Rodney's Memorial Card and How Grateful I feel Right Now and why I feel Grateful Even with Him Gone!

Hello and welcome to my blog; today I am going to share with you the card that I made in honor of my little brother that passed yesterday and to show how grateful I am for him and the last few month's that he spent with me as I took care of him.  Something that I never thought I would have to do was to be a caregiver to my baby brother.  But, I am grateful for the opportunity to be his caregiver.  I used the Botanical Bliss stamp set and matching dies to create my card today.

A Little Backstory: 

As must of you know that follow me on Facebook knew that Rodney had been very sick since January and had been in and out of the hospital, physical rehab and staying with myself and Charles as we helped him to recover.  Rodney had been on dialysis for the last four years and he had started missing some appointments after my mom died.  He didn't want to bother myself or my sister because he didn't have a way so he just wouldn't go.  If you know any one on dialysis you know that this is very dangerous and can cause the potassium in your body to build up and can lead to losing the use of limbs and even death.  So we made the decision that he would come and stay with us and I would make sure he made his appointments.  So we moved him into one of our downstairs bedrooms back at the end of April first of May and we started going to our appointments and he had physical therapy and occupational therapy a couple times a week at the house.

During this time he had some issues and got sick again and again.  He had swelling in his stomach and we tried to get appointments with different doctors, but before the appointments he would be hospitalized.  During his time in the hospital no one would listen to him about the feeling of nauseated and not being hungry.  That didn't seem to be the concern even with us telling them that he was eating before this very good.  That doctor sent him home without care.
Well the next trip to the ER was a couple weeks later and they were sending him home because they couldn't find anything wrong.  As we were in the parking lot, about to get him in the car because he was so weak to stand, he throw blood clots to his lungs and was rushed back in.  He actually died that day and they got him back.  He was in the hospital for a little over a week and they sent him to rehab.

He was in rehab for about a day and a half and had to go back to the ER his oxygen levels was way to low.  This time he coded in the ER again and was gone for three minutes.  They had to put him on a ventilator when they got him back.  He was rushed to the CCU1 unit and that's were he stayed for the last week and a few days before he passed yesterday.  The CCU1 team was fabulous, they took very good care of him, and we all thought he was making a great turn around.  One thing I can say is that my baby brother was a fighter this last week or so.  He fought harder than anyone I know to stay with us but eventually his body gave out.

Working Through the Pain: 

As I sat back and had my emotions yesterday, I thought about all the good times and how grateful I was to have been able to spend these last few months with him again as we did growing up.  I am thankful for being able to be his caregiver, even during the hard times.  And, believe me there was many over the last few months.  There's nothing more painful than to see someone you care about suffer or in pain.  So as I sat in my studio yesterday and tried to create I thought I needed to do a card dedicated to Rodney's memory and to all those that are caregivers out there in the world, and I know there are many out there.
I picked one of his favorite colors for this card; blue!  He loved blue as a child I am pretty sure that everything he owned was blue at one point and time.  So I picked three different shades of Stampin' Up! blues.  I went with Bermuda Bay, Coastal Cabana, and Pool Party and threw in a little Whisper White.  I then picked the stamp sets  I wanted to use.  I knew the Botanical Bliss set had this little bird image in it and I thought it was fitting since he was now soaring high with the angels.  Plus, birds are symbolic of freedom, since they can walk on the earth and swim in the oceans like humans but can soar in the sky and be free.  Many cultures believe that they symbolize eternal life, and are the link between earth and heaven.  As you can see I have the ocean theme as well as the bird theme throughout my card today.
I picked the sentiment from the Praiseworthy Prose Stamp Set and stamped it on Whisper White Cardstock in Bermuda Bay ink and then cut it into smaller sections to piecemeal it back together to fit my card.  That is one of the great things about Stampin' Up! sentiments they can be cut down to make them fit your own projects with ease.  But, the reason I picked the grateful sentiment was because I am very grateful for having been his caregiver the last few months, I am very grateful to having grown closer to him, I am very grateful for him being part of my story.  For all things, that have happened over the last few months that have made us closer, and more loving of each other and to other people I am very grateful.

Will I miss him YES, terribly!  Is this painful right now YES!  But I hope that others will learn from his story and take action and remember all the people out there in this world that are caregivers and be grateful towards them.  This entire experience has changed my life and for that I am very grateful.  Thanks for dropping by today, I hope that you have a blessed and grateful heart after reading this post, and remember that life is short and to cherish every moment and memory that you have of a sick loved one. 

Happy Stampin' 
Rick 


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Much Love,
Rick