July 22nd, 2007.
We were in Door County for the weekend. Patrick, Shawn and Todd were in their 1st triathlon together on Sunday morning. We were there with my parents, Aunt Jude and Uncle Bill, Uncle Tim and Aunt Millie, MC and Larry, Christine and Payton and a few friends. We enjoyed a nice weekend together. Then we were all at the finish line. Todd came through. Then Shawn...quite a while later, it was Patrick. He was holding a sign and running down the final stretch. The crowd errupted with cheers. I had no idea what was going on. I saw him cross the finish line. The announcer started talking. Then I knew. I was in the middle of a proposal! I couldn't believe after almost 5 years that we were finally going to be engaged. I was so excited to marry the love of my life. That night we went to a bed and breakfast in Door County. I'd been asking him for years to take me there. He always said, "And what, look at antiques and trees?" I teased him that our first time in Door County was for his race and we didn't even stay in the same hotel room. LOL. We had a great dinner, made our phone calls of our announcement and enjoyed our time as being engaged. I loved every minute of it. July 22nd, my life changed.
July 22nd, 2010
I was in the waiting room at St. Luke's hospital. Patrick went in for his 3rd open heart surgery at 6. He was supposed to be done around 10. Then we kept getting updates and there were complications. His right side of his heart was failing and they were installing an RVAD in addition to the LVAD he already had in. Then the bleeding wouldn't stop. His heart wasn't able to keep up.
The doctor came into the waiting room and I just knew. 12:50 am. Patrick Bernard Blessing passed away. I felt different. I felt lost. I felt alone. What do I do next? We went back to our house. Family surrounded me. I still didn't know what to do. Jon took charge. Made the phone calls to family and friends. Called the funeral home. Updated everything online. Wrote his obituary. He did everything. He asked me a few questions and I answered them the best I could. I then packed up and headed to my parents.
I'm not sure if you all remember or not, but this was also the day that we had huge rain storms and flooding in Milwaukee. A few kids mentioned that it was Patrick crying a lot that day because he was sad to leave us. The next few days I planned my husband's funeral. I felt numb and don't remember much of what happened or who I all saw those next few days. We had so many people fly in from around the country to say goodbye to Patrick. I'm lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. July, 22nd, my life changed.
July 22nd, 2011
I'm sitting in my hotel room after Steve and Kelly's rehearsal dinner. It was wonderful. Kelly put a great slideshow together for Steve with all the boys. It was perfect. I will see if I am able to share this in my next blog with permission.
Olivia is sleeping again finally. We had a late night. I'm in bed, reading all the messages people have been sending me. Do I wait up for another hour? Do I fall asleep so I don't have to relive that horrible moment? I haven't decided quite yet. I will let my body decide.
Today will be spent in Menomonie, WI with all of my friends and some family. Steve Johnson and Kelly Marose will become Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. Everyone has been asking me if I'm OK going to a wedding on the one year anniversary of Patrick's death. I am OK with it. I'm not sure what else I would do. I know I would go to the cemetery for sure. Then after that, probably just watch TV and play with Olivia. This at least give me something to do and stay distracted. Plus I'm sure I'll have a few drinks. I'm looking forward to the happy couple becoming one. It will be a beautiful day.
I saw this in another widow's post. She misses being number one for someone. I know exactly what she is talking about. I was Patrick's number one. When he had something funny happen, he called me. When he wanted to make someone smile, he bought me a funny card or made me laugh. When he was sad or frustrated, we talked it out. When he wanted to relax and snuggle, I was next to him on the couch. Now I don't have someone to think of me that way. I have my parents, siblings, in-laws, friends, etc. But they have their own number one. Will I ever be someone's number one again?
I bid you all a good night. Keep your loved ones close to you. Don't take anything for granted. Stop the negative attitudes. Don't have bad days. Stop the bickering. Stop the bitching. It's not worth it. Not worth it one bit.
Love you all. Thank you so much for your love and support. I don't think I would have been able to keep moving this past year without you.