Rusty Ray

First post: Nov 16, 2020 Latest post: Nov 21, 2020

Dear Family and Friends,

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of caring,  peace and compassion.  Thank you for visiting.

Rusty's journey started in mid-November of 2014 when he was on a business trip to Florida and suffered a significant stroke.  It affected his right side (his primary side) in many ways.  He had to learn to walk again, find his words again, use his left hand and arm for so many things that his right side used to do,  and many other things as well.  In a quick moment, I became so in awe of my husband as I witnessed the struggle, the pain and the perseverance it took for him to relearn these 'basic' things that he had naturally learned as a young child decades ago.  He had quite a good recovery and was geared up to reenter his treasury position with Feld Entertainment the following February 2015, when he suffered a 2nd, and more severe, stroke.  He had to relearn to walk, etc all over again.  But this stroke was even fiercer than the first.  We gradually adjusted to our new (ab)'normal' though not without much heartache and grief.  In time, we had a new routine and lifestyle and while it was like nothing we'd enjoyed pre-strokes or nothing we could have ever anticipated or imagined, we kept our senses of humor and did our best together, each and every day.  Our two sons were hugely affected, of course, but also rallied in this journey with their father.  They have made their father and I so proud of them for who they are, for their compassion and deep love for their father and for their courage throughout all of this.

In recent years, Rusty's health had really declined and he was losing many of his hard-fought for abilities.   Over this past year, the decline was very noticeable and only going in one direction.  Rusty had such a positive attitude throughout most of these past 6 years but more recently had become so tired of his relentless, daily struggle ~ and with no recovery in sight.

Hospice was brought into our lives for Rusty last week, on November 11th - two days before the 6 year anniversary of his first stroke.  Adam has arrived home from NYC and Alex has already been home with us throughout COVID19.  Rusty is sleeping much of the time, but when awake, still pretty lucid and communication is still pretty good.   We know this will not last, so we are treasuring each waking moment with him now.  We will be decorating an artificial Xmas tree in our family room, where Rusty is now, and hope to go through lots of family photos together.

My hope is to post simple updates each day on this website.  We have been overwhelmed by the love and support everyone has shared these past few days ~ as well as these past six years ~ and simply ask that you continue to surround our family(ies) with much love. 

Much love,
Karen,  Adam,  Alex and Gracie