A painful event in my life…

Hi everyone. I have been away but not because I have wanted to be. The past 6 months have been terribly trying for me and my husband. I spent a long time hospitalized last September until mid October. (I am fine now). Then my dear husband got sick on New Year’s Eve and nearly lost his life. He had to be hospitalized over an hour away so I was splitting my time between being at the hospital and a local hotel for 5 days and spending 2 days here at home making sure life goes on for all of our furbabies. I have not felt so much emotional pain and exhaustion in my life. I watched my beautiful husband wrestle with the Flu, pneumonia, sepsis, near kidney failure and almost bleeding out into his stomach all of which happened in the initial 24 hours. He was in the Intensive Care Unit all but about 5 days out of 30. For the first 15 he was barely conscious and on life support. I did not know if he was coming back or what I would do if he did not. I felt like I was just thrown into this painful, helpless position and all I could think was…I need him so much.

I have strong faith and I prayed daily for guidance, support and strength. Friends from all over the US who know us reached out to me and helped lift me up with prayer and kind words during this exhausting time. Some helped me stay in the hotel close to him, others called me or messaged with me, sometimes late into the night. I kept going through this back and forth of things maybe being okay and soul crushing blows of his health taking two steps back. I cried daily. I was burning out at the hospital holding his hand and talking to him daily, unsure if he understood me (he developed ICU psychosis). But then I would be home and worried sick that something serious would happen while I vigorously cleaned the pellet stove, the guinea pig cage, litter box, and showered and repacked myself.

We are home now and January is a ways away but Jay and I both are dealing with the trauma of his month long hospitalization. He is still very tired but he is here. The frightening part is over. I have a different perspective of our relationship and how dearly I love him.

How much energy one or both of us will have each day is unpredictable. I thought I would let everyone know…I am not out of the business. I actually have some big plans I will talk about later. My life screeched to a halt on New Year’s Eve and nothing mattered more than my family.

My husband would have died within hours if I had not gotten him to the hospital ER. I want everyone out there to hold their loved ones a little closer…kiss foreheads and hold hands. I pray something of this magnitude does not have to effect your life and you all can be well. Take care of yourselves during the spread of the newest virus (the coronavirus) that is attacking us and protect yourself from deadly diseases like the flu and pneumonia with a simple vaccine. My husband had neither and may not have had to fight for his life had he taken that one step.

I pray all of you stay protected and well.

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

I got married!

Actually, I was married to Jay Rickert on June 18th of this year but a bunch of things interrupted my ability to tell all of you until now. I figure, it’s never too late to share that I got married!!!

I married the most wonderful man. I have always felt an almost magical connection to Jay, a joyful and deeply intimate connection. When we first were together I drew the portrait behind his head from a photo he had sent to me. We were still 2300 miles apart and our romance was budding long distance although we had both flown to meet each other by the time I had drawn this. I have never felt so close to someone as when I drew this portrait. That I did not expect. Jay looks a little weepy, a joyous weepy. This photo was taken the day he married me.

So, about the wedding…

We actually were married for less that $200, which is a feat in itself and deserves talking about. My little sister and her family came from Kansas to help us pull everything together a couple of days before the wedding. Mia, my sister, and my nieces, Marissa and Vanessa, helped me get dressed and Larry, my brother-in-law, help Jay get our modest venue prepared.

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