Friday, September 12, 2008

"Heaven just got a lot Funner!!"


Last Friday was probably one of the most difficult days I've had in a very long time. Friday morning, I had a meeting scheduled for 9:30 at Lake Tanglewood to discuss some "issues" that are going on out there. So, I decided it would be better to work from home, then leave from my house and head straight to Tanglewood. (instead of going all the way into downtown Amarillo, turning around and driving back to Tanglewood, then turning around and driving back to downtown Amarillo) ANYWAY, I had been up working since about 6:30am because I had so much on my mind and I just wanted to get started. Around 7:00, I got a frantic phone call from my mom that Nancy had been put on life support the night before, they didn't think she had any neurological function and she would probably be taken off life support a little later in the day. Of course, this sent me into a panic.

Nancy, for those of you who don't know, owned my mom's daycare, Playhouse, for 26 years and her mother owned it before then. My mom came to work at Playhouse when I was barely 5 years old as the Assistant Director. She married my dad while working there, she had my little brother while working there, and, of course, she bought it in June 2003 and now MY son goes there!! (Even though most of the time he's with Lolli in her office!!) My mom and Nancy became best friends almost immediately upon my mom's hire and remained that way up until Nancy's passing. This, of course, also means that Nancy's daughters and I grew up together. Donna and I are particularly close out of the three!!

Nancy was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, a horrible, mean, awful, unfair disease, probably 6 or maybe even 7 years ago and, as Parkinson's goes, she was progressively getting worse. In May, she made the difficult but VERY BRAVE decision to have a series of 4 brain surgeries which would implant electrodes into her brain (kind of like a pacemaker) which would send electric signals each time her brain started to mis-fire. This was all in hopes that she would have a much better quality of life without tremors, etc. (Okay...I'm not in the medical profession, this is just my limited understanding) Anyway, during the 3rd surgery, the surgeons knicked a blood vessel and Nancy suffered a stroke. After a long battle in ICU, she was moved to the Craig Nursing Home here in Amarillo. However, she then got sick and was put in the hospital and lost her spot. After her stay in the hospital, she was moved to the Arbors, with a beautiful private room and began her recovery once again. She was at the Arbors up until last Wednesday or Thursday when she suddenly got very sick. We all thought she just had the same "tummy bug" that had been going around like crazy around here, so no one thought too much of it. Then, they found out she had a white blood cell count of over 50,000 and that she had a very contagious illness and she was quarantined. My mom was able to go spend about 3 hours with her on Thursday and when she left Nancy, she told her she loved her and Nancy told her she loved her too! Unfortunately, this was the last time my mom saw Nancy coherent. Thursday night, Nancy's colon ruptured. The doctors thought maybe she could go into surgery, but ultimately stated that if she was put under, she would never come back out.

Friday morning, with the family gathered around, (Daughter Lisa and her husband, Mark, Daughter Donna and her husband Steve, My mom and Dad, and Lou, Nancy's sweet husband - Thomas and I were in the waiting room since only 4 people were allowed in the room and there were ALREADY more than that in the room) the doctors took Nancy off of Life support. She had no neurological function, no blood pressure and the doctors could not find a pulse. She continued to breathe until her daughter, Susan, from an airplain headed to Amarillo, told her she loved her and it was okay to go. They then put her son, Todd, who was on his way from Lubbock on the phone with Nancy and he said his goodbyes. The family sang "In the Garden" which was Nancy's favorite song, she took 2 more breaths and went to be with Jesus.

The difficult part about all of this isn't necessarily that Nancy is now gone, it's that she was doing SO VERY WELL, until Thursday. Her therapy was going well, she was progressing, her speech was GREAT, and her mind was still like a STEEL TRAP!!! She was cracking jokes up until the very end. I've known Nancy, as I stated, since I was a little girl, and she was my grandmother for all intensive purposes. I can't believe she's gone.

The funeral was awesome. I bet there were at least 200+ people there. Most of which were daycare families from years past. We got phone calls at my mom and dad's house all night Saturday night from former daycare kids who are in college now, but wanted to call and talk to us!! The flowers were incredible! I've never seen so many beautiful arrangements in one place!!

One of the hardest parts for my mom is that she has lost her very best friend. Even her family feels that way. Nancy was a Christian, so we KNOW that she is now with Jesus and Grandma Elliott and our sweet baby!! I know she's loving him/her until we get there to be with everyone some wonderful day!!! She's singing "Alump went the Little Green Frog" and "Whaddalyacha" and all of her other fun songs!! She's playing with George, enjoying his new-found freedom from down-syndrome, she's looking down and telling all of us that yes, "This too shall pass."
I will miss you. Thank you for being my mom's best friend. Thank you for loving me and Logan SO much. Thank you for "making ice cream" and "Witchiepoo" and "Witch's Brew" and my first ever 12 speed bike. Thank you for the Playhouse and allowing us to be the guardians all this time over your business. Thank you for now entrusting that into my mom's care. I know, as you ALWAYS knew, that there is NO ONE better for the task than her. Thank you for your laughs (your old laugh and your new one.) Thank you for funny pictures of you sticking out your tongue. Thank you for your daughters, especially my friend Donna!! Thank you for the basement when the weather was bad, and the 1000s of movies we could always borrow. Thank you for introducing me to Gidget. I'll thank you for the new "Donut" recipe that Donna just told me about! (I can't wait to try that!! yum) Thank you for loving Malachi as much as you did...and no, your shaking didn't give him "Shaken Baby" as you joked!! If anything, he loved it when you held him because you mimicked his bouncy seat!! haha (For those of you who didn't know Nancy, this was her sense of humor...there's no disrespect in these jokes!!) Thank you for teaching me and most of the kids in my generation that there ARE consequences to your actions, either good or bad. It's your choice! Thank you for letting me have the key to the old coke machine. Thank you for hiring my mom and supporting her!! Thank you for being her friend and loving her as much as you did. I promise I will be there for her, as you were, and that I will be there for your sweet baby girl, Donna. She and I will always have something in common, as we both grew up having to share our moms with others. KNOW that there is no one in this world I would rather share my mom with now!!!
There will NEVER be another Nancy Kay Camp.
Thank you for that!

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