Today January 5th

January 5, 2008

this is a tough one...

Marks 5 years since I quit smoking.  I remember the night before when I was tired of feeling like crap and I left Joel a note and said "I don't want to see these cigarettes or lighter when I wake up".  And he was sure they were gone when I woke up.  So glad I wrote that note because I think the next morning I would have gone right back into my routine of lighting up!  But with him making sure they were gone made me hold true to my note.

Nobody, including myself thought I would quit, especially when 8 months into my quitting my brother Joe was rushed to the hospital for what we later found out to be an aneurysm.  His 2nd, he had one leak when he was 17 and had to have surgery.  Now he was 37.

It was August 23rd and Joel and Zach were away camping.  I called my mother in law and called the campsite to have Joel woke up and get home.  I couldn't breathe, I was hyperventilating, hysterical and crying.  I didn't want to go to the hospital - I felt I was bad luck since it was the 23rd, (the same day that we lost Ryan) - I have a thing about numbers???

I kept begging God to please make him be okay.  All through the night my brother and sister would call me with updates.  By the time Joel got in from camping it was late, we arrived at the hospital after midnight (now the 24th) and Joe had made it through the night.

For 3 weeks we lived at Metro Hospital.  Each day a new challenge for my brother to get through.  He was on a ventilator and in a self induced coma but we were there.  Every day the entire family, and many friends joined us in that room where we waited and waited.

Each week that went by we went through so many ups and downs, at any time I could have grabbed a cigarette... since we would go outside for the others to smoke... but for some reason I didn't.

Then slowly they started taking Joe off the drugs to see if he would wake up.  He would squeeze our hands and we were elated!

I remember the night my brother Rob had called me.  I was home with the kids and he at the hospital.  He called me crying into the phone "He opened his eyes"  We were all so happy!  This was such a celebration... we were on our way to things being okay.

They scheduled Joe's surgery for September 16th and again we were all at the hospital.  Once things began and we knew we were in for a wait my sister and I went to grab coffees.  On our way back to the waiting room we could hear my mom crying before we even entered the room.  We ran in.... No, please tell us he's okay...

The aneurysm burst while he was in surgery and he lost too much blood.  He wasn't going to make it.

They took him back upstairs for us to say goodbye.  I remember my brother Rob beating on the elevator doors.  We were all crying and they took us into this room to see this person that was no longer my brother Joe.  For that entire day we were at the hospital until we said goodbye. 

Then it was if we didn't know what to do anymore.  We leave... go home... for what?  That was September 17, 2003

So you see its hard to believe I didn't go right back to smoking.  I think the first part was thanks to my husband for making sure those cigarettes were gone and the 2nd part was thanks to my brother Joe.  Because when he had seen I quit, it inspired him to quit too and I didn't want to let him down.

I didn't know this was where I was going when I started this post but this is part of my life, the sadness I have to overcome and remember their lives and what they meant to me.

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