Keep it Real Wednesday
November 8, 2023
2022 was only LAST YEAR, but it seems so much longer than that.
What a year!
The year started with Wade’s transplant recovery. After spending 8 days in the hospital, he was able to return home after regaining a little strength.
At the same time, Rosemary was starting her steep descent downhill. At some level, I think she started to surrender once she knew Wade was going to be okay.
I was the primary caregiver for BOTH of them, mainly because of COVID. Wade’s transplant made him EXTREMELY immunocompromised so we had to be careful of letting anyone in the house.
On a beautiful snowy winter day on January 17, 2022, Rosemary and I took our last ride. We didn’t talk much on our ride; we simply enjoyed the solitude of the newly fallen snow and the feel of snowflakes on our faces.
Rosemary died in her own bed 3 days later with me holding her hand—just the way she wanted.
We couldn’t gather as a family so we all talked by phone that night. We cried, we laughed, we told stories for hours on the phone. We brought out the Baileys Irish Crème and celebrated her amazing life with her favorite drink. It was healing and exactly what she would have wanted.
We postponed having a service for Rosemary until Wade’s immunities were improved, which ended up being in June. Before she died, I asked her if she wanted flowers at her service and she said YES, FILL THE CHURCH with flowers. And so, we did. Amanda and I arranged flowers the day before the service and filled the altar. She would have loved it.
And then life went on, as life should.
As the year progressed Wade continued to get stronger as his immunities increased. We could do more activities in the community which felt a little less isolating for us.
We were healing on many levels.
AND WE BUILT BIKES! Many of them.
In fact, in 2022, we built THIRTY Bikes in our garage and were able to help many people. We felt Rosemary with us with each and every delivery.
In December 2022, we ended the year by participating in the Boise Holiday Parade. A FLEET of blessing bikes lined the streets of downtown Boise with riders waving to an enthusiastic community. It was magical for us, and we all enjoyed the parade. Watching a fleet of bikes riding in downtown Boise carrying elderly and people with disabilities while onlookers cheered, waved, and smiled was beyond words.
And to top it off, we found out the Blessing Bike won the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD for the Parade.
What an honor and testament to caregivers everywhere. You are not alone. You are seen and loved.