This Past November…
November, 2018 started love and joy and ended in tragedy. The first weekend of November, Neal and I went to the last first Friday in downtown Bentonville with friends. This month was Toyland, so vendors set up tents and were giving out free toys to kids all afternoon and evening. One vendor had a Harry Potter castle so Neal and I had to take a photo to show Dobby, lol! It goes without saying, but Dobby did not care one bit about our photo.
We also celebrated our 2 year wedding marriage anniversary. I surprised Neal with a couples massage (which was more painful than relaxing, lol) and we cooked a Tuscan inspired meal at home to reminisce on our trip to Italy last year, complete with bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak, recipe inspiration here), rosemary garbanzo beans, and a bottle of Nobile de Montepulciano wine from Salcheto winery that we visited on our trip last year, located near Montepulciano. It was a great meal, and a great weekend.
Camping in Oark
One weekend, I went camping with my work colleagues. I surprised myself and everyone else by actually having fun hiking along the Mulberry Creek, sleeping in a tent, and enjoying the great outdoors. I’m known to not enjoy many nature activities. We went camping in Oark, which was so gorgeous.
Our friends in New Orleans bought a house this year and invited us down for Thanksgiving a few months ago. We made the drive to New Orleans on Sunday with Dobby in tow. I explored the French Quarter a little bit with my friend (complete with an Irish coffee from Erin Rose) and we all had dinner at Jacques-Imo one night. I loved being with them and spending time in their new house in a city that I love.
Poor Dobby has been struggling with UTI’s this month. He started having accidents indoors at the beginning of the month. After a few days, we took him to vet. It seemed to clear up after a round of antibiotics, but about a week after his first round, he was messing inside again. So back to the vet we went! This time, they told us he had crystals which could easily develop into kidney stones. Me, being the nervous first-time dog mom that I am, had them do x-rays to confirm it was not kidney stones, which it was not. We got another round of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory. The UTI has supposedly cleared up, but now were dealing with him having accidents inside while we’re at work, which is very unlike him. I hated taking him to the vet, he was so nervous he was perching on my purse the entire time. Fingers crossed there isn’t anything else wrong with him and his accidents will stop soon!
On Tuesday evening, my mom called me to tell us that our 4 year-old nephew stopped breathing. He went to school that morning with a sore throat but no fever. He was sent home from school for not feeling well. He was treated to ice cream on the way home from school, and while eating his ice cream at home, stopped breathing. His father did CPR for about 40 minutes before the ambulance came. By the time he made it to the hospital, his heart had stopped and started three times. He arrived at the hospital with a pulse, but was not breathing on his own. He was on life support and they tested for brain activity, which was not found. He was declared dead on Thursday and taken off life support.
Neal and I drove back to Bentonville on Wednesday after receiving the news on Tuesday. Even though there was nothing we could do, we just needed to be home. Neither of us felt like celebrating the holiday, so we made fried rice and orange chicken at home, which tasted like chicken coated with orange flavored murky water. It was terrible. I feel as if I’ve been in a fog since receiving the call on Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving–the fog is lifting more often, but I can’t seem to fully wrap my head around the fact that he wont be with us anymore. I’ve never known a child this young who has passed away before and I find myself grieving not only the loss of who he was, but of who he would have grown up to be. I’m regretting the fact that I didn’t spend much time with him and I would now give anything to play legos with him. He was starting to become more interactive with Neal and I. We will cherish the memories we have of playing fetch with him and Dobby at Lake Michigan this past summer and hearing his sweet little voice say “Dobby!” I’m grieving for my sister and brother-in-law. There aren’t words that can describe what they are going through. To send their child to school in the morning and to have him on life support that evening is unimaginable.
The bright spot in this whole situation is that he was able to save four children’s lives by donating his organs and I find comfort in the fact that he lives on in other children. I’m so proud of my sister and brother-in-law for making the decision to donate his organs as it was not an easy decision. I don’t want him to be gone, but I’m trying to learn from him. I want to savor each day with his gusto, pursue my passions, and not take time with loved ones for granted. We will miss you so much, sweet boy.
If you would like to support my sister and brother-in-law during this time, you can donate to their Go Fund Me. Donations will be used for all costs associated with his passing including medical costs, funeral/memorial costs, travel expenses for memorials in both Colorado and Indiana, and self-care for my sister and her husband.