Thursday, June 18, 2015

How Do You Survive Father's Day Without a Dad?

Every Father’s Day I am privileged enough to celebrate the greatest man I have ever known. It used to involve a golf accessory or box of golf balls as well as a card where I professed my gratefulness and love. A love for this man who was my rock, life preserver, book of wisdom, example of a man, first love, and the man always there to bail (no pun intended) me out. (My dad was a bail bondsman!) I really do feel sad for people, especially women, who didn’t grow up with a supportive and loving father. I feel so fortunate that I had this man, MY DAD, as a role model and confidante.

As much as I have loved Father’s Day to squeeze his neck extra tighter or kiss him even more, this Father’s Day will be devastatingly different…

It was nearing 4 am on the morning of June 6. We were jolted awake at the sound of the doorbell. My first thought is our neighbor kids but when the knocking and ringing continued, Jeremy investigated to see my brother standing in the door frame. Jeremy got me and said, “You need to go. It’s your dad.” My mother, sister, brother, and in-laws had tried to call us for hours. We were so tired. Both babies were up for an extended time and had finally crashed at 2:30 that morning. We had missed 30+ calls. My brother’s last ditch effort was to drive the 20 minutes from my dad’s hospital  to our house to get us awake.

We had spent 2 months in a hospital room with Dad. (Here is the back story.) But I will always cherish this last morning in that hospital room. As we stumbled in at 4:30ish, Dad made his eyes go really wide and he mouthed “Lisa, I love you.” He made a kissy noise at me so I leaned down and we kissed. Our last kiss. Dad was in and out of coherence the rest of the morning. But those spurts of “Dad” were amazing.

Doctors eventually came in to deliver the news we were expecting, but dreading. Dad was up to 45 liters of oxygen. There was no way he could maintain. He definitely couldn’t come home on Hospice care as expected that following Monday. They couldn’t even transfer him to another floor needing those levels.

We called family. We prayed. We spent time with him and anticipated the moments of clarity. Moments when Dad would console us and tell us it would be okay. Moments when Dad would pat us and say I love you. But those moments started to fade as the morning waned on. Soon Dad talked of Jesus and looked beyond us. When he would stare into the corner of the room so intently, we would ask him what he saw. He looked surprised to see us like we weren’t there.

When it came time and we all had a moment to spend alone with Dad, we prayed, held hands, and sang. All while we watched Dad peacefully drift. It really was beautiful. He fell asleep while my mother, his wife of 50 years, knelt beside his bed. While all four of his children wept and prayed in his room.

No one has a doubt of where Dad has gone. Max and Harper now say that Grampa lives in the sky with Jesus. (That doesn’t stop them from constantly asking where Grampa is. Or asking if Grampa is going to be awake today.)

Knowing Dad is healthy, happy and loved doesn’t make the everlasting hurt better. Infertility left me with so much pain and hurt. I would go through that over and over again if it meant I’d never feel this pain of losing Dad. My heart is broken into what seems to be a million pieces. I wake up each morning crying because I desperately wanted to dream of him and didn’t. I go through the motions of my day and busy myself so I can’t dwell on my sadness.

My sadness and sorrow seem to be never ending. I miss him beyond words. As much as I miss my Dad, I also hurt for my mother. She lost her best friend and soul mate of 50+ years. She lives in their house and sleeps in their bed. She has to walk by his chair and see his DVR filled with ridiculous reality shows. She is stronger than she ever thought possible. I hurt for her. I wonder when this open, gaping wound will begin to heal.

So two weeks after losing my Dad, we celebrate Father’s Day. But I will always celebrate Dad. I couldn’t have had a better father. I thank God daily for giving me 31 years with him. I just wish I had more. But even if I had 70 years with him, I’d still want more. He was that fantastic!

I will live my life the way my dad would want. My decisions in life really were made to make that man proud. I just need to keep striving to do just that. I love you, Daddy! Happy Father’s Day!


Obituary: Sammy “Sam” Salvatore Bruno, Sr., age 70, of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, departed this life peacefully at 2:46 p.m. Saturday, June 6, 2015, at Research Hospital in Kansas City surrounded by his loving family. Sam was born March 26, 1945, in Deadwood, South Dakota. He was adopted by Charlie and Dorothy Bruno after the passing of his biological mother during childbirth.
In 1964, Sam graduated from Faith High School in Faith, South Dakota. While in school, he met the love of his life, JaLynn Wilson; on October 24, 1964, they were united in marriage. To this union, four children were born: Charlie, Carrie, Sammy, Jr., and Lisa.
Sam owned and operated Bruno’s Bonding Company until his retirement in 2001. Sam was an active member and leader of the Pleasant Hill Church of Christ and an enthusiastic student of the Bible. He was an avid golfer, bowler, horseman, and loved to sing and play guitar, but the most important aspect of his life was his family.
Sam was preceded in death by his adopted parents, Charlie and Dorothy Bruno, and his biological parents, Delbert and Bernice Day; three brothers, Bud Day, Kenny Day, and Lloyd Day; and two sisters, Doris Jeffries and Bernice Hughes.
He is survived by his wife JaLynn of Pleasant Hill; four children, Charlie (and Allison) Bruno of Rolla, Missouri; Carrie (and Curt) Eaton of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Sammy (and Jill) Bruno, Jr. of Pleasant Hill, Missouri; and Lisa (and Jeremy) Sickel of Gladstone, Missouri; nine grandchildren, Megan (and Caleb) Plumlee, Emily (and Takota) Anderson, Katie Bruno, Jackson Eaton, Samara Bruno, Abby Eaton, Anna Mae Bruno, Maxwell Sickel, and Harper Sickel; two step-grandchildren, Rachel Schick and Garrett Schick; two sisters, Helen Packer of Rapid City, South Dakota, and Mary (and Dick) Deyoe of Belle Fourche, South Dakota; several cousins, nieces and nephews; other relatives, and a host of many friends


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My List of Suck and Death

1. I have gained a lot of weight.
2. My twins are almost TWO!
3. I haven't blogged in awhile.
4. I am working on an emotional one to post later this week.
5. My dad died 11 days ago.
6. My life is turned upside down.
7. I am not sure how to function.
8. I hate teaching summer school.
9. My heart hurts to the point I feel I can't take it.
10. My kids asked "Grandpa awake today?" I died all over again.
11. He is in a better place.
12. I can think of nothing good happening in life right now.
13. I take everything personally.
14. I am in a perma-PMS mode.
15. How do I go on?
16. I don't know how to break bad news unless it is in list form.
17. I will give details of Dad in my Father's Day post. (See #4)
18. Okay, number 2 isn't so bad.
19. Remember that my dad was sick. I wrote about it HERE
20. My car broke down and I'm driving my mom's car until it's fixed.
21. I am sorry for this post and my absence.
22. Do these pictures make you feel better? They have been my light in the darkness.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pictures of Life

What you missed in pictures...


Other random events of Spring:


Children's Museum
Paci collection--no more as of 3/24!!!

Max gave all of his pacis to Baby Max. It worked!!
Children's Museum

Leaving the hospital in our jammies last week.



Sadness + Stress = Subpar"ness"

Life happens.
Crappy life happens.

We know this. We are infertiles. Which means we also completely get how life events really do change all elements of our lives. We may not be able to focus on our jobs or friends when we are in the middle of a cycle or give our husbands as much attention when we are mourning a loss or BFN. Our stress and sadness makes us less of ourselves. At least, that was always the case with me. I became subpar. Not great at really anything...just existing.

That was three years ago now. And somehow the last month (or really 25 days) has really brought my world to a stop. My new normal is not normal at all.

It all started on Easter (look for adorable twin pics in another picture post). We had a great day. The babies were pretty well behaved during church, they played great with all of their cousins, and they just looked so darn cute hunting eggs! As we settled back into home around 6pm that evening, I received a call that I have dreaded but knew would come some day. It was my brother. My dad was in an ambulance on his way to the hospital.

My dad is a 70 year old stubborn guy that is a lovable teddy bear inside. But he has COPD. He has been on oxygen for 13ish years. His condition is getting progressively worse...there's no cure for emphysema or COPD. He manages fairly well and knows his limits.

Easter he wasn't feeling the best. He was struggling to catch his breath. The ambulance was called. They took him by ambulance but rerouted to a closer hospital then where we initially wanted to send him due to his condition. They had to intubate him and hook up to a ventilator.

We found out he had the flu. Great! We can treat that and get him better. So he was sedated and treated for the flu. The time came to wean him off of the ventilator and it didn't go well. He wound up getting sicker and it sent a shock to his entire body. Other organs started having issues. He even had issues coming out of sedation.

Day 14 in the hospital, we were told to say goodbye. That feeling. The feeling of utter sorrow. I shouted, screamed, and cried that ugly cry you see in movies. It hit me that my Daddy, my first love, my supporter, my caregiver, my rock, my role model...was going to die.

But he didn't. My whole family was there with him. We gave him permission to go if he wanted to do but if he had fight in him...then he better fight. And fight he did.

Fast forward to day 17 in the ICU, he had surgery to get a trach ventilator instead of the tubes down his throat. That day, he was able to kiss me! In three days time, I said goodbye knowing I would never be able to kiss my dad to kissing him! We thought we were on our way to recovery.

They transferred him to long term care facility at day 21. He is there to wean him off of the ventilator. Day 23 he is back in the ICU due to difficulties with weaning again. Day 24 he codes due to trach dislodged. And here we holding. He will most likely move back to the long term care facility this week to try and wean again. He mouths words to us and I try to decipher what he is saying. He smiles. He kisses. He is alive. But he has a long road to recovery.

My life has been centered around his family emergency for nearing a month.

All of many jobs are maintained but really subpar. I am not doing anything particularly well. I am just existing. Sometimes the overwhelming feeling of failure makes me weep.

As a mom, I am not here as much. Harper and Max often say "Bye-bye, Mommy" when they see me. Is that all I do in their eyes? I see them a couple hours a day. It is sad.
As a teacher, I am just barely making it. I get papers graded late and really am not as focused on my job as I used to be. As a professor, I am SO behind in grading the end of the semester essays.
As a wife, I am neglectful. Jeremy has had to step up and be a single parent most evenings and on the weekends. He drove the kids around while I ran in the hospital to say goodbye to my Dad. He has been spectacular...but alone.
As a blogger, I suck! Not because of this incident...but in general. I keep starting posts and never finishing them. Sorry.
As a daughter, I am not doing enough. I can't be at the hospital all day due to my job. I wish I could do more for my mom and my dad.

So I am big giant package of SUBPAR SUCK! I have let sadness and stress turn me into the mediocre woman I am today. This is my new normal. I will work, visit the hospital any time I can, and find time to meet the bare minimum requirements of everyone else in my life.

My Daddy on my wedding day
Thanks for being understanding. Life will get back to normal soon. The sadness will lift and the stress will fade. I have done it before through infertility. I will get back to a better version of myself soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday

I am hoping for another real post tomorrow. Spring Break is flying by! So here are some pics of the twosome.

St. Patty's Day

Harper got to have a day with Mommy all to herself!

Harper's 1st haircut

Sweet baby

Snake Saturday Parade. He loved seeing firetrucks!

So much fun!

Dump truckin'

Enjoying the crazy nice February weather

Golf lesson

Park time!

I know my expression is ridiculous.
So is Harper's slide form here.

Big kids


1st baseball cards

He is hooked

Our first stomach bug

She got it too!
We will "talk" soon!