Friday, August 29, 2008


I haven't posted here in over a month because my world has pretty much turned upside down. On July 9, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer which had progressed to his liver. Six weeks were spent having colonoscopies, CTs, MRIs, transfusions, IVs, and hospital stays. Finally on August 13th, he called at 7 a.m. from the hospital and said that he had enough and just wanted to come home. I called Dr. Stefanek at his home and asked if he would discharge Smitty when he went in to do his morning rounds. By the time I got there at 9, Doc had made all the arrangements and had Hospice folks ready to help me out.
Smitty died on August 21st, a week and a day after he came home.
My son from Pennsylvania was here the whole time and he and I were bedside when Smitty passed over. One daughter, Terre, was living here. The other daughter, Nikki, lives over an hour away but managed to get home frequently. Hospice was incredible and I wonder how folks could ever handle the ordeal without them. Doctor Stefanek would drop in to comfort not only Smitty, but us. And my friend, Beth, was my stability and rock. In her nonintrusive way, she was alway here checking on me. Damn! Friends are Great!
The funeral was yesterday and I'm just starting to reflect on the kindness and love that has poured from friends and even folks that I hardly know. The church was packed, we have a mountain of cards, the freezer is stuffed with casseroles, my frig is jammed with meats, cheezes and salads.
We established a scholarship/memorial fund with the high school where he was principal and even though we haven't actually counted, it looks like a few thousand will be given to a deserving student.
I hope that this post hasn't been depressing or morbid. Life is Good and death is a natural part of it. Although at moments I have periods of overwhelming sadness, I am ready to resume my place in this world with my family, animals, and friends.


Ewe-niss said...

I am so sorry.

Mandie said...

I had wondered about you being so quiet this last little while Maple, now I know why.
Sending you much love and big hugs from Down Under.

muchadored said...

Maple, I was hoping that everything was alright when I didn't see your booth at the fiber festival. I'm so sorry for your loss, and that you and your family went through such a difficult ordeal. Your positive attitude is inspiring. If there is anything I can do to help in any way, please be sure to contact me as I'm a fellow Michigander. I'll keep you all in my thoughts.

Jeff Smith said...

Aunt Maple,

You cannot hide from me on the internet! My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you.

Jeffrey Smith

Vtknitboy said...

dear maple,
i hope that my emails to you over the past troubling weeks helped you in some small way. you know that i had you, smitty, and your family in my thoughts and prayers every day! that is a great pic of smitty and your granddaughter! he looks like he was a wonderful person, and i'm sure of that.

as always, you have my email and phone number should you need anything, just to talk or cry.

i'm glad you posted. it's not morbid at all. it is sharing. and there are lots of people who care about you. i have found that fiber people are some of the most wonderful people i've met. really.

love and peace,
chris (vtknitboy)

Knit - R - Done said...

I am so sorry to hear that. Please take care of yourself.

Necia said...

My condolences goes out to you and your entire family. Your post wasnt morbid or depressing.

Marie said...

Please accept my condolences for your loss.
I am so glad that you and your family were able to be with him in the end. It must have been such a comfort to him and to you.

Shalana Frisby said...

My heart goes out to you. May you and your family be blessed with peace and comfort during this time. I can not imagine being in your place. What great strength you must have. My very best wishes to you as you mourn and recover.

Liz said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I just want to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts.

SILVER SUN said...

Maple, Please accept my condolences.
Many wooly Hugs.

DD#2 said...

I love you, Mom. Always here.

Merily said...

Hugs and much love to you and your family!

DreamWoven said...

maple.... loving, healing thoughts are being sent your way ..... my condolences to you and your family. i am so glad that your husband was home with his family. Hospice is such a loving, helpful source for those in need.

Hope you are faring as well as can be expected....
much love,

Linda D said...

Maple, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. If it helps even a little, you are not alone, there are others who know exactly how you are feeling, having been there themselves. Give yourself time, lots of time, to really get back to normal. Sending love and prayers, Linda

heather t said...

Maple - my heart aches for you and your family. I am so glad you were able to be together and that your husband's passing was peaceful at home.

Your post was not depressing or morbid, but a celebration of a life together, the warmth of good friends, and the legacy of a man you deeply cared for. Hugs to you from another Michigan native.

Jan said...

I am so very sorry.

Alpaca Amigo said...


You are my HERO! I'm honored to be one of your "rocks"! We will indeed get thru this with family, animals and friends! It is good to see you blogging again...I have missed it! You are a gift to all you touch! See you in the barn!

Infinite Hugs,
If you are reading this, I finally mastered my blogger identity sign-up...About time, I know!

Laughingrat said...

Oh Maple, I'm so sorry.

Sharon said...

Oh Maple, I'm so sad to hear about this.

Michele / akkasha said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is so sad to hear about your husband. I am glad that you have wonderful people there to help you through this tragic time.

woolies said...

Oh Maple, I am so so sorry for your loss.
Remember, Smitty is a part of you, he lives on in your heart and soul.
Prayers for you and your family, from the desert.

Marg said...

My dear Maple, I am so glad that you have shared with us, your online friends, that your Smitty has passed on. This is not morbid at all. It is important for us to know. I can hardly imagine what a difficult change this is for you, especially since Smitty's passing was so soon after his diagnosis.

"Life is Good and death is a natural part of it." I agree.

I am deeply sorry for your loss, Maple. And I thank God for your family, animals and friends who surround you with their love.

God bless,


temptressyarn said...

Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am so sorry about the loss of your husband and glad to hear that so many friends nearby have blessed you with their presence and love. Smitty must have been a special person indeed.

My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Much love,

Firefly Nights said...

Oh, Maple, such sad news. I'm behind in my blog reading and never expected to find this post when I went to your blog. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know it must have been especially hard since it all happened so quickly. You must have been/still be in shock about it all. I wish there was something I could do to make it better for you. I'm so sorry.

Zuleika said...

I can't believe I missed this post!! I am so very sorry for your loss Maple. I pray that things are going as well as can be and I just wanted to extend my late condolences.


The other man said...

I just heard very recently. I'm sorry for your loss. you both are such wonderful people. I admire your strength and cherish your sight on life in general. I love reading your blog, helps me keep updated on the alpaca world and fiber stuff.
Your friend,
Jessi Churches