Seeing the love Trey and Thomas shared, the connection they had….you could feel it when you were around them, or when you walked into the house. I remember the first time I came over for dinner I thought I could smell the sweet smell of bread being made, but no one was making bread. You could feel the love and the homeyness within the first two steps of entering. After I moved in with Trey and Thomas I felt like we made our own little family with Beau, Bess and the chickens. It was all that I needed in a very rough time of my life. It was us three verses whatever was thrown at us - cancer, hair loss, chemo treatments. And now, strokes, the unknown, and rehab. Trey could never stay at the hospital too long, so he had me stay. Together we all figured it out.
Thomas got better, and better. He was released from the hospital, and I had to go pick up Trey that morning. We were both so excited…but there was something different about trey I didn’t know what it was. Figured he was just excited.
The morning after Thomas was released he and Trey were going to take Uber to a hospital appointment. Trey called me into his room and asked if I would please drive them - Thomas was freaked out that he was going back into the hospital. Of course I would. And when we pulled into Ashley tower Trey said why don’t you just park and come up with us. ….okay
He had Thomas and I sign a lot of paperwork in case I ever had to take him to the dr or hospital. Okay. And then he said to stay and listen to the drs so I knew what was going on. It was weird But I did. Many many things were weird. And they were just STARTING to make sense.
In rehab Trey wanted me there to learn all of the at home care.
He wanted me there for all of the stroke care classes
The day we had to learn fall safety he wanted me there because he said he wouldn’t be there if Thomas fell. So, I needed to know.
Multiple times he had me promise him that Thomas would always be taken care of. No matter what.
I didn’t know where any of this was coming from. That day at lunch (pollo loco)Thomas tried to ask about it all. And Trey changed the subject real fast. Wouldn’t discuss it. Period.
Monday morning again Trey asked me to drive them to his chemo dr for his appointment. Again he asked me to come up. I sat in the lobby with them. When they called Strock, Thomas basically ran. He wanted to see everyone, and find out what was going on. Trey said why don’t you come on back. Right then I thought WHAT IS GOING ON?
We walked back. Thomas was saying hello to everyone. Excited to be back, and get Trey straightened out. He knew something was wrong. But he would Fix it. The Dr walked in. And said oh wow. Thomas is out!!! And then his face changed. Immediately. Trey stood up and ran out of the room sick.
We just sat there like what is going on? Thomas immediately said ‘he’s not drinking enough water’. And before Trey came back the doctor said ‘I’m going to send you to the hospital right now. Can you get down there quick?’
Everything was making sense. But I didn’t want to believe it. Thomas kept saying this is a good thing Trey. Your dehydrated and they’ll give you IVs. That’s all Thomas thought we were going for.
Trey did not want him at the hospital. He would always tell Thomas to go with me. Do some work. Don’t sit there.
Things went downhill really quick I don’t know how Thomas could deal with everything. I don’t even know how it all happened. I remember everything was okay. And then Thomas just started to fall apart in the hospital when he finally started to accept what was happening. He couldn’t even walk out. He didn’t know what to think, who to trust, what to do. He was mad. Really mad. At everything, but I think mostly at himself for failing Trey, and not being there when he needed. I think he felt entirely guilty for everything.
In the couple of weeks after Trey was released it was a rollercoaster. Everything was fine. We went to see a movie, Trey told Hospice He did not want or need them. Which I thought was great - we would beat this thing. Everyone agreed Hospice was not needed. Everyone was happy.
Except Thomas. He wanted to know what was going on. Trey had not let him meet with any of the drs, and he wanted to know why Treys Dr wanted hospice there. He was calling and getting an appointment. He wanted to know what was going on. Trey Said okay…I think to calm Thomas down.
That Dr appointment was the hardest thing I have ever had to experience. Sitting there with Trey, Thomas, and Treys parents…and listening to the dr was like living in a different reality.
When we got home Jennifer and April were at the house expecting to see Trey. Hospice showed up right after. I didn’t know what was going on, I think I just stood there. Thomas had snapped out of his recovery, and was back in charge. Handling everything. If Trey was tired, he had you leave. He made Trey get up everyday and helped him get dressed and move to the couch. He did not want him to stay in bed. Trey transitioned to using Thomas’ walker, do then sitting in the walker and Thomas would push him around. To finally into Thomas’ wheelchair.
Watching the rapid decline of the strongest person I ever knew was hard. Really hard. The only thing he was worried about was Thomas. He kept telling me to make sure he went back to therapy, to make sure he was always good. Again he asked me to promise him that I would always take care of Thomas. I knew now what all of this meant. He had been setting everything up so that I had access to Thomas in the event of an emergency. The last night he really talked we were in the room on each side of the bed holding his hand. And he said to get it legalized so that my mom didn’t have to fly across the country before anything could be done. He told Thomas what to do to the house. What to do with his money, and to apply for disability as soon as he could. In the end he told us both to take care of each other. To keep a check on his parents, and make sure Thomas gets better.
I had no idea that would be our last talk. Two nights later Thomas called me into the room, and asked me to help him put a fresh set of pajamas on Trey. Thomas changed his clothes everyday.
Out of nowhere Thomas told Trey it was Okay, he would be okay. Everything would be okay.
He was telling Trey goodbye. The last two yeare of Treya life changed me. Changes me in ways I can’t even explain. Getting to know him as a person, and then learning everything I could from him changed me. Trey was the exact type of person I want to be. Smart as a whip, knew EVERYTHING, always wanted to know more, shared everything that he could. Such a good person.
I again promised Trey that I would always take care of Thomas, Beau, Bess. That he need not worry about that. Thomas was and is my best friend, and family. I would never change that. Seeing Thomas tell Trey goodbye made me realize that that’s what’s important in life. I had to take care of Thomas the way Trey would. I had to make sure he got to good, and enjoyed life. And I knew then what I wanted and needed to do. Still holding Treys hand I took Thomas‘ and said we will be okay Trey. We will be okay.
I could not believe I was telling the person that had changed everything about my life Goodbye. It was too soon.
And he squeezed our hands.
The next morning at 4am he was gone. And I knew I had big shoes to fill.
I have not and will not stop making sure that Thomas is okay, and getting better. We have had so so many losses since March 2020. But, even so Thomas is still in therapy - and improving.
I am starting school this week. Back into construction, and design. Following in everything that Trey started teaching me.
Trey changed my life forever in so many ways. Unexpectedly, and for the better.
I will be the person that he always knew, and thought I could be.