|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 10, 2014 at 7:35 PM||comments (1)|
When I woke up this morning I already knew I wasn't going to love this day. Aside from the dreadful darkness outside at 6:00 a.m., today would mark one more good bye to Joe and Juliana. Yes, it is my final week in our Boston apartment and I should be thankful. After all, the bad stuff is behind us and we have good health to look forward to!
The first two hours of this day was action packed. I made the lunches, quickly took the garbage pail to the curb before I missed that truck with the ear piercing brakes, threw a load of whites in the washer, warmed Joe's car, responded to a few emails, cleaned up the man cave from its weekend of being occupied by Chris, drove Juliana to school, scoffed down some breakfast, wrote out some bills and finally sat for 10 minutes to enjoy my first cup of coffee. As I sat quietly in my kitchen I remembered how much I missed those crazy mornings. So, I poured another cup of coffee all set to have myself a little pity party. I was feeling really bummed about having to load the van once again and pull away from 508.
It was at that moment I was swiftly snapped into reality and was reminded of just how trivial my little "problem" was. My friend Janet, the director of parish ministries from our church, sent me a very upsetting text message. I could tell from her opening sentence that this wasn't good. Pastor Spencer suffered a stroke last night during the Jazz Vespers service.
As most of you know, this man has been a pillar to the Roddy family for many years. Pastor Spencer has provided me with support and guidance more times than I could possibly count. He pronounced me and Joe husband and wife, he baptized our children and gave them their first communion, he prayed with us through my mothers battle with cancer and delivered a beautiful sermon for her funeral, he sang the Lords Prayer at my grandmothers funeral at her church (as a favor to me, his friend), he sat with us through umpteen hours of surgeries with Chris when he was little, and his latest pastoral act of kindness lead him to be with us in Boston the day before the transplant. His presence made me feel loved and safe. Safe during a time that I was scared out of my wits.
There will be many of you reading this that have similar stories about how Pastor has been there for you and your loved ones in your darkest hour. Whether you know him or not, as a favor to me, PLEASE pray for Pastor Roger Spencer. Pray for his family as well. This family is scared out of THEIR wits tonight.
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 8, 2014 at 12:05 AM||comments (5)|
Was happy to be home this week ... Was not happy that our entire family unit is still separated by a few states.
Loved spending time with Juliana ... Hated being away from the boys.
These are just a few things on my pros and cons list this week. I'd say these are pretty darned minuscule compared to the great reward of Chris's good health. He continues to grow in stature and as of this mornings exam he's gained 14 pounds since the transplant on January 30th. Watch out Stop N' Shop ... here I come!
My time with Juliana this week was perfect. This girl certainly lives her entire life in one big fat exclamation mark. Everything she does is done with passion and a smile. She makes my job as her mother so easy. I am just so proud of how she has handled the past couple of months. Joe and I are in constant awe of how both of our kids have learned to deal with the deck our family has been dealt. When they were little we never rewarded our kids with "things" for their good behavior. We always told them that good behavior is expected not rewarded. Bad things in life happen to EVERYONE. Buying toys or "stuff" does not make the things we can't change better. However, Juliana learned that lesson a long long time ago. Let's just say we had a little fun shopping this week.
The boys are on their way back to NJ as I type! I am very excited to see them both and anxious to know if these translucent Irish boys will be sporting a little more color when they return to 508 this afternoon. Chris was well on his way to rosy cheeks when they left on Sunday, but 5 more days of a healthy and fully functioning kidney can do a lot for a guy. Joe's come a long way and I think his body has finally figured out that old righty will be just fine on his own since old lefty flew the coupe on January 30th.
This weekend we will celebrate Joe's birthday. Man, I thought I had a hard time buying for him before the transplant! Any ideas on what to get a guy that just saved your kids life? Anybody? Anybody?
On Monday Chris and I will return to Boston for the final days in our city crash pad. We will be back in Glen Rock permanently a week from today. Yesssss! For the next several weeks Chris will be seen in NYC on Mondays and we'll need to travel to Boston on Thursdays for his Friday appointments. Once again, these are all minor inconveniences in the scheme of what Chris has received in return.
Keep up the great job you're all doing with those prayers and have a wonderful weekend!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 1, 2014 at 10:30 PM||comments (3)|
This weekend absolutely flew! The boys just got on the road and I am feeling like a fish out of water. This house certainly got quiet in a hurry and I am not liking it one bit. So, is it Oscar, wine and cheese time yet? Combine those few things with Ellen DeGeneres and I've got myself a ticket to "forget about the surrounding REAL world" for the evening.
Please pray that Joe and Chris have an uneventful week and a safe journey to and from Boston! Off to chill that wine now.
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 1, 2014 at 10:30 PM||comments (1)|
Happy to be home but sad that our little family unit will be split in half again tomorrow. The separation has been pretty high at the top of the "hardest things throughout this journey" list. The good news is that Joe looks good and seems to be up to the 4 hour drive back to Boston tomorrow and fully prepared to report for Chris duty. However, something tells me that a big ole' nap will be on the agenda once they arrive.
This morning I wondered what I would do with myself all week not having to chart Chris's every move and run back and forth to doctor appointments. So I started a to do list and man did that add up in a hurry. I am looking forward to attending Juliana's games, I am in desperate need of some salon services, and hope to meet a friend or two for lunch. My guesstimate is that I have 2 full days this week of sorting through paper work. The medical bills are streaming in at a steady pace and let's just say I am thanking God we have health insurance. Holy Mackerel!
Today as I ran some errands I had the pleasure of running into a few friends and family members. As Miss Gale once said, "there's no place like home"!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on February 27, 2014 at 6:15 PM||comments (4)|
We are once again flying out of here tomorrow after Chris's appointment at the hospital. We got a taste of home last week and dag nam it, we want more! Joe is doing better and better everyday. He is insisting on coming back to Boston with Chris on Sunday (before the next snow storm) and I will stay back in NJ and be Juliana's mom for the week. Of course I'll need to see first hand that he is well enough to make the trip. However, I've packed for the week and I'm hoping for the best.
Today the tutor thing finally got worked out. I received a call from the gentleman that provided at home instruction before we left for Boston when Chris was too sick to attend school. Mr. Cece is an awesome tutor and has agreed to Face Time with Chris a few nights a week. I feel that this will be the perfect solution to easing Chris back into school. Thank God for modern technology!
In case I haven't done this before, I'd like to thank all of you that have sent meals over to 508 in my absence. My sister has done a fantastic job at coordinating ALL of these meals through the numerous schedule changes and snowstorms. Thanks, Deb! For the record, those of you that have cooked have completely spoiled the other half of my family. I can't wait to hear the groaning when our lives are back to normal and I'm the head chef once again. My family has thoroughly enjoyed every single meal and the TLC that came along with it. My sincerest thanks!
Please remember to cross your fingers, toes and whatever else you have to cross that Chris's numbers are better tomorrow. He is doing everything that is asked of him. His hard work just HAS to pay off!!!!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on February 26, 2014 at 7:05 PM||comments (2)|
Chris had his ultrasound this morning and everything appears to be okay. We need to change a few things and monitor his numbers closely. Figures, JUST when I relax and let my guard down a little yet another curve ball is thrown our way! Dang!
Joe iced his back and neck on and off all night. He got up this morning and walked on the treadmill and did some stretching to loosen up. Thankfully he seems to be alright after his freak fall yesterday.
When we returned from the hospital there was a beautiful bouquet of red roses waiting in the lobby for me at the apartment. The card read, "Happy Anniversary --- Aloha!". We were supposed to be in Hawaii this week to celebrate our 20th. I will take a healthy kid over a trip to Hawaii anyday! Although, after this past year a rain check might be nice. Thank you for all of the anniversary wishes. I can only hope that the next 20 is just as happy but perhaps a little less eventful. Actually, boring will suffice!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on February 25, 2014 at 9:00 PM||comments (6)|
I may have gotten a little ahead of myself by getting so excited about Chris's amazing recovery. This afternoon the hospital called and his creatinine level is up. They want him to go in for an ultrasound tomorrow morning to make sure everything is alright. I refuse to let myself go right to the what ifs so I've decided to put it out there and lean on all of you for some prayers.
When I called Joe to share this unsettling news he didn't sound right. Apparently right before I called he had gone outside to move the car and he slipped on the ice in our driveway and fell. He hurt his back and neck but insists that he's fine. Good grief Charlie Brown!
20 years ago tonight I didn't have an ounce of these worries. We had our rehearsal dinner and my biggest concern was whether or not our out of town guests would make it in for our wedding the following day. Most of the country was getting slammed by a snow storm. I think today we call it a polar vortex.
At any rate, a handful of our guests didn't make it in to New Jersey but we were married anyway and shared one the best night of our lives together with great friends and family. We were married at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glen Rock and our reception was at The Views at Mt. Fuji in Hillburn, NY. It was a picture perfect day with a fresh coat of snow and a bright blue sky. When the sun set our 100 guests were wowed by the beautiful full moon that made its appearance as we looked out the floor to ceiling windows of the ballroom. We didn't plan that nor did we have to pay extra for it at the end of the night! If only I could find that rewind button and relive that night once more.
So my friends, dart a prayer up for my boys once again if you wouldn't mind.
|Posted by sheri.roddy on February 24, 2014 at 8:40 PM||comments (3)|
Chris and I arrived at our apartment in Boston late this afternoon. We had a great weekend in Glen Rock but boy oh boy, what a tease!
Yesterday with my family was the BEST! As most of you know, 51 Hoffman is my happy place. Always was, and always will be. It's the house I grew up in and my sister and her husband moved in after my father died in 2010. Debbie and Tom have carried on one tradition in that house that absolutely thrills me --- the front door at 51 continues to be a revolving one. ALL are welcome, anytime! Debbie has inherited my mothers hospitable ways and of course there is always an abundance of food (even for veggie heads like myself). It was a perfect "home" coming and it was great to see everyone. I am positive that my mother and father were smiling down on all of us yesterday as we shared a beautiful day together.
Chris now has a good amount of energy and he eats everything in sight. As of Friday morning, he was up 8 pounds since transplant and has grown a half inch. I know I keep reporting his height and weight but kidney disease effects a child's growth tremendously. Chris has NEVER had a great appetite so to see him put back entire egg sandwiches like they're tic tacs is so encouraging. He is finally doing "normal" teenage boy stuff and I'm out of my mind excited about it.
Joe is doing better than last week but he's still on the slower track to recovery. Lately, I seem to be catching glimpses of what he will be like when we celebrate our 50th anniversary, 30 years from now. He falls asleep at the drop of a hat, walks a little on the slow side with a slight slouch, eats often but super small portions and is most comfortable when donning his flannel pajama pants which hang a little too far south. I believe I witnessed him looking for the mailman on Saturday afternoon. Better days are coming, Joe Roddy!
This evening I received an email from the transplant coordinator which included a calendar of Chris's follow up appointments. They have been scheduled up until his one year anniversary. They informed us that WE WILL BE ABLE TO MOVE BACK TO GLEN ROCK ON FRIDAY, MARCH 14th! Less than 3 weeks from now!!!!! YESSSSS!
Boston Children's and Columbia Presbyterian will alternate seeing Chris for labs and clinic visits for the next year. We will still need to come to Boston frequently and they will continue to call the shots, but we look forward to our visits up here being short and sweet from here on in. There is not a doubt in our minds that we came to the best possible facility for Chris's treatment. Being away from home has not been easy. But to see him today has been worth the travel a million times over!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on February 22, 2014 at 10:40 PM||comments (7)|
So yes, I've blown my cover ... the jig is up! Chris and I ditched Boston for the weekend and enough people know we are home now that I feel it's safe to blog about it. No offense, Beantown, we were just missing home more than anything. I would have told people sooner but Chris's doctors just gave us the official thumbs up to go home for the weekend during yesterday's visit. Although I was already 99% packed before the appointment I still needed their approval. Chris has strict instructions to steer clear from any and all sick people which is not an easy task in late February in New Jersey. Therefore, we opted to keep our little visit a secret up until now.
Juliana had absolutely no idea what I was scheming. Yesterday, Chris and I drove through the thickest fog I've ever seen --- but there was NO WAY that was holding me back! I drove with caution and we arrived in Glen Rock late yesterday afternoon. I called my friend, Linda, to let her know I was home and that she didn't need to pick up Juliana from cheer practice at 6:00. During our phone conversation Juliana beeped in to let Linda know she was ready. Joe, Chris and I quickly hopped in the car and headed to the high school. When we pulled up Juliana was with a handful of other girls waiting outside the high school for their rides. Of course, she thought she was looking for Linda's car. One of her friends called out and said, "Juliana, your mom is here!". She looked confused at first but within seconds she realized that there it was! The white mini van containing her mom, brother and dad!!!! She instantly starting jumping up and down and was running toward the car yelling, "YOU CAME HOME, YOU CAME HOME, YOU CAME HOME!!!!!!". I don't think there was a dry eye in the parking lot. If only I had thought ahead and turned the video camera on! That moment will be etched in my mind forever and was well worth any fog Mother Nature threw my way!
This afternoon I was able to attend Juliana's cheer competition. She did great! I was never so happy to be sitting on a bleacher for 3+ hours. It was so nice to be a mom to Juliana doing regular 'mom-type' stuff. Ahhh ... normalcy!
This evening Joe and I went to dinner in Ridgewood to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary a few days early. Of course, our dinner conversation contained a whole lot of "wows". This has certainly been an action packed 20 years! True fact, the past 20 years with Joe Roddy has NOT been "boring". We both agreed we would do each one of those 20 years over again in a heartbeat!
Tomorrow my sister Debbie is having a get together for my nephew Nick's 30th birthday. Chris is so excited to see his aunts, uncles and cousins! It will be Debbie, Tom, along with their kids and significant others. Cindy, Steven, Jake & Morgan are also coming from Long Island. We will be a small crowd but we still need to be super cautious and mindful of Chris's medical condition. Therefore, we will attend bearing not only birthday gifts, but surgical masks and Purell. Those things are super important, but family is sure to be the best medicine this kid has received in months!
Sadly, on Monday Chris and I will need to return to Boston. With any luck we'll be back in Glen Rock for good within a few weeks. For now, we shall enjoy our time together. Please don't take it personally if I didn't let you know we were coming sooner. Chris's health is top on my priority list and a little cough to you could be a week long hospital stay for Chris. Thank you for understanding that.
Happy weekend to all and to all a good night .....
|Posted by sheri.roddy on February 21, 2014 at 8:55 PM||comments (4)|
L I F E. I S. G O O D. Enjoy the weekend and the loved ones I hope you're sharing it with!