We had a beautiful service at Edenton Street United Methodist church here in Raleigh this past Sunday. For me it was much harder than the service in Florida as Roxanne and I had so much history at that church. Giving a eulogy for her ten feet away from where we said our vows eight years ago today was very surreal and felt very odd. I held it together pretty well except during the slide show that was done by Roxanne’s friends and when I first started looking at the scrap book my sister did (I completely lost it). I am going take those two items, all the letters written to Carson on behalf of Roxanne, all the cards and some personal effects of Roxanne and put them in some sort of engraved keepsake. In the coming years when Carson starts asking questions I will present to him so he knows what a wonderful lady she was and will know how much she truly loved him.
I want to thank all of those who came out. It meant a ton to the family and showed what a well respected, caring, and loving person Roxanne truly was. Thanks to Patty, Leigh and anybody else who contributed to the slide show it was awesome. Thanks to my sister Holly for the incredible scrap book. You folks have no idea what those two things alone meant to me as it’s sometimes easy to forget the fun things in the past when you are so tied up in the present and what Roxanne had become due to FTD. Although I looked though tons of my own pictures that brought back many memories in preparation for the memorial, the slide show and the scrapbook really hit home and truly helped me relive all of the good times we had in our pre-FTD years.
I look forward to bright future but will never forget my wonderful past. Though all of this I have become a much wiser, patient and caring person (but still have a ton to learn). I have never seen or experienced the level of unconditional love that Roxanne’s parents and family gave her in her last year. They truly made her last years amazing as they went out of their way to give her the life that she deserved. I am in the process of refocusing my life on Carson, work , and having fun again. If you are local don’t be surprised if you start getting emails and phone calls from me asking to do fun stuff. You see I have to do this, as my social planner is no longer with us to carry out these tasks, but she is with us in spirit and that is what she would have wanted.
In closing I want to thank Roxanne’s family for taking such good care of her and supporting Carson and I, my family for all the local support, countless friends who checked in on Roxanne and Carson and I, the Alzheimer’s Association of Eastern North Carolina www.alznc.org , COPE Elder Care www.copeeldercare.com, Tia Willin www.caringbridge.org/visit/ryanwillin (the first FTD caregiver I spoke to), Bob Hoffman www.bhoffcomp.com/coping/shirley.html (was the first FTD personal site I stumbled upon which made me realize the horror that was unfolding), the UNC Memory and Cognitive Disorders Center, my local FTD Support Group (you guys rock!), my employer RMSource, my work clients who asked and kept up with things, this wonderful site www.caringbridge.org, anybody else who helped us out that I unintentionally left out (you know who you are!), and last but not least the good lord for making things turn out the best they can despite such a bad situation.
Oops, forgot about mentioning a Fund raiser for FTD. Roxanne and I met in the Raleigh Jaycees years ago and we were both quite active. I was contacted a few weeks ago by a member about doing a fund raiser for FTD in which the proceeds would benefit The Association of Frontotemporal Dementias or www.ftd-picks.org. We are tentatively going to have an event at Adventure Landing in north Raleigh on September 19th. Bring the entire family out for mini golf, video games, go carts, laser tag, and a lot of fun! Thank you to the Jaycees for doing this as it’s a great honor and the money will be going to a great cause. It’s not on the Jaycee calendar yet, but check with their web site in the coming weeks for more details. www.raleighjaycees.org
Last but not least to Carson and I’s guardian angel, I will always miss you and will love you forever.