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2/29/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most. Please see the journal updates to understand who Paula is as a person, and what this disease is as an enemy. Please remember that Paula is so much more than what's happening right now, and remember the picture posted on the website of Paula happily enjoying food at the "Slug and Lettuce" on a European adventure with Robert.
If you need our address, it is:
828 Lonewolf Circle Lochbuie, CO 80603
If there is a specific item we need someone to bring, we'll put it on the planner as a task. If there's something you'd really like to send that is important to you, please do, mom gets excited when she sees things from the people who are important to all of us, and we have enjoyed all of our surprise deliveries.
Many of you have asked us what can you do to help. Aside from visitors and some planned food, there's not a great answer to that. So we do have a simple wish. If you are able, call your mother more often and have a nice long chat. Tell her you love her. Robert recently learned that Halley called Paula every day on her way home from work. Erin wasn't as good, but she is glad that she talked to her mom more often in the past years.
If your wife has always wanted to take a certain trip, stop making excuses why you can't go and make a plan for it to happen (without debt of course--Paula doesn't like that). Paula and Robert didn't know that their trip to Europe would be their last overseas adventure or that their trip to Pittsburgh to see Halley would be Paula's last flight, but Robert is so incredibly glad that they went when they did.
Enjoy a tea party with your favorite people no matter how old or young you are. Mom recently hosted many lovely ladies for tea, and we're glad she did. Erin and Paula enjoyed tea time together for the Superbowl complete with football shaped scones. Mom likes the simple pleasures in life, and a proper tea is up at the top of her list, even better if you've got some Yorkshire Gold. Paula was hoping to host a teddy bear tea with the little residents of her neighborhood, and it's a great way to get to know kids.
Keep a voicemail from your parents or your spouse that says "I love you." You never know when you'll want to play it on repeat.
Try to put some things in order and have the uncomfortable conversations before it's too late. If you have never talked about your living will wishes with your spouse or adult children, do so now. It's an uncomfortable conversation but it was a sincere blessing that Paula had had some of those conversations with both Robert and Erin (who was an estate planning lawyer for a time) before we had to make decisions for her. Make sure both spouses know where the originals of all your documents are, and give someone else a copy in case of emergency. We sincerely wished Erin had a copy last week. Think about some uncomfortable topics, like whether you want to be buried or cremated. It doesn't matter how old you are or how morbid this may seem. We are glad that we know many of Paula's wishes so we won't have to question whether we will make the right choice.
Remember that each day we have with the people we love is a gift and we don't know how many we will receive. So try not to squander your gifts with fights, anger, or petty dealings. What we will be sad for when we lose Paula is not about unresolved issues, hurt feelings, stuff, or things that were said, but instead about all the memories we won't have the chance to make and all the adventures we won't be able to undertake.
Thank you for your love and support. Paula, Robert, Erin, & Halley