If you are reading this for the first time and want to hear the whole story, look under "BLOG ARCHIVE" on the right. Read the oldest blog first, starting with "The Diagnosis" in January 2009 (click on it) and continuing down. The blog you see below is the most recent and you want to read it last.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

CARRY ON

Jerry passed on June 2, 2011 at 11:40 a.m. The last two and half years have been a fight for my husband's life. We spent many hours talking about how it would be at that final moment. His biggest fear was that it would be painful. I promised him it would not. We spoke often of the afterlife and that moment when he would be taken from earth and transported to heaven...how it would be....who would come for him....would he be aware.....would he be afraid. We spent many hours speaking with clergy trying to put his mind at rest. He wondered if his Dad would be the one to come for him.....he prayed his Dad would be the one to come for him. I asked if at all possible, for him to give me a sign and let me know.

My husband's last minutes:

He spent his last days in a hospital bed in our den where family and friends spent countless hours visiting. The bed was alongside a picturesque sliding patio door that overlooked our beautiful patio and pool that Jerry took such pride and enjoyment in. His greatest joy was to see people joining in the pleasure of our backyard....our 'little piece of paradise'. As I sat by my husband's bedside and his breathing deepened, I asked him if he was in pain, he shook his head "no". He pointed in the direction of the patio door to the oxygen tank immediately in front to the bottom right of the glass pane. I attempted to give him oxygen but only to have him push it away. I became frustrated as he was trying to tell me something but I couldn't understand. He then grabbed my hand and gently and softly kissed it. I kissed his back. Within minutes he drew his last breath and left us.

As I sit here in his chair that has now replaced the hospital bed, I'm looking outside of that patio door and it's so clear to me now. I believe my husband kept his promise. The following was the 'sign' I asked for: I believe now he was pointing to the outside (not the oxygen) to tell me his Dad was waiting, surrounded by angels. I believe now he kissed my hand to say goodbye, it was time for him to go.

I believe my husband kept his promise and this was his way of telling me.... there was no pain, his Dad did come for him, and yes he was aware of it all, and no he was not afraid.

It is so comforting for me to know he went in peace, the way we prayed for and that he loved me enough to find a way to let me know.

I thank you all for your prayers, support and most of all the encouragement you gave to Jerry. Every e-mail, every comment, every card gave him the strength to go on.

I love you Jrrrrr and thank you so much for sharing your life with me....Trrrrr

Carry on............................

17 comments:

  1. You are in my prayers! I'm so glad he went as peacefully as he did. My husband was not so lucky. My husbands death was horrible, something I did not mention to Jerry. Jerry passed away six days shy of anniversery of my husband Johnnys death. On the day that Johnny died, Jerry called us. Jerry was a real soothing calm for John. John loved his phone calls from Jerry. I feel comfort knowing that they have met face to face by now. I wonder what it was like? I can't believe it's happened. I've been reading this blog for so long. I knew it was coming, but it was still a crushing shock when it did.
    I hope you know that your life will get better and that you will find happiness again. I have. You will "carry on"
    Tracy Hawker

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  2. Thank you Terry for sharing with us Jerry's last minutes. It is comforting to know that he did not suffer and peacefully passed, as everyone prayed he would. I am sure Jerry has been fitted with his angel wings by now, and probably had some joke or two about how they look, fit or the color. I will always keep Jerry in my heart, as I am sure others who have known him, were inspired by him, and loved him will do as well, as we continue to Carry On.

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  3. Although I knew this post was coming, it is still a shock. I'm grateful he was able to go peacefully and that he gave you the sign. I know he will continue to give you more signs that he is happy and that he loves you and is aware of you. I'm grateful for Jerry's example of carrying on. Mandy Poll

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  4. Terry - thank you so much for sharing this with us. I was hoping you would. So many of us who never met him in person loved him and waited for his posts. I'm so glad you were able to be there to help him on his way.
    I hope you will post his obituary.
    My love to you...
    Judy Keime (Mandy's mom)

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  5. My tears are flowing ... I am so very, very, very sad that Jrrr had to leave.

    He was so nice to me via his emails.

    I wish for his Trrr all the love and memories of lives together will afford her and their family.

    I hope my Dale will find Jrrr and they will together figure out how to rid the world of EC.

    Trrr, hugs and love always. You had a good man and that's the best gift that Life has to offer.

    I don't want to say 'goodbye' to Jerry. Just want to continue to believe he's with his family, simply in a different way.

    Gentle as you go,
    Marny

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  6. Terry,

    Thank-you so much for this post; it means so much to me, even as someone who was on the periphery of your lives. I never doubted that the extraordinary care the Lord showed with Jerry would continue to and beyond the end of his life, but it still warms me to read about how it manifested.

    Many blessings as your life's adventure continues,

    Paul Hamell

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  7. God Bless Jerry and you all, his loving family. Im saddened by his passing, but am glad that he had the peaceful transition he had hoped for. Jerry gave you a gift by sharing his life and death with you. My friends husband is battling this disease and she is fighting him to share anything with her. He does not want to face it, is only fighting half heartedly, and she is drowning in a sea of pain, fear, and uncertainity. Jerry's passing made me realize, probably for the first time, that there is not going to be a miracle cure for him and like Jerry he will pass away. Im so saddened for your family and my friend's family. Jerry was inspiring, with his honesty and directness. Thank you for sharing you life with us. I don't know you, but I mourn your loss and have been praying for you all. Much love sent your way.

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  8. Terry, I appreciate you sharing that personal moment. To hear that Jerry went peacefully provides comfort to those of us who think so much of him. I, too, am so happy that his dad came for him and especially that you received the sign he promised. Sending love and thoughts your way.

    Angie Poll

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  9. Terry -- those last minutes with Jerry will be with you forever. Thank you for sharing such tender moments with us. I knew Jerry's dear Dad and the thought of him welcoming his son is heart warming.

    I also must make a comment to you as Jerry's caregiver. His tribute to you was right on! You were there for him when he needed you and now I hope his spirit will ease you through these difficult times, and will help you to 'Carry on'.

    Thank you again for letting us know of those last personal moments.

    ((((( hugs)))))
    Auntie Eleanor

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  10. "I'M GONNA MISS THAT SMILE, I'M GONNA MISS YOU MY FRIEND,EVEN THOUGH IT HURTS THE WAY IT ENDED UP, I'D DO IT ALL AGAIN.

    SO PLAY IT SWEET IN HEAVEN 'CAUSE THAT'S RIGHT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE. I'M NOT CRYING CAUSE I FEEL SO SORRY FOR YOU, I'M CRYING FOR ME......"

    JERRY LIVES IN OUR HEARTS~ LOVING & MISSING HIM..
    TIL WE MEET AGAIN.....................

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  11. Thank you so much, Terry, for posting about Jerry's passing. My mom and I were concerned that we wouldn't even find out that he had passed. Like the others, even though we expected the outcome, it still comes as a shock and feels like the end of an era. For well over a year now, I have looked for Jerry's posts and enjoyed reading them.

    Although I never had the privilege of meeting Jerry personally, he has left an imprint on my life. His humor, his generosity, and his deep concern and compassion for others even as he himself was suffering, is inspiring. His relationship with you is a beautiful picture of love and commitment.

    Jerry was a great friend in my corner when my dad (Larry) was leaving for the other side. He reached out to me on a number of occasions, concerned for my dad and wanting to offer some thoughts. It meant so much to me that Jerry would care enough about my dad to make sure we'd left no stone unturned!

    I am so glad that God gave Jerry longer than his original prognosis, even though no amount of time could ever be "enough." My mom and I have been touched many times by the loving tributes that Jerry put on his blog about my dad and other EC heroes such as Travis and Johnny. And I am happy to know that his passing was peaceful and that he was still able to communicate his love to you in his last moments.

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  12. Much love and prayers from California. Although I only learned of Jerry's blog today, I was very moved by this posting from you, Terry. I will always remember yours and Jerry's kindness over the years when I lived in NJ. And very grateful that we stayed in touch as much as we could through facebook. There are no words to describe how sad and sorry I am, and none that I can say to ease the pain. only that I am thinking of you and praying, sending love across the miles.

    Love,
    Greg McDermott

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  13. Dear Terry,

    I am Marilee Alvey. I had emailed Jerry about my husband, Larry's, peaceful passing last July 27th. Jerry mentioned Larry and posted his photo. I loved Jerry though I never met with him, never spoke with him. No matter. I'm a writter and, to me, writing is the same as speaking.

    I am thrilled to read of Jerry's peaceful ending. 10 out of 10 people die, so far, so to have that comfort is all we can ask. I am sure you read those signs right. I think that Jerry was so kind and transparent, always helping others by doing so, that God allowed that sign! Jerry is finally doing even better than you are, now. His struggle has ended. Yours has not begun, but continued, for I know the life you've led in this cancer fight.

    Terry, you now become the patient. It is you who is now sick....at heart. The entire experience has flip-flopped. I believe that it is Jerry's turn to cheer you on, as you did, him. It's still a team effort. Larry wanted me to smile, to laugh, to live, to be happy. I do my best to celebrate life. Not to do so would cheapen the gift that Larry fought so hard to keep. There is a special website for esophageal cancer widows, only on yahoo. It is mourningdawns@yahoo.com It was started by some widows about six or seven years ago. There are some very nice ladies there. They are like good fairies, rushing in to comfort you. There are several brand new ones, so, when you're ready, I think it could be very helpful for you. Also, please feel free to email me anytime about anything. I can share with you some things that have helped me greatly. (I'm now writing a book about them: Flying Solo.) I am at marileealvey@frontier.com

    I continue to be a big fan of Jerry's. WE will carry on, Jerry. I know you are doing far more, now, than 'carrying on.' Your struggle is OVER and you are finally HOME!

    Terry, thank you so much for posting. I told my daughter, Lindie, that I checked all the time but I wondered: would we ever even KNOW that he died? I hoped so, and you made it possible.

    Thanks for caring,

    Marilee Alvey

    I will do whatever I can to help you

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  14. Rest in peace Jerry!! and Terry thank you for sharing your most private and personal last moments with Jerry.

    You have so much strength and you will carry on -- as hard as it may be at times -- but in remembrance of Jerry -- Carry on !!!

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  15. Thank You Terry for caring for my childhood friend he was certainly very special to all of us!
    Love Danny

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  16. Thinking of you, Jerry.

    Gentle as you go,
    Marny
    widow of Dale (EC) 10/3/45 - 2/12/01

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  17. Jerry was an amazing and beautiful person.
    I appreciated his blog and this final entry is an incredible gift. Thank you Terry.

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