Nan Mustard's Recovery

This blog is a record of Erin (Nan) Mustard's recovery.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Whale watching, Luau bring back memories

Dear Family and Friends,

Its been 22 days since we lost Nan. This evening it feels a lot longer yet today as we boarded the Whale Watch boat for a day of searching for the elusive Humpback Whales I remembered clearly the last time Nan and I headed out to sea and this evening as we sat down at a Luau I could easily place Nan at the table from the last time we enjoyed an evening like that. Yet these are good memories, really good memories.

I woke early this morning, I'm not sure how early but I think about 5 am and using this laptop accessed my home computer. Once in I went to the hundreds of photos in the server and enjoyed finding ones of Nan from different years, from different events and in various states of health or illness. I found different hair colors, different weights, GIST events, birthdays, hospital stays, graduations of our kids and in every one I found my beautiful Nan smiling or braving her way through. I am so very proud of her legacy, that of a fighter, a warrior, a person who refused to give in to the disease, to let it get in the way of her will to live life well. Later in the morning Keanna got up and began to play quietly and later her parents woke. Although I am tired tonight I enjoyed this quiet time with our memories. I did really have it good with Nan. And I am really glad I was her husband, caregiver, admirer, lover and cheering section.

Nikki made a great breakfast of pancakes and then we left for the whale watching experience. Someday Nikki will actually get to see whales. I can remember many times when nan and I would call Nikki who was slaving at home at her work to tell her we saw whales and she would demand that she too could someday see whales. Well today was the day but it was not to be. We do have a free trip to go again to try again to see whales but of course they have no openings on this trip. Poor Nikki. keanna was so precious and did not give up on seeing a humpback until we entered the harbor at days end. She was a true believer. I prayed that we could see even just one for the girls but it was not to be.

Tomorrow Steve and Nikki are going on a snorkeling trip to a beautiful place next to captain cook monument that is a national park, a stunningly beautiful place to snorkel and I hope they have a great day. Keanna and I will go to the pool, have breakfast, take a walk and then in the afternoon go back to pick them up.

I am very happy to be here and deeply appreciate what Steve did for me in arranging the travel for this trip. It was vintage Steve to quietly help someone not wanting anyone else to know, just doing his caring thing.

This evening as I write Jason and Jo with Timothy are flying across the ocean to Kauai where they will finally get into their condo room. They are so looking forward to Hawaii so much but are going to have a long night tonight with Timothy as a lap baby. I'll feel better when I know they are here safely.

I've been doing some thinking about life, about my life but have not come to any huge conclusions. Without being dramatic I'll tell you this, if I don't lose weight and get into better shape I will not live to be old. Everything I do right now comes with great effort, even walking a short distance uphill makes me short of breath and I have a dull pain in my chest often, not angina, just being horribly out of shape. It frightens me to be in such bad shape. It is my own doing with no one to blame but I've let my weight go higher than I've ever been before and it puts a real strain on everything I do. I've got to deal with this and quickly. I do not have a clear picture in my mind of my living day after day, week after week alone, I just can't see where any joy or meaning fits yet. In time I hope things will settle in. At the present time all I really look forward to is getting the life insurance and being able to repay all those who have been so generous in loans for house payments and other special needs. Also to get the monthly bills up to date so I don't have to field phone calls every day from creditors. Without complaining my life has been a pretty big challenge for months now and the stress of it all remains. I have lost my good advice and counsel person, a person who could always get be back on track with a few encouraging words, I have lost her and I'm not really too excited about being alone, facing everything by myself.

Nan and I have always intended and pretty much been able to take care of ourselves without inflicting our issues onto the kids. Our kids deserve as normal of lives as possible and they have been totally perfect in their support and wisdom through the whole final stages and then the loss of their mom. No one could ask for more, for anything more. They have been perfect and are continuing to be a real support, even now as I am here imposing on their hospitality and generosity. Yet I know I have to live my own life, not depend on them for everything and I can handle that part. I will not become a burden to my kids, they don't need it and their mother would have a cow if she thought I had become a leach on our kids.

So somehow I've got to learn to live on my own, to make my own decisions and to get my health in shape. Tall orders for me it seems.

Right now the right thing to do is stop writing and go to bed. I probably had 5 or so hours last night and its catching up with me.

So my family, my friends, I am enjoying this very special place even as I have to work through many wonderful memories of our being together here. I can do this, I know Nan would expect it of me, I'm just so sorry she had to go, taken by a terrible enemy that we fought but could not win over.

love from Kona

keanna, steve, nikki and tim

ps I've sure enjoyed the emails, from Glen, Richard, Yvonne and George, Barbie
Yes Dennys was quite busy in Kona and Placerville! Sounds like Barbies house was a better bet than Dennys though.


  • At 4:41 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Good Morning form NC...

    We woke up to snow yesterday! We did have a beautiful day warming up to about 45 and the snow was gone by days end. When we have even a little snow the snow plows are out in mass. They don't get to use them often, so they have to take advantage of every opportunity. Even if there is snow forecast here the schools close and people hit the grocery stores to buy bread, milk, beer and toilet paper ~ essentials of life. There will be no milk or bread on the grocery shelves by the end of the day. I had heard that was true. Now I have seen it for myself.

    Good for you, Tim, having new determination to take better care of yourself! You have put all your energy, thought, time and emotions into caring for Nan the last 18 months. Now it is time to use the same intensity on yourself. Yes, at times our lives get so full just being busy that we neglect ourselves. Then suddenly we get a wake up call and DO something about it. Then there's the spiritual health we neglect... It has been said, "If the devil can't make you bad he makes you busy." That is all too true! I have to be careful on that one....

    In time you will be more independent, but for now you need family ~ they need you. You have a huge mountain to climb getting back on track. Take each step deliberately and slowly and you'll make it. It's so easy to look at the whole mountain and think it is insurmountable. You can't do it all at once ~ just one step at a time.

    We continue to remember you in our prayers. I'm so glad you were given the opportunity to relax, enjoy the warm sun and beautiful surrounding together with spending the holidays with family and good memories.

    We love you ~ Carol

  • At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol. said…

    Hi Tim,

    Sorry the Whales decided to stay out of sight. Next Time!

    Thanks so much for the call last evening it was good to hear from You from far away HI what a great Cell connection we had.

    Carrol & I are both doing battle with "Colds" finally on the back side of them, I think, Holiday Colds are the Worst!

    I know that Nan would approve of You having a good time with Your Family. Some Day We will all be together again, can't wait!

    Have a good Time for the remainder of Your Stay and soak up the Sunshine. It is Cold back here.

    Love & Good Thoughts to You,

    Bob & Carrol.

  • At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Aloha Tim!

    Glad to read that you are having a WHALE of a time in Hawaii! To be out on the ocean with the beautiful sky above breathing the fresh sea air. Wow! What a treat even if the whales didn't bother to show up.

    Special flash Tim. Don't worry about getting old. You've made it already so mark that worry off your list. See how they just melt away.

    I noted that you are making some good memories. Some new good memories. Connecting them to past memories. Sounds like you are continuing to weave the tapestry of your life. It's what we do with today that counts the most and you did a great job today. Keep going!

    I saw a sign today somewhere. It said, "It's never to late to start living happily ever after".


    ps see you at the weight watchers weigh in! Continental US only


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