Marty's Bus, a short version

Marty's Bus, a short version

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:56 am

Maybe this is inappropriate, maybe not.
I have several times started to re-read the full 18 page thread, but often kept skipping to read Freddy's posts.

So I did a copy and paste and thought I'd post this version of the travels of Marty's bus.

This is almost entirely Freddy's posts on his thread, but a few posts from other forum members jumped out at me, and I included them. This is NOT to say that many other posts did not deserve being on this 'short version', but just a few happened to catch my eye as I scrolled through Freddy's messages.

I'm so humbled each time I've read through these messages, more words fail me.


From the first message:
OK... I made it through coffee...didn't even cry. It's weird how we humans can compartmentalize grief and get some things done. I've put this off for a week now. We wanted to have empirical proof before we said anything. An X-ray showed it, The Drs said it could be a few different things. A PET scan verified it, the Dr said it wasn't good, but it wasn't proof. Late yesterday we got the results of a surgical biopsy. My wife, my love, my Marty, has lung cancer. <now tears> It's not good, not at all. It's in the worst place possible, right above her heart. That takes surgery off the table. Because of it's size, radiation is also off the table. It is small cell, that's way worse than large cell. The DR said if it had been large cell, it would have been stage 3 or 4, but because it's small cell, they don't even stage it, it's either limited (contained to the lung) or unlimited (spread to other places). The PET shows hot spots in a rib and her spine so it is unlimited. God is calling her name & there is no changing that. It's just a matter of time and what do we do with that time. We have....she has.... simply put, decided to try and live each day as best as we can. We have no desire to go to Hawaii or the Great Wall of China or something. We enjoy simple things and will do just that.... stay home & play cribbage, get excited with a pretty sunrise, walk the dogs and other daily little things. She's giving hard consideration to not having chemo. We have always talked that if we have a choice of living 3 or 4 months and feeling pretty good most of the time, or, living 9 months and feeling like crap all the time, that we'd choose feeling good for a shorter time. Of course, that might change when it's actually happening. Whatever Marty wants, we will do.

She's 63 years old & yes, she's always smoked cigarettes.

Her, our, best friend Eloise will go hand and hand with us through this journey. As a matter of fact, she retired because of this. Eloise is (was) an intensive care cardiac nurse. She said she feared caring for a patient while her mind was someplace else. The fact is, she was scheduled to retire April 15th, so it's not that big a change. She has known Marty 45 years.... 6 years longer than I have.

I've rambled... sorry.

Fred

By: Freddy On: Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:59 am
Thank you all for the kind words. Every one of you is special.
OK, Load the bus up.... it's a 32 seater with 16 cribbage boards. A fridge full of Pepsi & off we go.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Freddy
State of Maine Moderator

Posts: 5968
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:54 pm
Location: Orrington, Maine
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
By: Freddy On: Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:26 pm
Today seemed like a long day, but a good one. Marty felt better today than the last few days. We beat her butt in a few games of cribbage then went through some old photos. A nurse came by to talk about the future & such. She wasn't here 5 minutes & SHE started crying! Gosh... we ended up feeling bad for her & gave her support. A year ago day after tomorrow her sister died.... from exactly what Marty has.....same age, same everything, except she choose to have chemo, and the first chemo made her so sick she was never the same, then 35 hours after the second dose, she died. How sad is that? The nurse was amazed at how we were handling things, and how good our attitude was. We assured her that we have our times of tears, but today was a good day.

No need for a second opinion. We personally know the Dr that analyzed the X-ray & PET scan. The symptoms and science speaks for themselves. Marty & Eloise have seen this many many times during their nursing careers. IF she was going to have chemo, then maybe a second opinion as to what drug would be the drug of choice, but, choosing to let nature take it's course, no need to have opinions. We just know that the cancer is advanced. Chemo at this time would simply change her life instantly, and change it for the worse. She would never have another decent day. The way she's choosing, she will have many good days. No one knows how many, but, you know how sometimes people say "If I she could only have one more day, one more week. ? Well, tomorrow IS that day, the next 7 days IS that week. We are going to pull up our big boy pants, wipe the tears, and smile at the sunshine. However, there will be no smiles at below zero temps!!!

Again, thank you all for the thoughts and prayers.

Tomorrow... Lobster!
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

y: Freddy On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:20 pm
What a beautiful bunch of people you all are. Thank you all so much for the thoughts & positive energy. For sure, it's time for me to put on my big boy pants, reach behind, grab my butt & pull forward. Your words are much appreciated.

We are learning to get a grip on the reality of it, and also being able to add some humor...albeit sometimes odd humor... but we have to do the best we can while at the same time dealing with the hard plain truth. Today we went grocery shopping.... already we have learned that Marty is done driving... as we went into the store she said "Oh, I have my DNR papers (do not resuscitate) with me, so if I collapse there's no need to call 911". I said " Soooo... we'll just drag you back to the car, toss you in the back, take you home & call the funeral parlor Monday morning?" We both laughed. I'm sure the end won't come that way, but I guess we are ready for the unexpected.

Today: Lobster! My friends John & Lois brought lobsters & we had a delicious feast. We all admitted that we'd never had lobster with snow on the ground. We played "Blockus" afterwards & had some good smiles.

Now... we're both beat.

Just thought I'd say.... we do believe in chemo therapy, but in the right place. As a matter of fact, the Lois that was here today had breast cancer and chemo 10 years ago. Perfect! It was certainly worth the sickness it brings in a case like hers. But, in some cases, like Marty's, there is just no hope of stopping this. If she started chemo, she would never, ever, have another good day. We plan on having many! I have three jobs in my shop that need to get done.....maybe 3 weeks work. After that, the shop is closed, except for small, quick jobs. And, ya know... one of those jobs might not really need to get done. Hmmmmm.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Freddy
State of Maine Moderator

Posts: 5968
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:54 pm
Location: Orrington, Maine
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Freddy
State of Maine Moderator

Posts: 5968
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:54 pm
Location: Orrington, Maine
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Re: It's not good.
By: Freddy On: Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:10 am
Good morning,

Eloise spent the evening & I went out....to get taxes done. Not only our taxes, but also Uncle Bills. The poor guy is dad and this year he has to file TWO returns! One for him, one for his estate. I thought you could escape taxes by dying, but nooooo, the Feds follow you into the grave & sweep up whatever they can. In his case there are no taxes due, but there is a little return on the estate. The accountant said if the returns were not done it really wouldn't matter, the Feds would just keep the money. Best to leave a clean paperwork trail I guess, so we're did the returns.

Marty thinks she's getting a cold! Just what she needs. We do have some super duty cough syrup. It helps. Now we just need a 20 square foot Kleenex.

I found myself on the phone yesterday with a new customer. I heard my mouth say "The shop is closed until further notice". Little jobs sneak in though....the Local Fire Dept needs a banner before Friday. That's a 2 hour charity job. I'll charge them cost or a little less. If I gave it to them they'd feel bad & not come back.

Hope you all have a decent day.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

e: It's not good.
By: Freddy On: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:20 am
Well, I just sent 'most everybody a private message...let's keep that to ourselves! But, in doing so I had to make a list of who I had sent it to so I wouldn't send too many duplicates....and... we need a new bus! This 32 seater is leaving about a dozen people standing. So... Off the bus! Wait here while the bigger one get's painted & more cribbage boards are in the works.

Marty's a bit weak this morning, but is up and around. A chocolate milkshake should perk her up. Eloise is off to a Dr appt this morning. She was born with a pimple of sorts on a lower eyelid & they decided it should be removed as soon as she found time....so here it is 60ish years later & she finally got an appointment to get it removed. Yup, we take our time with matters like this.

OK... get to work!
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Re: It's not good.
By: Freddy On: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:56 am
Bruce.... Thank you for the poem.... perfect!

As for hugging each day.... For a long time now, almost every Saturday I end the Forum weekly cyber coffee with "Hug your loved ones". I have always said that because we actually do. Perhaps not every day, but almost every day of our 32 years of marriage, at some point we take 5 seconds & hug....now... more often than that.

Marty's brother Nelly (Nelson) finally got the news. He has no phone so we left a message with Danny, his best friend, and a childhood friend of Marty's. We only see Danny once or twice a year but when we do Marty always makes Pineapple cookies for him. Nelly phoned last night & said he & Danny would come visit...they live 42 miles away. After the call I said "Well, looks like you need to make cookies." Marty rolled her eyes like she wasn't looking forward to the baking. I said "Hey! It won't kill you to make Danny some cookies". All she could do was half laugh "It might, it could!". Yaaa... more dark humor.... whatya do? Well, at least she appreciates my humor and I won't forget that smile.

Marty slept a lot yesterday. She did knit a little & read a book some & we watched NCIS.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

e: it's not good
By: Freddy On: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:24 pm
Stop the bus! It's hard to light the broiler going down this bumpy road. Well, my goodness, we got a surprise yesterday. The UPS truck pulled up with an overnight express. An odd ox with built in handles, about the size of a medium size ice chest. From Maryland.... Hmmmmm From Faidley Seafood, Jumbo lump crab cakes. Yaaaa, OK. I had crabcakes once in my life at some fair or carnival. They were bready, dry, off-fish flavor & just plain not good. So... here's this box, obviously world famous, it says so! Being seafood lovers OK, let's give them a try. Following the directions we broiled them to a golden brown. I made some tartar sauce in case we needed to hide the flavor. So.... I fork up a gingerly amount & give it a taste. Yowza! Instant happy tongue! I dove back in for a full size bite & ohhhh, gosh... flavorsome, delectable, scrumptious nirvana! Marty saw me & she dove in too. What a fun time. I ate more than she, but we made a full meal out of half of what was in the box. The other have we were going to eat today, but that didn't happen so we froze the rest. It might not be quite as good as those first fresh ones, but I'm sure even defrosted they will be 7000% better than the ones I had at that carnival. I thank you Coalkirk! You went above and beyond what any cyber friend might do. Thank you for the special smiles. My taste buds thank you too. They will never forget.

The last two days Marty has been doing OK. Hopefully many more ahead.
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Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

e: It's not good.. will be changing to "Marty's bus" soon
By: Freddy On: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:17 pm
A thought..... <brain melting> A though of changing the subject to something a bit more positive... FFred had the idea, but he must have sent it telepathically as I was thinking of it too... How about "Marty's bus trip"? <edit> Or maybe just "Marty's Bus"
Last edited by Freddy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Re: It's not good.
By: Freddy On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:40 am
"Heaven is for real" sounds good, but I'm not so sure how well it will do at the box office.... it's one of those odd things.... those that trust in God won't need to see it....those that don't, won't want to. Add those thoughts to the idea that the name of the movie tells the whole story... I dunno! It sounds like a good story, but Sony may or may not make a million bucks. We humans are the oddest species. Brad Paisley's song... that's a keeper!

Marty & I do believe in God, and we believe heaven awaits. It doesn't mean we are anxious to go anytime soon! But, we will all travel the path of leaving this Earth at some point. What happens when we cross over will always be up for debate. Some religions seem to teach "fear religion", that is, you believe in THIS religion, or you are doomed. Other religions seem to teach "love religion", that is, for those that love and respect their fellow man, heaven waits for all.

Maybe I've said this before: I believe there is only ONE God. Each religion chooses to see God through different windows, but they all look to the same God. Just my personal belief. As for doomsday type religions... "become one of us or you are doomed". Well.... it's not a humans place to decide who is or who is not doomed. That's God's job. For me, I think God is kind. If you do not believe in God, but are a good and caring human, you'll have a good surprise waiting. If the non believers are right, well, I guess it just won't matter. Uh, oh, I'm rambling again...

Marty had an interesting offer...one we might take up if she has the strength when flowers start to bloom. She is offered a personal private tour of Martha Stewart's estate on Mt Desert Island. If we do take the trip my sister Dotti will be all: "On MY! You're so lucky!". Time will tell.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

e: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:06 pm
chester wrote:
Just sending my prayers out to you and Marty (If I may call her by her first name)


Try calling her "Marleena" & see how fast you get a noogie. LOL Even I don't call her by her proper name. That was saved for her mother only, when she was in childhood trouble. Thanks for the prayers.

Today was busy.... three sets of friends & neighbors in & out, followed by a boiled ham dinner. Marty may not be eating well, but she's eating well, if you know what I mean.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

e: Marty's Bus
By: Rick 386 On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:00 pm
Damn I get busy 1 day and don't check all the threads and come to find out CK does another wonderful deed. Good going Terry. You sir are a gentleman of the highest caliber.

I got to say something here:

For some it has been years since we did a google search for help on burning coal and get directed to this site. For others it is more recent. We post a question and the answers come flooding back. Some times the responses are almost instantaneous. Its almost like we each want to be the first one to offer assistance. New members introduce themselves and we embrace their presence. We stress safety as paramount because we all care about the newbies not having a bad experience. We offer suggestions to improve their coal burning experience. We share our successes and failures. Some stay a short time and others never seem to leave. We have heard from spouses when their loved ones have departed if they now need our help or just to let us know that they have passed.

Those that do stick around become part of this family. Thanks to Richard for putting together this site and expanding it for the off coal burning topics. We get the chance to "know" one another. Even if only through the typed word or the occasional picture posted. We send messages back and forth via PM's. The longer we are here, the more personal the topics become. We vent, we grieve, we boast, everything a family does.

And finally when one of our family needs help, comfort, or advice, we rush to help, console, or offer assistance.

Didn't want to get all sappy here, but I for one, am DAMN PROUD of this group !!!!!! Seeing Freddy post about the unexpected gift he received from Terry, well that says it all.

Sorry I got to go, I think a bug flew into my eyes........


Keep this bus rolling. There is a diesel fuel stop ahead. The fuel is prepaid.




Rick
Master of "Trial and Error."

e: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:24 am
Oh, you guys are a hoot. No one should feel a need to "double up". All of your touching words are just as filling as any food could be. Beets? LOL And, gosh, there's so much food around here we are giving some to others and looking to need a bigger 'fridge! Beets.... Marty loves beets... I tend to open the windows when she cook 'em. She judges good beets by how red they make her urine. LOL Eloise grows 'em, Marty cooks 'em. I just know you cook them they same way you'd cook kidneys.... you boil the piss out of them!

Solar robots.... more complicated than a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. I posted a link to Youtube....just silly fun. Oh, here it is again:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQYZAIXcvDw

Marty & Eloise working on the project Marty on the left. And keep it quiet... Eloise hates to have her picture taken.

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Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:35 am
Good morning! What a busy week it's been. Well, I don't know... I didn't get much work done, but it sure seemed busy. People coming and going, the storm to contend with. 13 hours without electricity. Crazy week!

Marty actually had a pretty good week. She didn't lose any weight this week, and other than still sleeping a lot, she's been chipper and we've found lot's of smiles. Maybe this tumor has decided to settle down & let her be stable for a while? This bus trip might be longer than we think. Who knows? I couldn't believe yesterday she went out in the driveway & chipped ice for 15 minutes. She was winded afterwards, but didn't cough as much "as normal" afterwards. Last week she had laryngitis for 3 or 4 days. So much so a few times she had to write to communicate. We thought it couldn't be the cancer, but secretly we thought it was, but, it went away & now she's talking OK! Maybe it was just common laryngitis! Her voice has deepened, but that happened weeks ago it seems.

During the laryngitis she had a couple of slow days, didn't even play cribbage. Now she's back to playing, even though we show no mercy....all in good fun. She even knit a hat this week....and started another.

OK... down the road we go. Thank you all for being here.
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Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:40 pm
Hang to 'er hard...she's headed fer the rhubarb!!

The last 6 days..... three good days... one not so good....one plain awful & then a long sleepless night. Then...oddly? Two good days, with today being a very very good day. Take 'em as they come. Good drivin' Smitty!

*yawwwwwwwwwn*
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:22 am
Time flies by. Each day special, each with it's ups, some with their downs. We keep hoping for some warm weather as we'd love to go north and spend a day at camp. I understand the road is plowed & even parts of our driveway. In order to go it really should be above freezing or at least 25. It's tough to heat the place when it's hovering around zero.

Cribbage.... the ladies love it when I get skunked! Often times it's Marty & Carla, her sister that plays. Marty & I have been married for 32 years, but Carla has been sister even longer. They try to gang up on me. Once last week they both had tears rolling down their cheeks....from laughter!! "Being skunked" is most shameful in Cribbage. As the game goes, there are four "streets". If you get stuck on "third street" when someone else goes out and wins, you are skunked. It came a point that they were ahead, but I hadn't noticed how far along the game was. I had just dealt the hand. After the hand we counted points. I took my eight points as the girls counted. Suddenly, Carla was out. The game was over. Oh, crap.... Dealer always counts last.... I had to take back my eight points. Oh double crap, that made me still on third street by ONE point. I was skunked!! Not only that, but if you miss winning by one point, that's called "the dead hole". It's embarrassing to lose and be stuck in the dead hole. Well, when I got skunked I was one hole away from not being skunked. Carla called it "the stinky dead hole" and the laughter followed.

Two good days behind us, hopefully more good days over the weekend.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:10 am
Who's rockin' the bus?

Not much to report.... I guess that's a good thing. The nurse was in yesterday. She seems to think Marty is shorter of breath. Maybe being here every day makes it so we can't see small changes. All in all, still mostly good days. Marty made a blueberry coffee cake for her former co-workers and it went in the trash! Did you know that Bisquick can go bad? She suspected something was wrong & it just tasted bad... like old bread. So, the next day the second one came out OK. She & Eloise took it in and all went well.

Keep it between the ditches Smitty!
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:27 am
Just checking in..... We've actually had a few days above freezing!

We are sharing as many smiles as we can. For now... things are good for the most part. She's decided to take Eloise's suggestion and take meds on a schedule rather than "just when she needs them". She can always take extra if need be. Since she started doing that a few days ago she's been coughing less and not as sever shortness of breath. On occasion I think God could call her name any day....but other times I think she's not getting any worse and could live a couple years, or more.

I'm still trying to catch up on work.... I'm hoping by the time the first warm days get here I'll have time to postpone all work and just spend time "on the bus".
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:46 am
Alright.... everybody off the bus! Go to the latrine & come back aboard when your bladder is ready for a two hour ride. Gassed up Smitty? We're headed north! Here's a couple of photos for those that haven't seen our little get away. One of the cabin & one of across the pond. Ahhhhh, the most peaceful and most beautiful place on Earth. Once you get there it takes four miles of dirt roads....this time of year ice & mud, but the bus can make it. "Hotdog hill" might be an issue, but we can all get out & push. We are hoping to spend a night. Not too sure if it's tonight, tomorrow night, or even the next night, but once Marty feels up to it and the weather allows....we are out of here!

Marty's been doing OK, although has developed a pain that strikes hard now & then.... that "hot spot" on a rib that the PET scan showed throws a fist of pain every now & then. Some meds & she's OK in a half hour or so. Oddly...and thankfully....her cough isn't as bad as it was. Who knows what's going on, but we'll take it as it comes. We are not going to spend 6 grand every two weeks for a PET scan just to see how this ugly thing is growing, or shrinking. We're just taking it day by day & loving the good ones.

A little goat was born last week.... twins actually.... one was tiny & weak so it spent it's first 5 or 6 days in the house being bottle fed. It went home with Carla each night. Usually Marty feeds the weak ones every 3 hours, but I said no.... it's Carla's turn. They do belong to her after all. That "Mary had a little lamb" thing sure is true.... this little goat will follow anywhere you want to go....it's comical!
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Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:07 pm
Awwww, crap... had to postpone the trip to camp. This hand infection is the reason. I don't know if it's the sntibiotics or the other pills, but I'm so darn wobbly & tired I don't dare go up north. I won't be driving, but, I can't go unless I can handle any emergencies & there's no way I'll be fixing flat tires, driving if need be & all that. So.... we'll stay home & watch the Masters. Damn hand! I missed the cut.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

e: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:03 pm
Well... we didn't make it to camp but today was so darn nice we decided to camp at home. We got some fresh hamburg, made up some big ol' patties & cooked 'em out on the outdoor grill. Yummy fried onions & toasted buns made for some good eats. After lunch we had a couple games of "dice"..... a game that we traditionally only play at north camp. It was sooooo nice today! The temp made it to exactly 70 & a gentle breeze kept the no bugs away. That is....if there were any bugs, it would have. Marty had a very nice day. I hope she has enough energy left for tomorrow.... a three way birthday get together at a local steak house, then all are coming here for cake & ice cream. Stop by if you can!
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

e: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:17 am
Good day! My hand is back to normal. Another 2 or 3 days of antibiotics to take. I'll go see my Dr in a few weeks & we'll talk about whether or not to have that steel splinter removed. I'm thinking I can live with it. I took a giant rare Earth magnet & can not make it induce pain so there can't be that much steel involved. If it ain't busted, why fix it?

This bus trip might be longer than we think. A few weeks back you could have convinced me that Marty had weeks, not months, but now..... it seems to me she's having a bit of a reprieve. What's that word? Ahhhh, remission! I'm no Dr, but it seems to me that we've gone from witnessing a slow downhill slide, to a stable ride that could go on for a long time. Smitty's good driving? Maybe, but, for whatever reason...maybe just better drug control.... Marty is having less coughing & not as strained. She is having a pain in her back that's getting to be a rough bump in the road, but pain we can manage. Heating pad, back rubs, pills, they all help. It may be a good time to buy stock in Motrin and Naproxin.

Morality! Dag nab it. How come we had to be brought up with that? More dark humor.... gosh, maybe I shouldn't mention it. Other patients ...patients with no morals.... patients with a terminal disease, they might start a fad of sorts. A Marty with no morals should be out there robbing banks! So what if she get's caught! What are they going to do, give her life in jail? Stop ittttt! I thought of that yesterday while Marty was sleeping. Eloise & I had a good laugh. Morals though... they do guide us in a powerful way. The reason we don't fear death is that we know what waits for us on the other side. If we went robbing banks...well... we'd still know what awaits. Yikes! Let's not go there! OK.... enough of the silliness. Back to enjoying each day for what it brings. Yesterday was a visit with friends and strawberry cheesecake. Yummmmm.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:10 am
We have one microwaveable heating pad..... it's horseshoe shaped, made to go around your neck. It works well! I'm not sure what's in it, perhaps rice. Sometimes it's got a bit of an Earthy smell, but not objectionable. I've heard of making your own. Just stitch up your favorite shape & fill it with:
Uncooked rice
Wheat
Feed corn
Buckwheat hulls
Barley
Oatmeal
Beans
Flax seed
Cherry pits

Thanks for all the thoughts, prayers, love. It all helps. It's looking like the first trip to north camp might be the first weekend in May.

Happy Easter!
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:27 pm
Well... it's been a bit bumpy but finally got the wheels out of the ditch & things are a bit smoother. She's had a tough time with this pain, but, I think finally we got it figured out. A combination of 37 different drugs given at 7 minute intervals has finally given proper relief. Ohhhh, maybe it's not that many or that often but now that the Dr's have it figured out, we are back to playing cribbage & going for walks with the dogs. Marty even went grocery shopping with Eloise today. Geepers! Don't give two girls a debit card! Fastest I ever see $300 disappear! But... we do have a 2 month supply of coffee & enough goodies to give everyone on the bus two cavities each! Tomorrow.... fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.
My girls are coming up from Boston this weekend for a visit. Eve is bringing her love seat with her for me to reupholster. It's a quick & easy job. I'll try to remember to take some pics. I built the love seat for her when she was in college.

OK... let's skip the next toll booth & see if they catch us!
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sat May 10, 2014 11:51 am
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.


Smitty.... yup....that sofa belongs on the roof.


Here's a picture of our picnic last Thursday up north at Ebeemee pond (pronounced Beemee)... Yup, Marty's still a smoker. I suppose.... no need to quit now.

We used the van as a wind block...it didn't help much! LOL We saw loons swimming, but didn't see a single bird in the air.

I have a spare mobile home furnace, maybe I'll install it & we'll have instant heat when needed. If you want instant heat I guess it's oil or propane. We gave given thought to a propane furnace overhead.... it wouldn't take any floor space. Hmmm..... maybe sell the oil furnace & get a propane? Maybe have a warm summer & not need heat?
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Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Mon May 19, 2014 5:16 am
Forward we go..... Marty lost about 5 pounds last week. She weighs herself each Sunday. For weeks now she's stayed the same, but this week a difference. She's still eating, but obviously not as much as she should. Her left knee is giving her grief. It's stiff & makes it hard to walk. I don't know what that's about, but it reminds me of my Mom 4 days before she passed. One day Mom's legs just suddenly got so stiff she couldn't walk. I can't imagine Marty is that bad off, but I don't think her stiffness will be getting better. Maybe I'm too close to actually see her condition. In some respects she's doing OK, but in others, perhaps she's closer to dying then we think. God only knows! We all live 72 hours from death....all we have to do is stop drinking. Oddly, Marty's constant coughing has almost stopped. She might cough once or twice a day, but nothing like it was some weeks back. What strange thing .... her breathing get's better, and her legs get worse. She's using her wheeled walker almost all the time. Sometimes just a cane, but the walker gives her a seat to take a rest.

OK...Monday has come. Tis time to start a new week. Draw a big glass of optimism & onward we go!
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Wed May 28, 2014 5:56 am
Thank you all for your care.

Well... the bus rolls on... but the road is getting bumpy. Marty is losing weight steadily now, around 3 pounds a week. Some days she'll eat enough to keep a human alive, but most days she doesn't eat enough to keep a parakeet flying. Her knees are hurting a lot & it's difficult for her to walk. Just an hour ago she asked "How come I feel so lousy". I answered "I think it's difficult to see your husband about to turn 60." That provoked a small smile. My birthday is in four weeks. She says she wants to be here for that, and also for her birthday, July 8th. In all honesty... she may or may not see those dates. That's all God stuff for sure, but we humans do have some control. Sometimes a dying person will make a deliberate decision to stop drinking. Marty's not doing that, but, she is starting to lose her need to drink. It comes a point where you simply are not thirsty.

We have had good days. Last week Marty & Eloise went to "Surry Gardens", a greenhouse about 30 miles from here. They brought back a bunch of things in pots & each day are planting some. Marty & I went to "South camp" for a few hours last week too. She made it down the stairs & spent an hour puttering around. We ate lunch on the deck & held hands. We watched birds & listened to the loons. After lunch she found energy & swept the floor. She had her rollator (wheeled walker). She's sweep a bit, sit & rest a bit. I ripped the shower valve out.....some idiot forgot to drain it last Fall & it froze & broke. We stopped on the way home & looked at headstones. We are thinking of doing something different.... we've been looking for a 3 foot roundish boulder. We may or may not... thinking of finding the perfect rock, then having a side cut, polished & engraved. But...we might go with a "normal" head stone. Some of the jet black ones are pretty.

My girls were up to visit. They came Sat for a few hours & Monday for a few more. They shared tears with Marty. As they were leaving I asked, if it was possible, would they want to be here when Marty drew her last breath. It surprised me a bit, but they said yes. So....when the sad time draws near, if possible, I'll let them know & they'll try & make the trip. That day, that moment in time.... it's a full boat of emotions. It's a blessing and a chore rolled into one. It's tears & joy, mixed in an odd way. We hate it, we love it. It's a privilege. Ohh, crap, now I'm rambling. Put the bus in gear.... roll on.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Wed May 28, 2014 6:48 am
dcrane wrote:
my dad found some relief with prednizone for the joints/muscles


Marty is on Dexamethasone & just yesterday got orders to double the dose. Everything helps, nothing helps.

Ahh, yes, I've been inventive with nutritious liquids.... good tasting liquids....even experiments that didn't turn out so good... the chocolate ice cream and chocolate pudding milkshake wasn't a hit... and, yes, I'm trying to keep myself full of proteins too. This morning, kebalsa, eggs with cheese, and toast. Onward!
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Fri May 30, 2014 5:03 pm
newbie in ny wrote:
I hope she can make it to her birthday.


Last week I though that would be no problem.... but now.... *sigh* I must report that Marty has gone from "going to die" to "dying".

The last 36 hours has seen a marked change. She might see a few more weeks...maybe not. Of course there's always the chance she'll shake it off & be here for Christmas.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sat May 31, 2014 4:18 am
Thank you all for caring.

Long night. I'm sure I'll sleep half the day once Eloise get's here. Marty's sister Carla is here. That helps, but she has slept through the night. I slept from 10 to midnight. It's a tough time for Marty.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:54 am
Thank you all for the thoughts & prayers. Marty is slipping to the other side. We set up the hospital bed in the living room. It gives us room to turn her & do what we can for her. Yesterday she drank maybe two cups of liquid. Just now she woke & with difficulty we got her on the potty..... she has seen her last trip to the bathroom. *sign* Step by step, the process is non stoppable. I have seen it before. I suspect she will stop drinking altogether later today or tomorrow. Then, the 72 hour clock starts. Lots of tears yesterday. More to come I'm sure.

On the bright side. Last night my young (handsome) friend Paul stopped by. Marty sat up for him and announced she was dumping me for a 30 year old. For 10 brief seconds she was with us. Then she said she couldn't leave me & back to sleep she went.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".


Freddy
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Re: Marty's Bus
By: 009to090 On: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:10 pm
Freddy, just remember,
Marty's bus doesn't stop... it continues traveling on the other side.

Sooner or later we all hop on.

Remember the good times.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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Re: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:01 pm
10 times today I found a minute to post.... yet never got one done as I was needed.

Yup, Marty is driving, guided by God Himself. I think He's starting to wonder why she won't let go & finish the trip. She's a fighter. All said.... the five of us here know..... she will not see sunrise. We turned her from side to side each hour most all day. Soon it will be every half hour. Mottling has set in. It's normal & a sign that God is close.

Gotta go.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

e: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:02 am
Marty passed & joined the good Lord, and her Mom, at 11:35 last night. Oddly, we are still all here & the Earth is apparently on it's axis. I'm strangely calm & feel at peace. I think God makes it such that by the time someone dies you are happy to see them no longer in discomfort. Things went fast, but is not an easy thing for the human body to give up. It's a lot of work and can be hard to watch take place. It's hard to believe.... Last Thursday she (with help) walked into camp. On Saturday she (with help) got into the car & we went for a ride. On that ride we saw some chives on the side of the road with a "free" sign. She stayed in the car. I got some chives. We went home & she planted them. Now... Keeoh dog is on the front step, waiting. She will adapt. I will have to also.

I could write a book about the last 60 hours. I do have one particular story. I'll try to get back & tell that story.

The bus is out of gas, tires worn off, engine blown......perfect.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
Re: Marty's Bus
By: Hambden Bob On: Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:28 am
Thank You,Freddy....All that You And Your's did on this Voyage was Simply Out Of Simple,Clean And Clear Love....Stand Down a bit and try to get some sleep when and if possible. We'll See You On The Other Side Of This......Our Love To You And Yours..... .....
Remember,There's No Sight Like Anthracite !......Hambden Bob

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e: Marty's Bus
By: freetown fred On: Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:39 am
A mixture of sadness & relief here on the hill Freddy. You've done real good through this whole thing my friend & I thank you for having shared it with us. The bus has done it's job well. Be at peace Freddy, as I know Marty is now.
In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a Congress. John Adams

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Re: Marty's Bus
By: newbie in ny On: Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:47 pm
Freddy,
Like so many others that have posted prior to this, I too am so very, very sorry for your loss.The strength and dignity that the two of you had throughout Marty's bus ride was incredible. Take comfort in knowing that you and Marty had 32 wonderful years, many memories and much love that you shared not only together but with so many others. In her final few months she was taken care of by some wonderful hands but is now in another pair of wonderful hands. Bless you for taking such good care of her while she was here and know now that she will still be receiving the same. God Bless

e: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:42 am
Thank you all again for your kind words & thoughts, they all help, they do.

I tried so many times in the last 3 days of this bus ride to come here & post a few details. I can't count the times I got three or four words typed & then had to leave. For that I am sorry.

OK.... I wish I could write a book about the last 40 hours of Marty's life but I'm too slow at typing and by the time I got to typing it, I'd have forgotten things. But, I will tell this one slice, and I can promise you, I will never, ever, forget this:

Since Marty was 19 years old she wore false teeth, uppers and lowers. In 32 years I only saw her without her teeth a handful of times (and never a clear view). There were only two times she would remove them. In privacy to clean them and if she was going to barf. When she was nauseous, she's spit them out, I'd wash them while she was puking, and I'd hand them back. She'd put them back in while still leaned over the bucket.
As things progressed and the dying process followed it's due course, Marty started breathing more through her mouth. Meds had been going in mixed with ice cream and as nature has it, her mouth was getting to be a bit yucky. We swabbed with little sponges on a stick with ice water....she liked the cold... but we could only do so much. Her sister Carla suggested we get her teeth and clean them. Seemed like a good idea, so "MARTY, spit your teeth out". She could not hear us. Sitting on the bed, Eloise on one side, me on the other, we helped her sit and Carla went in..... she pried & wiggled, Marty resisted. Finally, she got the uppers out. Eloise went to wash them while Carla kept trying to get the lowers. " Spit those out! You'll feel better if you spit them out!" said Carla. Marty couldn't hear or understand, but Carla kept trying and talking "Come on, you'll feel better". One full minute later Eloise came back with the clean uppers and just as she stepped into the room Carla got the lowers loosened. They rattled once in Marty's mouth, and CHOMP, Marty bit Carla's finger! Carla pulled back, Marty's mouth shut and the lowers clicked back into place. OK, that was enough, we put the clean uppers in and the lowers stayed in place. But....that's not the story..... Here's the story:

Marty's breathing had been strong but labored for hours. Finally, after breathing enough air to climb two mountains her breathing started to slow. Carla had fallen asleep on the couch....we had been taking turns with 5 minute walks or cat naps. For 48 hours at all times someone was holding Marty's hand. You never really know what they might hear or know and we thought maybe Marty didn't want a particular one of us to see her die, so for 5 minutes each hour we took turns leaving for 5 minutes. Cuz Chrissy, Eloise, Carla and myself. There were others in & out, but it was the four of us for the final few hours. When Marty skipped one breath Eloise woke Carla. It's now 11:30 PM or so. Over the course of the next few minutes Marty's breathing became very shallow. We knew the time was close. Tears started dripping off Chris's face. One sniffle from her & we all started having tears well up in our eyes. Marty stopped breathing for one full second. Tears start falling off our cheeks. Marty skips another breath, inhales again and for a few seconds is OK. Then she makes two quick breaths. in,out, in out. We are all bawling. Marty takes one last breath.....her final breath, and, (with my hand to God I am telling the truth) she spit her lower teeth onto the bed!!! Instantly we all started laughing. We laughed so hard I thought we'd coke on our tears. It was like Marty said "You want 'em? HERE, I'm DONE". She sure did it her way, right til the end.

<deep breath> So now.... trigger points bring tears. I'll be OK for a while, then have a sniffle, then be OK for a while, then just bawl for 5 minutes. With minutes to spare I got a quick obituary in today's newspaper. It just gave one line, a photo, and "Full obituary following tomorrow". I will spend however long it takes today to write an obit. Marty wrote one, but it needs so much more. The newspaper puts the obits on line. I'll post a link in case any of you would like to see it.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"
LsFarm
 
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Re: Marty's Bus, a short version

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:01 am

Freddy wrote:

Marty wrote her own obit.... it was very short. I added a little to it. Yesterday afternoon Joe looked at the copy & said it might be around $600 to put it in the paper. I was a bit surprised as Uncle Bills was maybe $275. I said to go with it. I had no idea until 20 minutes ago when I opened the newspaper....it's a book! LOL


Orrington – Marleena “Marty” Eich, 63. died June 2, 2014 at home surrounded by her loved ones. She was the daughter of Nelson and Manira (McCorquinadale) Brown.
Marty was a 1968 graduate of Milo High School, and a 1971 graduate of EMMC School of Nursing. She spent her 43 year career as an R.N. giving compassionate care. She earned her stripes working 13 years graveyard shift in the ICU as a critical care nurse and the next 30 years in Radiology, P.A.C.E., and the eye center. She was known to be irritable and stubborn, but was very well respected by co-workers. She was a patient advocate and didn’t mind rocking the boat if it made for better patient care.
In recent years, her home was the end of life setting for her mother-in-law, mother, uncle, and now, sadly, but perhaps naturally, herself. She was a great believer in Hospice and relied upon Hospice of Eastern Maine to provide this care. The HOEM staff became friends while caring for family members and then became loving caregivers for Marty herself. Marty believed in quality of life and bravely forwent chemotherapy in favor of shorter, and hopefully, less sickly days. Her hopes were realized in three months of active, fairly normal living after receiving her cancer diagnosis. She only spent 2 ½ days bedbound before God called her name. We honor and thank Hospice of Eastern Maine for their care, love, tears and devotion.
Marty enjoyed many hobbies, including crafts, crocheting, knitting, and the occasional painting. She would knit a sweater as a gift, and would knit dozens of hats and mittens every year for charity. If a family member or co-worker was pregnant she would knit a baby blanket, sometimes foregoing all else to get it done in time. Marty was an avid gardener and grew well over 100 varieties of flowers around her home. She loved animals, both domestic and wild. She spoiled them all as much as she could. She enjoyed the outdoors, spending some of her favorite times at Ebeemee Pond with her family and her long time best friend, Eloise “Griffy” Griffin. In her younger years she enjoyed hiking and climbed Mt Katahdin more than once. She was a fairly skilled carpenter and was the driving and financial force behind building a house for her sister. Along side her husband she dug, carried, hammered and painted. She would wade into concrete and rake with the best of them. She designed and helped build the home in Orrington in which she lived for 20 years. She was hands on in every aspect of the construction. She’d pull wires, cut pipes, kick carpet, and when everyone else was weary and resting, she was the clean up crew. She didn’t like heights, but as needed, she was on many roofs with tar on her hands and a hammer at her hip. Need a shed? One popped up in a week. Need a barn? She would design on paper and be ordering materials before the day was out. She knew how she wanted things built and if it wasn’t going as she saw fit, she’d verbally push you out of the way and do it herself or cuss until it was done her way.
She was a good cook. Solid, basic, good food was always on the table. At any time she would make food if requested. Even if she was feeling ill, she had an inner mission to make and serve.
Marty was quietly charitable. She raised an unseen son in Guatemala, sent goats and sewing machines to Nicaragua and even built a house for a family in Honduras. Most of these things were done through Food For the Poor, her favorite charity.
She is survived by her husband, Frederick V. Eich III, brother Nelson Brown of Milo, sister Carla Damon and her husband Steve, surrogate son and nephew, Roland Dube, and nephews Jonathan and Dana Dube all of Orrington, and her very dear and special friend Eloise Griffin of Hermon.
A reception and celebration of life will be held from 1 to 3PM on Saturday, June 7th at the Saint Teresa Hall at 436 So. Maine Street, Brewer. It is directly across from the St Teresa church. The following day, Sunday, at 3PM will be a graveside burial service at Pine Hill Cemetery in Orrington. It is on the Sweats Pond road, one mile from the Main road, on the right. Find us at the very top of the hill in the cemetery.
Gifts in Marty’s memory may be made to: Food for the Poor, 6401 Lyons Rd, Coconut Creek, FL 33073 or Bucksport Animal Shelter, Att: Dan Joy, PO Box C-1, Bucksport, ME 04416
LsFarm
 
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Re: Marty's Bus, a short version

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:23 am

Freddy wrote:

I'm a train wreck in motion....but....as the days go by it seems that less parts are flying and no new parts are breaking off. We had the burial service for Marty's ashes today. It was a beautiful day! (weather wise) Here's a pic of the urn...the sun is reflecting hard... it's brass, colored blue with white birds flying. Nephew Roland is digging the hole.

I've done this type of thing for several family members, but thought I was a bit too close and feared I'd crash & burn so I asked my brother in law to officiate. He was happy to do so, but, asked if I might act as plan "B" in case he broke down. OK, but I had a plan "c" just in case & R2D2 Paul would have stepped in. BUT... I did OK. I started to cry a couple times, but it was fine. I was taught "When you have to speak in public, tell them what you're going to tell them, then tell them". That is.... I described that I was going to open with the Lords prayer, then Dick was going to say some words ( he is SO good at table prayers and come to find out he's good at funeral ones too.), then I'd ask if anyone would like to say a few words, then I'd close with Psalm 23. After that I'd place the urn in the ground and scoop in a scoop from a 5 gallon bucket & family would drop in a rose. Then all other, if they'd like, could come, scoop some dirt from the bucket, and after that I'd say a final goodbye. It went perfectly.....except ... jusssst after the Lords prayer we heard a noise behind me. 50 feet away three horses walked down a trail. (Marty used to have horses & they were her favorite animal. we had NO IDEA that there was a trail just above the cemetery!) The horse riders thought they were a bother, but, they were the highlight. Everyone talked about it afterwards, how happy Marty would be to know that horses came by now & then, It was so special! I want to make a sign to put on the trail telling them. "You thought you were a bother, but, you made our day by throwing in a ray of sunshine. My late wife would have been very happy".

When I asked if anyone wanted to speak at first no one volunteered.... not unheard of...but, I went & asked "Deb", a co-worker. Yup, I put her on the spot. Well, she did step up and did a super job! She told of her first days as an RN & how Marty was instrumental in her early years. After that half a dozen people stepped up & told stories.... it went so well. After Eloise asked me " You had that set up right? Deb speaking was per-arranged?" I said no... I put her on the spot. *smile*
LsFarm
 
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Re: Marty's Bus, a short version

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:26 am

By: Freddy On: Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:41 am

I just looked....It's been 26 days since Marty passed? Hard to believe. It's still easy to cry, but there have been changes & slowly I will follow Mr Silverstein's advice..... and that's what this story is about:

In 1996 I joined AOL and in the beginning of my online world I met a bunch of people. At one time I had, I don't know, 25 or 30 cyber friends. I'd share stories of my trials motorcycles adventures & such. Today that list has come down to three cyber friends. One in CA, a disabled lady that works at the animal shelter. Her husband is a computer geek. They have six dachshunds. Two is a female in PA. At this point we email once or twice a month. And three, is Laura. She lives in Florida. She's a single Mom with two boys, but they are both grown & out on their own. Laura is the only cyber friend that Marty got to know. Sometimes at Christmas Laura would call & play a keyboard & sing carols. Last Fall Laura emailed & said she might be coming to Maine. A family reunion was being planned and if it all came to pass, she would be in Portland this coming August. I showed that email to Marty & she said "We're going to Portland!". But, that was not to be. Laura is a teacher's aid. She can not afford to take the summer off so she teaches at summer school. She was scheduled to work starting 2 weeks ago & then have a week and a half off before school starts at the end of August. That was the time she might come to Maine. The Friday before summer school started, the school phoned & told her of a change. Summer school is not starting until July 2nd and goes until one day before school starts in the Fall. At that moment we realized.... it was either meet her right then, or sometime in 2015 or beyond. So... flights are cheaper if you stay a week. I told her she'd have to keep herself busy for the first few days as I had already committed myself to work. Carla set up the spare room & I had a house guest for 6 days! I didn't know if it would help my grieving, or just delay it, but it was to be. It was a bit strange, but it was nice to not be alone. I did work the first few days, but took Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon. Friday night we packed supper & breakfast, a couple sleeping bags & went to "South camp" only 10 miles away. We intended to stay the night....but I couldn't! I just cried & couldn't shake it. Laura understood, and we left. We took a drive to Bucksport & went to Fort Knox. Here's a pic from across the river & one inside the fort. When I was a kid we went once a year on my birthday. We came back home after that and I then realized something: Marty and I never talked about what I was supposed to do after she died. We were so caught up in living each day as best we could, it just never came up. I even purposely didn't think about "after" as it didn't seem to matter. What was to be was to be, why talk about it? But.... I wish we had. It's like Marty left me with no direction, and we all know I Loved her because she did in fact drive me. So.... that night I had a talk with Marty. Oh, it wasn't a vision, it was just me inside my own head. Paul had asked Marty what HE should do after she was gone & she told him "Continue being a friend to Fred, & go have fun". Those words echoed in my head & I could almost hear her voice. She said "It's OK Freddy, go forward, have some fun". Marty only called me Freddy on rare occasion and it was very loving, very endearing. Since then I've been a bit better. Saturday night Laura & I went to North Camp & it was OK. I teared up once or twice, but we stayed & it was OK. I might have trouble going there alone, but with a friend, no problem.

Carla is here....time for a game of cribbage. I'll be back in a while & finish the story.
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"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Freddy
State of Maine Moderator
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Re: Marty's Bus, a short version

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:28 am

e: Marty's Bus
By: Freddy On: Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:24 am

OK... I guess that was a long introduction to the real reason I wanted to write today. Something occurred while Laura was here that may help others and I want to relay it. It's strange how life's path is unpredictable.

I took Laura to Acadia National Park. She'd never been to Maine & I wanted her to see where the rocks meet the sea. At one point we went to a little fishing village called Bernard. It's the last town out on the far side of the island. We went to the town pier. It's a working harbor. Very few pleasure boats, but lot's of lobster and scallop boats. The parking lot held maybe 35 or 40 vehicles. EVERY one, save the Honda we were driving, was a pick up truck. All of the fishermen filled the lot. It's not really a tourist attraction. At the end of the pier was a large rock with a flat face & flat top. On it is a bronze plaque as an honor and memory for the 143 men and women that have died while fishing there over the 150 years or so that they've been keeping track. A lady was cleaning rocks off the top. Laura had taken a walk around to take pics & I spoke to the woman. The rocks on top were left by friends as a remembrance of the dead. This weekend is a yearly ceremony and once a year they clear the top so new ones can be placed. She said the memorial was Mr. Silverstiens project and as a matter of fact, he was sitting on that bench. She pointed 25 feet away. This old, old man was sitting there. I said good bye to the lady & walked over to Mr Silverstein. " Mr Silverstein! You probably don't remember me, my name is Fred Eich". He looked up "Should I?" I laughed & said "Noooo, we have never met. I don't make it here too often". He chuckled. I said " I am an island boy, born in Bar Harbor". ( the other side of the Island). He asked "Why did you choose to leave the island?" I told him my parents moved when I was 3, but that I came back for 5 years when I was 20. Again he asked "Why would you leave?" I said "Well... divorce, then work drew me away". He asked "Do you know a fisherman that has died?" I said no, I was just visiting. Then he asked (And I don't know why): "Have you lost someone close to you recently?" Good gosh... that hit me like a brick. With tears I said "Yes, my wife of 32 years, just 3 weeks ago today". Then he said "Sit, we need to talk". Speechless, I sat next to him. He said "I am 94 years old. My entire life, my career, and even still, I have been, and am, a grief and grieving councilor". Wow.... is this really happening? He continued: I want to tell you, to maybe guide you, to show you a way to proceed. Grief may be fairly short, or it may take a long time, but, if you allow grief to last the rest of your life, it will destroy you". He went on: " Grief get's replaced by memories. You must work at it to have it occur. One way is the rocks placed on the fisherman's monument. That is a Jewish tradition." I said "Yes, I've been to a Jewish grave yard & all the tombstones have little rocks on them.". He said "Yes, they are placed there as a remembrance.... not for the person that died, they may or may not know we placed the rock, it is for US to remember. The act of placing the rock keys a memory in our brain. When you place the rock I suggest you say something like "I place this rock in memory of you (and say the name of the person that's passed), and then out loud, or maybe to yourself, tell a very short story...even if it's difficult... tell a short story of a happy moment during your marriage. Then a week, a month, a year later, you will think back. You'll remember placing the rock, and, it won't hurt as much. The next time you remember, it will hurt even less. After a while, you'll simply remember the good memory. You are replacing grief with good memories." He asked me if I ever write. I said yes, often to the computer. He said "Good, now, do the same thing. Every now & then, write a short paragraph, even if it brings tears, write of a happy moment. Then a week, month later go back & read it. As time goes on, the pain will be less, you will replace grief with happy memories".

So... I placed a rock, said aloud "I do this in your memory Marty. I remember hiking up to Rocky pond the day that I proposed to you". I cried, then, but only a tiny tear now.... I think Mr Silverstein may be right.

<edit> Here's a photo or two of Bernard. A photo of Mr Silverstein at the memorial, and the lady that was cleaning the memorial. A pic of me & Mr Silverstein. Also, later that day, a photo of Laura with my brother in law in his 1947 MG.
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Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Freddy
State of Maine Moderator
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