I can do hard–My Story

March 3, 2016

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Trying to do life without Corey was miserable. It was such a foreign thing. After 16 years of marriage, I didn’t know any other way. I woke up on a Saturday morning happily married, excited for the weekend and looking forward to a fun summer ahead out on the lake. I went to bed that night feeling like I was on the verge of becoming a widow, devastated, and so terribly shaken at the thought of losing my best friend. And now, ten days later, I was trying to figure out how to do life without Corey. They call it “ambiguous loss”….When you lose someone, but they’re still here.

It is such a whirlwind place to be. A sobering mix of emotions…if he were gone, I could start the mourning process. But then he wouldn’t be here and there would be no hope of “us” again. I would have truly lost my best friend. But yet, I had truly lost my best friend. Would I ever get him back? So many uncertainties…tormenting me constantly.


July 19, 2011:

Well, today has been a very active day for you. You are resting peacefully now.

When I came in this morning you were awake, but then not long after, back to sleep. Which was good, because they wanted you awake for your swallow test at 2. Even so, you were still very sleepy throughout the procedure.

The test was kind of interesting. The tech gave you water with barium and we could see it (on the monitor) go down into your throat. One of the times the water went down the “wrong pipe.” You should have coughed, but you didn’t. So, it shows that those muscles aren’t completely back yet. She said the best way to learn how to swallow is by swallowing. 🙂

Next she gave you some nectar and then honey–both went down well. She didn’t feel you were ready for the Nilla wafer yet. After the test was finished, the doctor looked at the results and said, “You passed!!” Kind of ironic…you’ve taken many hard tests, for licensing, throughout your career life. But of all the tests you’ve had to prepare for, this one was, hands down, the hardest!!!

Doctors orders: No straws (too dangerous–high choking risk); Only pureed foods and thickened drinks.

Tonight’s menu: Chicken, mashed potatoes, pudding and juice (all pureed and thickened). Quite yummy! You poor thing! With the way you love to eat, I feel for you. I keep having to remind myself, you won’t remember any of this. I look forward to the day you and I can go to the Cork and get some real food. 🙂

I am such a wimp when it comes to this medical stuff…After the tech finished going over the swallow test results with us, I had to leave the room. I felt like I was going to pass out. I wasn’t even sure I would make it through the procedure. God is testing me in so many ways, including how much I can stomach.

God, you know I don’t do well with medical stuff. Sometimes I wonder, “Are you sure you have the right person for this?”

When we got back to the room, you had a very short break before PT came in and worked with you.

The kids came up to see you this evening. I really felt like you knew them by the look in your eyes and on your face. It was a good visit. Grayson had a hundred questions, as usual. 🙂

My hardest part of the day came at the end of the day. I decided to sleep at home for the first time. Whew! That was hard! The first hard part is seeing your car–I don’t know why but I have more difficulty with that than seeing your clothes in our closet, which is also tough. But the hardest part of the night was crawling into bed.

Even before crawling into bed, doing my regular routine of getting ready for bed was emotional. I would always come out while flossing my teeth and watch whatever you had on TV. Tonight, it was SO quiet!! I miss our routines!!

Then crawling into bed–our bed is so big and lonely without you!! Chase ended up coming in shortly after I got in bed. He said he couldn’t sleep, so he climbed into bed with me. It wasn’t quite the same as cozying up to you–a little smaller body. 🙂 But it was comforting having him with me.

Chase has such a sweet heart. Earlier tonight, he came into the kitchen and said, “Could we maybe do something together, all of us?” He said, he just feels like we haven’t done anything as a family for awhile and he would like to go putt-putting or something together. Really pulled at my heart-strings. It’s been such an emotional tug-of-war, trying to balance the kids and you. Another area I feel like I’m failing.

I promised Chase a movie this weekend at home, all of us together minus one 🙁

He liked that idea. Which I was thankful for….I just don’t have the energy for public places yet. It’s so hard to see everyone so happy or couples together. I miss you so much!! But as I promised from the beginning…..”you’re still here, we can do hard!”


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