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Monday, September 1, 2008

From Lincoln, to Rochester, to Santa Clara, to San Diego, to Stanford, to Sunnyvale, to Utah and back to Sunnyvale

I had been thinking about my weekend in San Diego and realized Sam & Michelle's wedding, at least on my part, had been overshadowed by Kevin: missing him and the news of the heart.  Everything in the past, even as close as yesterday, seems like long ago.  Our entire summer has been full of trips, but not vacations.  It all started June 30th  in Santa Clara when tests began to see if Kevin was a candidate for a transplant and two weeks later we were on a plane for the Mayo Clinic. We were there almost two weeks, home for two days, and then off to Santa Clara Kaiser on August 1st to await a heart.  I left for San Diego on August 12th to attend Michelle and Sam's wedding and Friday evening on the 15th, a heart was a match.  I flew to Stanford right after the reception and had Rebecca drive the car home.  Now living in Stanford for a week, while Kevin recovered in the hospital, August was almost over.  We moved into a Marriott in Sunnyvale, close to Santa Clara Kaiser and then I got on a plane again to attend the Utah open house.  I loved visiting my boys and their wives in their respective apartments, as well as family & friends.  Uncle Harold and Aunt Gloria I had not seen in a long time and the Ormsbys who have made their residence in Utah since moving from Connecticut.  From there I returned to the Marriott to live for another month or so.  All in all, we will have been living out of a suitcase for at least 10 weeks.

The moment the call came about Kevin's heart, I was in the car with Sam and Caitlin.  I was taking Sam to meet Michelle for their pre-wedding photo shoot on the beach and had left my phone at the beach house.  Sam's phone was in the back of my car, unreachable, and Caitlin fortunately had her phone.  Kevin had called my phone, Rebecca answered, when he asked where I was.  Rebecca explained and then he told her.  She ran down the hall of the beach house and announced to my family and Kevin's family that a heart was available.  As tears of joy entered the room, they joined together for a prayer to bless Kevin through the surgery and to bless the donors family.  Harold, Kevin's oldest brother offered the prayer.  In the mean time, Kevin tried Sam's phone (unreachable) and then Caitlin's.  She handed the phone to me.  I heard him say something about a heart, but I couldn't really hear him and then in my sometimes inattentive way, I apologized for not having my phone and began to explain why.  He stopped me mid-sentence and said, "They have a heart."  I froze.  A million things went through my head.  I am not there, I am here.  When will it start? How will I know he is well?  What should I do?  Can I do this?  We hung up and I grabbed Caitlin's hand and we cried driving back to the beach house.  We drove in silence.  While I was happy about the heart for Kevin, I wasn't ready for it yet.  In retrospect, everything happened as it should.  While we were in the temple observing the marriage of Sam & Michelle, Kevin was in recovery, not thinking about being absent.  While in the temple before the ceremony,  I looked up and saw the chair empty that Kevin would have sat in, I started to cry, not so much that he wasn't there but with gratitude as to why he wasn't there.  I was full of joy where tears just kept flowing.  Jeremy, who would stand in for Kevin, came up to me and said, "Be strong for Sam."  I pulled myself together and my mom came to sit next to me and held my hand.  The rest of the day was beautiful.  Sam and Michelle are so happy together.  Our families and friends had a nice sit-down afternoon lunch hosted by the Morans.  I was at ease because I handed off things I needed to do before I could leave to Leslie and my mom and sister, grateful for their willingness to help.  Mostly at ease because I would be with Kevin soon.  

We both are looking forward to going back to Lincoln to see our home, our girls, and our dog. 

Barbie 

4 comments:

Darlene said...

Home sweet home and blessings everywhere. A beautiful weekend of family, a heart, a wedding, sunshine, sea and love abounding. It is definitely a weekend to remember.

It won't be long now and you'll be home together.

Kristin said...

Our hearts are with you and Kevin, and we will praying for you both. We sure do miss seeing you guys in Lincoln 2nd. -Kristin and Neal

Anonymous said...

Dear Kevin and Barbie,
HOpe you are feeling a little better. Keep strong and have faith. You know it is all worth it. I can't wait to see the pictures of you walking Rebecca down the asile in October. Keep thinking about wonderful things like that. I'm still hanging in there too! Waiting for test results. I know we have to be patient but WOW this is torture. I keep thinking about you and Tippy and I'll be next. Next year we can all celebrate together our new hearts and good health. I'll let you know when I hear more about the results and hopefully she can present me officially on Friday to Stanford. Keep up your spirits! God Bless.
Debbie Douglas

Denise said...

Kevin, Barbie and Family,
Ever since we heard the news, our thoughts and prayers have been with your family everyday. Michele has kept us up to date from Becca's face book, tell her thanks. You are all GREATLY missed in CT.
Love to you all,
Denise