here dozens of times since, I now know that on Evan’s Heaven Day is when we will come together here.
I will warn you that this journal feels almost like the Christmas letters I would send out every year, B.E.D, before Evan’s diagnosis, intermingled with the life lessons Evan’s journey has provided me with. I consider as I write a bit and reread to trash it all, but I think I will just go with it and see what kind of response I get. I know you want to know how I am doing. I know it is important for you to see that I am tolerating this new life that I had no intention of being part of. And I believe that you have grown fond of not just me but the entire family, and want to know how they are coping as well. Therefore I get to share the sorted details of our every day life and what I hope you see is a proud mother and a family that continues to preserve in the midst of our tragedy.
I think it is important to acknowledge that five years after losing Evan, our pain remains strong. Ask I suspected, there is NO getting “over it”, but as you have heard me say countless times, you CAN learn to “tolerate” it. This year has been a year of great revelation. While I am far from perfect, which is what my almost 18 year old son desires of me, I am getting closer to the person I would like to be. Not sure if that makes sense, but I “LIKE” who I am becoming. And there is no doubt that the loss of Evan and the journey has shaped my very core. I like to tell me husband I plan to be a saint when I die. He just laughs at me and tells me it is impossible. Hmmmm, I wonder??
My desire to “do something really important” with Evan as the catalyst but in honor of all the patients we lived with on that pediatric transplant floor at the U and beyond has come to fruition with the work of the foundation. It was only because of the relationships that were built in the little kitchenette and hallways on 4A, that I will never forget why I make the choice to put myself in harms way on a daily basis. We all were in the fight for our children, all came with great HOPE to the U, but unfortunately we witnessed too few successes and much to much loss. What has happened in the process, is that I have not allowed any distance from the tragedy and so I continue to suffer greatly, as the horror follows me every day as I advocate on behalf of those who were in need, are in need and will be in need. It will never end. And I think, maybe, I am strong enough to preserve through this because of the greater good. I think, maybe, I am willing to take the hits on a regular basis as well, for the greater good. But this last month, the month of October, the visions of our last weeks with Evan are in full technicolor and threaten my sanity. FYI, I am not joking here. We have recently had another blow to our family, which I am not prepared to share at this time. What I will tell you it is a life changing challenge that is affecting each of us, and I have warned each of my kids to tread lightly as “they don’t want to be the one to make me lose my mind”, because then instead of being forever being known as Evan’s family, they would be known at the family whose “mom lost her mind”.
I have shared in the past that I have fantasied about death. That the thought of dying is a pleasing one, as that would put me in Evan’s arms again. That is how much suffering us grieving mommas live with, and five years later, I still play with those thoughts in my mind. But, on the other hand, there is no way I would knowingly allow my husband and children to suffer any more than they have, and now feel that I have too much to look forward to in the future here on this earth to give in to those thoughts.
I do have my timeline for grieving paved out:
The first year is the year in a fog, thank God, as that fog acts as a protective barrier of our reality.
Year two is the worst, as the fog has lifted and one cannot hide from the reality of the loss of our child.
Year three is the year of learning to tolerate. You start to laugh and take a chance on loving, and you realize it is okay because the agony remains even as you learn to live again.
Year four is the year you start to take chances. You start to try new things, and for most of us grieving mommas, we don’t want to do anything like we did “before”, so new is good. Simple things like going to Mass as a family once again, but sitting on the opposite side in a completely different row. And for me, it is a forward row as I don’t want to see the area we used to sit in when Evan was with us. Different is good!!
And year five for me is the year that I have been able to use my grief to show others, especially other mommas like me, that there is HOPE for a happy life. I have always thought of myself as compassionate, but my ability to be “empathetic” with those that are suffering could be the greatest triumph in the journey. In the midst of the tragedy, the blessing are so much clearer as we head into the fifth year of missing our boy and for that I am thankful.
And while I am here, and while I know at this time I don’t have the words to convey what I have learned and why I believe it to be God’s truth, I will keep my words simple and tell you that “this was NOT my God’s plan”. That my good and loving God’s plan was NOT to allow my son to suffer in he horrific manner that he did. And that if you believe in God, you have to believe in the evil that exists in this world, and perhaps more importantly the “free will” that my God provided us each with when we were created. And that it was because of this evil in the world that my God gave up his only Son, to die for our sins. What my God has done in the midst of our tragedy, is given us the ability to cope, to take our tragedy and give HOPE to mankind, and for that I am grateful. And if I stopped one person from saying to another grieving momma that this was God’s plan, then I need not say another word.
Alaina Marie will turn 15 tomorrow with her twin brother in Heaven instead of at her side. At almost 15, I have no idea what crosses her mind beyond being a freshman, loving high school, getting straight A’s, and dealing with bilateral shoulder surgeries, 5 weeks apart, with the first one being the week before school started. She lost her entire freshman water polo season where she was a starter on the varsity team, which is for her, a big emotional blow. She is our most talented polo player and she has incredibly high expectations for her athletic future. Both shoulder capsules had stretched out and she had multiple tears on both sides by the end of Junior Olympics at the end of summer, so the decision was made to take the 6 month hit and repair her now so she is better, faster, stronger, for the future. The rehab is brutal, but she is stepping up to the challenge and got her first birthday wish this week when the orthopod released her from her shoulder sling. My hope and prayer when I write next year will be that Alaina’s rehab was successful and she is playing her best polo ever!!
Derek, my almost adult son, is turning 18 on December 9th, and I am so excited he will be swabbing his cheek. He is perhaps more excited that he will be registering to vote. Both commendable activities!! Derek as continued to be a compassionate human being, while managing straight A’s as an International Baccalaureate candidate, as co-captain of the varsity water polo team, and president of the Be A Hero Become A Donor club at the high school. I will share that it is 10pm on Friday night, and he has been sleeping since 4pm and will sleep until morning, as last night he pulled an all-nighter and I am not sure if he got more than 8 hours sleep in total the rest of the week. He seems to be capable of feats a mere mortal could not complete, but this mother is constantly worried and praying for his safety and peace. He pushes himself more that I like, and October has proved to be the most stressful month in his high school career. Add in early action college application that was due Nov. 1; a challenging high school water polo season, oh did I fail to mention that he too had surgery, left hip at the beginning of June, losing his entire summer which was the big recruiting season for college coaches; he has 7 AP/IB classes: along with the multitude of volunteering he insists on being part of and oh yes, this weekend he is part of the coed dance team performance which he as dedicated dozens of hours of practice to. I am not sure if I were you if I could wait til next year to find out where Derek will be attending college and what the remainder of his senior year looked like.
Angel Mary has been in South Carolina for one year. She secured a job in January as a nurse in a step down ICU floor, telemetry, and less than one year as a nurse, she is being trained as a charge nurse. She tallies each IV she successfully started on the back of her ID tag, now over 60, and loves the work that God and Evan led her too.
Mark, who turned 50 last year, has taken charge of his health and is doing an awesome job of taking care of himself. Farmer Mark has turned out a beautiful organic veggie garden this year, FB friends has viewed the fruits of his labor there, and continues to find much joy in his kids and their sports.
And me, I am good. I was not sure I would ever be able to say that again, but life is good. We have been thrown many curve balls since the loss of Evan, but God has given us much strength. And we will, together as a family, survive anything that comes our way due to God’s unending Grace.
I have never public asked for your financial contributions to Evan’s Foundation, but this year to honor Evan and what should have been his 15th birthday, we are trying to raise $15,000 to be able to continue our lifesaving work. Since we reached out to our FB friends and email contacts, we have almost reached 1/3 of our goal. Please, no donation amount is too small, just whatever might feel comfortable to you, give what you can this month to the Be A Hero Become A Donor Foundation. For more information and to donate online, go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/BAHBAD/beaherobecomeadonor
If you prefer to write a check, please send c/o The Cousineau Family at 211 W. Avenida Cordoba San Clemente CA 92672 , made payable to BAHBAD.
If you would like to hear from me on a more regular basis, I ask you to friend me on FB, Gina Fridella Cousineau at http://www.facebook.com/gina.cousineau , where I frequent and “LIKE” our BAHBAD FB Page to stay connected with the work of Evan’s Foundation at http://www.facebook.com/BeAHeroBecomeADonor.
Lot of love and thank you for the continued thoughts of our Evan and the journey.
Life's Unexpected Journey
Written May 5, 2012 12:58pm
May 5, 2012
I hope you all missed me as much as I have missed you. Every day on this grief journey I could write to share the highs and lows, and keep you all entertained, but life gets in the way and so five months after l last posted on Evan’s CB, here I am on another monumental day.
I sit in a hotel room, once again, in San Diego where we have the privilege of cheering on one of our kids in the big SD Cup which we have been attending since Mary was in 6th grade 14 years ago. This weekend is our last hurrah, as Alaina is in 8th grade and it is her last year of eligibility for this tourney. The years here have been so joyful as you who have athletic children know, being with the teams, screaming and yelling at the refs, cheering for the kids, lots of socializing with teammates and friends from other teams you don’t get to see very often. That is of course until five years ago when we arrived a few days after Evan’s terminal diagnosis and now had to begin to maneuver this new life we had no plans on being part of.
I can clearly remember the weekend, as friends pushed me from one location to another, force fed me and just keep me from collapsing on the ground with our new reality. Evan was ready to play polo, even after spending the week in the hospital and recovering from his first tremendous seizure which already began to steal his peripheral vision. The first morning of the event, today, I took him to breakfast and he was tentative to sit with his teammates because he just didn’t feel good and already knew he was different, so he and I ate breakfast together. Of course I was scared to let him out of my sight as well. As we walked out of the restaurant, someone was chatting with us and we were looking to our left, and because of his lost vision, he and of course I, son of a bitch, didn’t see the door frame and he banged his precious head into it. This vision 5 years later makes me want to vomit. How I wish I could have prevented that moment. Immediately I ushered him to our room, where he began to vomit and I knew what was coming, another seizure. Paramedics were called, our second ambulance ride in a week to the ER and after several hours in the ER, meds given, and then a huge nap to sleep off his stinking horrific headache, that boy was back in the water playing polo for the weekend, hanging in the motorhome with the kids, and took home all tourney honors that he earned. That gut wrenching feeling I had that weekend still lives in me today. Thankfully most of the time I can force it into that closet and lock the door, but like “the blob”, it too often creeps under the door and comes to get me.
Five years ago I told my friends as I lay in a heap on my bed that I could not do this. And five years later while by the Grace of God I am still here, I will tell you I still don’t want to do this. I think it is important for those of you who peer through the looking glass, and even more so for those of you who live my life, to understand how horrific the agony of losing a child is and how my pain will continue on a daily basis, some more than others, and like a chronic illness, we don’t know when those bad and good days are coming.
On the wake of a huge loss in the San Diego Chargers and NFL community with the suicide of Junior Seau, one of the most loved football players in history, the sports talk radio station I listen to has been talking about this confusing subject of suicide. I fortunately have not had to live through knowing anyone personally who took their life, but have watched from far and near, mostly young men, the stories of their death. We lost a 20 year old man just this year in our town to suicide. While everyone knew how miserable this young man was, no one could stop it. And in Junior’s case, NO ONE knew this was coming. As I told my kids, his pain was so great, he could not look beyond it to think about his kids, family, friends and a nation of fans who adored him. His agony won and now everyone is left in the wake of this tremendous loss with questions and regret.
I certainly had a death wish for many months after losing Evan. Not suicidal in that I would have taken my own life, but hoped for someone to take it for me. I purposefully would not put on my seatbelt while I was being chauffeured around for the next 9 months, as I was NEVER left alone. Alaina and I both wished the plane would go down when we left Minny the day after losing Evan, on their 10th birthday, headed for home without him. And to be very honest, last month, I again slipped back into that mentality and cried to my dear friend, five years later, that I could not do this any longer.
And that brings me to my disclosure of what I have been through in the last two months. All of you who have followed Evan’s journey know that you could have been a fly on the wall, as I gave you every sorted detail along the way. Still to this day people call, text, email and message me to tell me how I have helped them learn to cope in some way or another because of my sharing. This next story I KNOW will help someone. In February, after some rubbing of personalities in my house, I was feeling under appreciated and unloved. For the first time ever, I ran away from home for a few days to my dear friend’s house in the desert. I emailed my family and told them that I just needed a few days to clear my head, told them all something positive about who they are, how much I loved them, and I would see them in a few days. That was not a good thing. Everyone felt abandoned, the kids thought I was divorcing their dad, and I while I came back feeling better, they were all in a tailspin that took awhile to recoup from, starting with a family therapy session. I think when you add in the grief journey for this mother, a little mid-life crisis turning 49 last month, not to mention to impending “menopause”, you have a dangerous person to deal with!! In March, feeling good again, I decided that the only control I didn’t have of myself was the fact that I had been taking Lexapro since December of 2007, about 4 weeks after losing Evan. After weeks of crying and laying in bed and not wanting to eat, Mary dragged me to my doctor for a full workup and that is when they decided I needed some help. I had already been taking Lunesta for sleep, thank God, and I recommend this med to anyone who has suffered a traumatic life change, as it allowed me to sleep instead of ponder this new life, and it had no side affects. Anyway, I can clearly remember being in New York with our relatives for our first Christmas without Evan, the only place we wanted to be, and while sitting on the subway, I felt a sense of calm come over me. I knew the Lexapro had taken affect. As my therapist reminds me, the med just softens the edges of this rough life I have to live with. But for those of you who know me, I am a control freak, and I hate anything keeping control of me, even in a good way, so 4 plus years later, wasn’t I in control enough to wean myself off the meds? So the taper began, nice and slow, and I felt great. I was completely off for several weeks when I began my crash and burn at the beginning of April, the month I will dread for the remainder of my days, the month leading up to Evan’s diagnosis, stocked with memories of something being wrong but NO ONE, not even this mother, could put her finger on, and lots of suffering already by my boy. I cannot get the visions out of my head to this day, they come flooding back with such force, that being off the meds with no softened edges was a really bad thing. What it looked like to my family was just a really sad and angry momma. No one especially my poor husband could do anything right. Of course NO ONE knew why. So many days my friend Cathy would walk with me and the doggies, to me crying a river, and after many discussions with her and my therapist, I knew that I could not live without my life’s edges being softened by a drug. I HATED that knowledge, but on the other hand, it reminded me just how horrific losing Evan is and I am almost “happy” that five years later I still cannot cope, as it reminds me of what I said day one, “I cannot do this”. It is as horrific as all of you untouched can imagine and most every day I say out loud to God, “I don’t want to do this!!”.
For those of you that know a grieving momma, don’t forget the pain, no matter how long from the death of their child, that they have to live with every day. Every day is a reminder of that child not being in their life, some days as mentioned more overwhelming than others, but every day we wake up with that dark cloud looming over our head as a reminder and it sucks. Just because we “look so good”, or we have learned to socialize again, or you see us laughing and smiling, don’t forget that this is simply a facade, and that right under the surface, we are suffering so.
I will be forever grateful to my grieving momma’s group that meets once a month for lunch. Some days the topic is heavy, and some days much lighter, but if and when we need to unload, these momma’s “get it”. My hope has been for several years now to have a grief retreat up at Faith’s Lodge in Wisconsin, for us mommas, but I have yet to be able to pull it together. Do let me know if this is something you would like to be part of, and tell a friend.
Before Evan’s diagnosis, I could hang with the team. I was often the leader of the band, working with the coach to plan activities and meals, leading cheers during the games, etc. Now I usually sit by myself. I try really hard to intertwine with the others, but I still feel so different. Now after the game, I sit at Starbucks with my whole wheat turkey bacon sandwich and my soy misto roobis tea, no syrup please, alone, writing to you and working on the foundation, which I could do 24/7. Just this week alone I had three calls from families whose loved ones need transplant and they have NO match. I fight and argue most every day on behalf of our ALD families, sometimes going head to head with another ALD family member who just hasn’t taken responsibility for this disease that has invaded their family, but remembering that boys will be saved and I really don’t care if someone doesn’t like my approach. I have done my due diligence in both the world of ALD and transplant, and can comfortably call myself an expert. And as those who have heard be speak, I always acknowledge that “all of us will have tragedy come into our lives, the question is what will you do with it”.
I will end with this thought....on our ald support fb page today a mom stated “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”. People always use this quote without bothering to finish it. It is a quote from Mother Theresa “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle, I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” which I feel is a much better assessment of most situations. We as humans are adaptable and by and large, we survive against the odds. That doesn’t make it fun, or easy or enjoyable, it just means we survive. Fact is, if you believe in God, you have to believe in the devil and all his evil works, so stop blaming God for our tragedies and start thanking God for giving us the grace and comfort to survive it. God gave me a huge gift in the work of Evan’s foundation. As I posted on my fb status the other day, “Just gonna say after 4 years in full swing with the foundation's efforts, we are ROCKIN' it. Thank you Jesus!!” For those who have lost touch with us, I will continue to post a few times a year on Evan’s Caringbridge because I know so many of you care. I do suggest you “LIKE” our FB page, , so you can stay in touch with our efforts around the country. And if you would like to stay in touch with me, you can friend me on FB under “Gina Fridella Cousineau”.
On a side note, Mary and Travis just celebrated their 6 month wedding anniversary. They are happily living on base in a beautiful new townhouse in Goose Creek, South Carolina where Travis is getting ready to graduate from Navy Power School, nuclear engineering, with one more semester to go. Mary got her first nursing job two months ago, about an hour from home in Orangeburg, in the Progressive Care Unit, step down from ICU, and after one month, got employee of the month. Travis is doing a beautiful job in school, which is brutal, to provide for his family, and Mary is the nurse we all expected her to be, so grateful for the vocation’s God provided to her as a wife and nurse, and we are hopeful for that third vocation, as a mother, in the next few years. “hint hint”
Thank you to each and every one of you who has been part of our journey. It has been both a horrific and beautiful journey thus far....