It’s scary. Really really scary.
Being laid up Paralyzed in the hospital I was very lucky to have Trey, Benton, Mom, Alicia, Brenda, Tommy, April, Jennifer, Jason visit and stay with me in the hospital. Y’all will never know what that meant to me.
All the cards, very appreciated.
Pat Eardley is by far the one that stands out the most in my mind. All of them were great, but Pats meant so much....they were so random.
I never knew pat a lot. She always thought I didn’t like her(cause I’m so quiet) but I never thought a bad thought about her at all. I always thought she was funny, happy...and excited. She was Treys friend though, from Sandler. I knew nothing about Sandler(except it was very EXPENSIVE) I always maintained my wall flower status out of fear if I talked they’d send another bill...I’ll write separately about Sandler.
Pat however must have sent 15/20 cards. All with a joke(corny) and all with inspirational quotes from the Bible. Everytime the mail came I’d look for pats cards in the blue envelopes. And Trey would always say what did pat have to say? The one joke that lives in my head still...’Why do seagulls live by the sea? Because, if they lived by the bay they’d be bagels...’
Other standouts were the letter from my cousin Sheridan...my ‘good luck with Rehab’ card from Elizabeth...I was not in drug rehab! LOL.
Valentines Cards from Renee and Gram, and the beat flowers. Again meant so much.
It was the toughest time of my life. By far. Just being in that position. Was not good. My emotions ran the WHOLE RANGE. I did not think I was going to ever make it out of there. For real, everyone kept saying to keep going Thomas keep going your getting better. But in my mind I was not. I wasn’t passing any of the tests...I wasn’t improving.
I think the hardest part for me was the beginnings of Speech therapy. That’s where it registered that I was not making any sense. And that something was very wrong. I did not like the speech therapist at all. She was horrible. Horrible, and I’m not making that up-she was bad. Have someone take a spoonful of anything and shove it in your mouth and tell you to swallow...it was like that. Awful. And always so rushed, I was just a number in a bed. I failed. Next. Nothing like well we will keep trying-nothing. Just oh. You failed.
I wanted out of trident so bad. Brenda would make me do the word practice, and try to say Pizza all the time. I failed the swallow tests again and again at Trident. I was never going to get to eat or drink anything. All hope was fading, and fading fast.
My new speech therapist Liz at Roper was amazing. She told me what I had done wrong and how we could improve on that. I had to excercise my swallowing muscles OVER and over and OVER. A rolled up wash cloth under my chin pressed into my neck, and I’d have to swallow over and over trying to get the muscles to wake back up. The first time I did the swallow test at roper I passed to nectar thick drinks. I don’t know if you’ve ever had thickened water...but let me tell you-I was in HEAVEN. My therapists would all say oh yuck your drinking that stuff....heck yes! Cold thickened water was still cold water. And then I got puréed food. Again. Heaven. I loved it. Except for puréed fish. Nope. Nope. Nope.
The day I left the hospital I got approved for regular water with a straw It was a miracle.
Leaving roper I was on top of the world I was feeling great.
But, then life had a differeint plan.
I don’t know why, I don’t know anything. I just know in the course of three months my life was shattered in every possible way that it could be.
My entire mission in the hospital was to get as good as possible so that I could get back to work the day I got out...which I did, that next day I was at work. With my walker, and a pillow- so I could nap in the car. I remember waking up snd going to work. Trey was elated. I was back and doing it. His smile was so big. And I remember him saying don’t over do it.
Working hard, I did not. Mostly just got to see everything Benton had done over the last few months, I ‘worked’ as I could. And I remember the last time we went to eat with Trey for lunch. He had wanted pollo loco...we met for lunch, and got in trouble-because I was supposed to be home bound. We were all just like well nobody told us. It was such a normal lunch...it was the last lunch.
I felt like I had everything. A plan, a mission, I was needed, life was coming back together. It would take time, but everything was headed in the right direction.
That was the best lunch. Trey ate, a lot. We talked, we laughed, I cried. Trey told benton Thank you, and that none of anything would have been possible without him. I remember Trey saying right there at lunch...
‘I never knew why I felt so compelled to hire a bike delivery driver with zero experience, but there’s a reason for everything, and without you we would not be sitting here today. Two years ago you were struggling to make ends meet. Today your sitting here and basically picked up everything you could and carried on without Thomas, all while making sure he was not alone and scared in the hospital. You and April basically ran a company on your own, a bike delivery driver, and an April.’
My home healthcare called and interrupted him-but he was basically in tears.
I didn’t realize at the time what all was going on. That Benton, and April had basically been running things with Tommy’s help on some jobs. I didn’t realize that in three weeks we would be packing up and closing down the business.
I didn’t realize that everything I had just gone through in the hospitals was just the warm up.
I had never felt so alone, and so scared.
I know I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I know I didn’t do anything to help. I know I stood around a lot. I know I would just walk around the office like I had no idea what was going on. I just got out of the hospital, we should be celebrating that...we should be doing something else. Trey had just passed away, and I couldn’t even process that. Hell, I was still processing the fact that I had a stroke.
I can not even describe the sense of pure lostness, and aloneness that was going through me. I know everybody kept telling me I wasn’t alone, but literally EVERYTHING that I had known and worked so hard for for 23 years was gone, and everything that I had poured my life into work wise for like 15 years, and everything we had planned for for the future, for everything was gone. My entire life was getting packed away in boxes, as fast as possible.
I just stood there really. I didn’t do much of anything. I would lash out at people for anything and everything.
I remember two specifics, trust me there were more...but these two are just emblazoned in my head.
I was told I could pick which car I wanted, I don’t even know where or when, or who. I just remember being told that, and everything I mean EVERYTHING went red - I have no idea what I said, I’m sure it wasn’t nice - but I know all I was thinking, and sorry for this, was - ‘I DONT WANT A FU&$%NG CAR. I WANT TREY BACK’
And the other was April at the office. I don’t know why but she was annoying me. BAD. April refuses to cry in front of people, and her serious, let’s get this done attitude was driving me crazy. I knew her emotions was at level 22 but she wouldn’t let that be seen...I nudged her and nudged her and nudged her. She basically exploded, and came at me. I don’t know why. But I needed to see people hurting as much as I was.
I really think that not being able to have anything for Trey because of covid was both tearing me apart, and leaving the door open, that maybe just maybe this was all a joke, all a weird hallucination, some test that had gone way too far.
We weren’t able to Inurn Trey at the Abbey until July 16th...
I basically remember nothing from that day other than
Asking benton to drop me off at the Columbarium alone. He carried the flowers and I walked alone down the path with Trey, so benton could go meet everyone to get to the right place. I just remember it was a beautiful day. Trey was heavy, and I had to take breaks. I was wearing sandals - explaining to Trey why I couldn’t wear dress shoes the whole time. I finally made it to my Bench, and just sat there in total silence not ready to leave Trey out there. It was suddenly becoming very very real. I didn’t want this. I was not ready. And then it was time. I just remember carrying him up to the wall.
And then I remember Tommy telling the Story of 143.
And then I left without Trey. Alone