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My Roller Coaster Valentine

Over the last week or so, when people ask me, "How are you doing?" my response is "It's been a crazy few weeks." The emotional highs and lows of the last two months have made things a little chaotic in our household.

It all began when Roger was called to Florida unexpectedly. His father (Robert), on vacation with Juanita Bonita in the RV, had been diagnosed with appendicitis and the results of the surgery had produced complications.The family was called together. 

The birthday boy looks pretty!
Meanwhile, plans were still in motion for an (at that point) surprise party for Roger's 50th birthday. As his father seemed to be on the mend, he made it back from Florida with about 4 hours to spare before the secret celebration. The party was a fun distraction and we had dozens of "good deeds" done in honor of Roger's birthday to share with him. Plus beer. 

Just some of the many "good deeds" done
in honor of Roger's 50th
Unfortunately, Robert's health continued to waver. He was able to get off the ventilator but couldn't really sustain his pulmonary strength. Just before we headed to a Super Bowl party to watch the Broncos take on the Panthers, we received word that he was going to be transferred to hospice. Roger was preparing to take another trip to Florida, hoping to leave on Wednesday morning.

Roger during all 4 Quarters of Super Bowl "L"
The Broncos won! Our household rejoiced. Roger was one happy boy.

The following evening, we got word that Robert died peacefully. There would be no need now to go to Florida but...

We had to tell Kiddo that her Grandpa Bob died. On her 9th birthday. 

Our attempts to even out the sadness with some birthday fun limped along. We ate at a restaurant of her choosing (McDonalds?) and finished the evening with some ice cream but I think everyone was still a little bit sad. 

Then we set our sights on the next big thing: the Thumbs Up Ball. Because we originally thought that Roger would be out of town, our wonderful board members and a whole host of volunteers had stepped up to support our Managing Director Michelle in covering things that Roger and/or I had covered in the past. Our only ostensible job for the evening was to show up. The 5th Annual Thumbs Up Ball was probably the best one yet and it was so wonderful to see many friends and supporters come out for a fun time. Of course, Roger and I both ended up doing a little more than just "show up" (we can't help ourselves) and we made it home exhausted but elated. 

This year's Thumbs Up Ball included members
of the 501st Legion!
Now the proverbial "event hangover" is alive and well in our house. We woke up this morning and said, "Oh yeah. It's Valentine's Day."  It's never been a big deal holiday in our house anyway and now that the Thumbs Up Ball is an established tradition for CJSTUF, we don't often make huge plans. 

Next weekend, we will celebrate the life of my father-in-law in Tennessee and Roger will begin the work of helping to settle his dad's estate. With all the highs and lows of the last few weeks, I'm grateful to everyone who has reached out to help, send their condolences, or just ask how we are doing. The short answer is, "We're hanging in there. And we will get there."

Roger has a great family and some very supportive siblings who have all stepped up to help each other. This is one of those obligatory pieces of adulthood that often surfaces without notice. When it happens, the rest of the world just has to be put on hold for a bit. My Valentine goes out to everyone who is supporting us (tangibly and emotionally) through the process.  I'm grateful that Roger and I can continue to support each other in these roller coaster times of our lives.

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