Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A lost little girl

When I woke up this morning I realized that I am no longer anyone's little girl. I must be strong and make my parents proud of the daughter they sacrificed so much for. I am very thankful for the peaceful day that my Dad experienced yesterday. I will miss my Dad and the wonderful way he always made me laugh. He can now rest and be at peace and that is all I could really ask for.
I love you Mom and Dad and I can't begin to describe the hole in my heart since you left.

This will also be my last entry to the blog.

Thank you for all the prayers and wonderful comments on this blog. It was a great way for some of our family to express our feelings. Thank you Steven for sharing your emotions during your journey with Dad. I love you and you have made me a very proud sister.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

John William Rogers Rest In Peace

Our father passed away today at 3:55 pm. He was surrounded by people who loved him. He left earth peacefully. We are very proud of the fight that Dad led since September 2008. The Hospice House staff really went out of their way to make the process quiet and serene.
Dad's last activity before his death was a bath....poetic justice, huh? Dad loved a bath more than anything.
Our plan is to head to Dallas to handle all the business affairs of Mom and Dad tomorrow am. We are plannng a celebration of both of their lives at Donna Edwards home in Carrollton, Texas this Friday at 4-7pm. We want to follow up the Dallas event with an Atlanta event to honor Dad's wishes. He requested that his remains be placed in a military cemetery. Pat, Glenda, George, Kay and others.....I will need your help to pull the GA event off.
This will be the last blog entry I make in regards to my Dad. Its been a long journey full of mixed emotions. We were able to share moments with Dad that might never have occurred. When Dad moved into our house in Fayetteville he made the comment that we were making the "Supreme Sacrafice". I don't feel that way. It was an honor to care for Dad. He received 24 hour love and I know he felt safe and secure.
I appreciate everyone who has contributed to the Blog and to the care of our father. We are huge advocates of Hospice House now and will be avid followers and contributors to their fine work.

The Ladies Man

Dad was always dashing and charming....a true ladies man. We are playing this song in honor of this part of Dad...this song is by Dave Matthews:

You've got your ball,You've got your chain Tied to me tight, tie me up again.Who's got their claws In you my friend? Into your heart I'll beat again Sweet like candy to my sou lSweet you rock,And sweet you roll Lost for you, I'm so lost for you Oh, and you come crash into me And I come into you And I come into you In a boy's dream In a boy's dream Touch your lips just so I know In your eyes, love, it glows so I'm bare-boned and crazy... for you. Oh, and you come crash into me Baby, and I come into you In a boy's dream In a boy's dream And if I've gone overboard Then I'm begging you To forgive me In my haste When I'm holding you so girl,Close to me Oh and you come crash into me, yeah Baby, and I come into you Hike up your skirt a little more And show the world to me Hike up your skirt a little more And show your world to meI n a boy's dream In a boy's dream Oh, I watch you there Through the window And I stare at you You wear nothing, but you Wear it so well Tied up and twisted, The way I'd like to be For you, for me, come crash into me, baby Come crash into me, yeah Crash into me...Crash into me...Crash into me...You know, I'm the king of the castle,You're the dirty rascal, crash into me.Please crash into me, baby...Oh, no no no...Yes, I see the waves Come and crash into me.See the waves come and crash into me.Crash into me.


We are here with Dad. He has gotten progressively worse. His blood pressure is 66/40. We really believe this could be Dad's last day with us. We have talked to him and told him about Mom's passing. He understood me. I know he teared up and winked acknowledgement. We are playing music for him in the room. We just got through playing "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole. My favorite song is playing right now. Its a song by Peter Tosh. The lyrics are below:

Fools Die.....The lips of the righteous teaches many But fools die for want of wisdom.. The rich man's wealth is in the city.... Vexation of the soul is vanity.... Destruction of the poor is their poverty ...The poor man's wealth is in a holy, holy place... Why do you fight each other... Why do you kill your brother... Then your reward will be the cemetery... We got to build a better nation... Clean up, clean up Jah creation... Or there will be no future for you, you and me.

It is a beautiful reggae song that can be interpreted many, many ways.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My world came crashing down!

The range of emotions I have felt over the last few days is unbelievable.  No one expects to lose both parents so close together.  I have lost my best friends and my biggest fans.  I love my parents with all my heart and words cannot express how much I will miss them.  I know God will see me through this difficult time but my heart won't stop aching.  Not only do I appreciate my parents for ALL they did for me, they were fantastic grandparents too.  To the BEST Mom and Dad in the world.  You made me the woman and mother I am today. 
I love you both,

Road Trippin'

If you are wondering why we are posting Joyce's information on John's blog site this is why. Joyce had been very involved in John's medical journey. After having John over for Easter dinner with Stuart and Steven she became even more concerned about his well-being. She talked to John about coming up for a visit to Arkansas and John accepted the offer. John was no longer able to take such a journey on his own, let alone drive. So, on Saturday, April 17 they headed out on their final journey together. Joyce drove the 5 1/2 hour drive to Fayetteville with John as her passenger. They didn't even argue, probably thanks to Bobbie's good advice to them both (John, take a pain pill and go to sleep ;Joyce, give John a pain pill and he will go to sleep). They arrived in Fayetteville, had dinner, and watched a movie. The next morning she got in her car and headed back to Dallas. Joyce had a heart of gold.

Joyce Ann Hoover Rogers class of 1959

Thank you all for the thoughts, prayers, cards and flowers. We truly could not have made it through the past couple of days with out you all. Many have asked what they can do and we thought in lieu of flowers Joyce could be best remembered with a donation to the University she loved. Joyce graduated in 1959 with a Bachelors in Science and Education. She was a wonderful artist and enjoyed sharing her talents with those who loved her. Donations will be used in the art department to give art scholarships.

Donations can be made in Memory of Joyce Hoover Rogers.

Attention: University Development
300 University House
1 U of A
Fayetteville, AR 72701

One of my best friends

I lost one of my best friends in the world. As I walked the campus yesterday the world felt a lot emptier. I used to walk by Old Main and ponder about how lucky I was to get to go to the University of Arkansas. My mothers will and my hard headed belief that it was the only school for me led me to Fayetteville. When money got tight, she sacrificed and found a way for my tuition to get covered. From the time I was a small child I was brought up a Hog. My grandmother and grandfather (Al and Ree) literally brainwashed me at a young age. My first live game was the Cotton Bowl of 1976-Arkansas and Georgia. I was hooked.
I owe so many things to the upbringing that my Mom provided. I miss her so much and wish she was with me now. I would give anything to have one more day. Funny, just two weeks ago she said the same thing about her mother. We are truly cut from the same cloth. I am proud to say I am the son of Joyce Ann Hoover.

Mama Hawg and her 4 little piglets

Mom at the A & M game with Keary, Amy, Stephanie and Tommie. Melissa took the picture.

Monday Monday

Melissa and I went to HH for lunch. Dad looked much worse. He is beginning to exhibit the following signs:

*Breathing changes
*Very sensitive to touch
*Dislikes any loud noises
*Far away look
*Cool skin
*Discolored skin in the extremities...called modeling
*Hot natured due to possible fever. He rarely has any covers on and tends to show his not so modest side.

This all points to Dad being at the DAYS TO HOURS stage in the dying process. He has not had any fluids in two days and has not urinated in almost 3 days. He cannot communicate above a wink. It is extremely painful to see him in this state. He knows it is ok to let go and has communicated to us that he is ready to die. It will not be much longer from the appearances, but there is always the potential for rally. Lets hope he continues along this peaceful path he is on.

Her handiwork

Mom loved to knit. She produced this item for her daughter-in-law Melissa. She had just brought up another item she knitted that was striped and I know Melissa was so proud of it.

Go Hogs Go

Mom loved her Razorbacks. This picture was taken at the Arkansas-Texas A & M game this past fall. She had planned to return to campus to come to the Ole Miss game for the 2010 season.

Delta Gamma

This is the Delta Gamma House on the campus of the University. Mom lived here during her time at the U of A.

Senior Walk

The University of Arkansas has a tradition called Senior Walk. Every graduating students name is etched in the sidewalk on the campus. Joyce Ann Hoover belonged to the class of 1959. Some of her fondest memories were of her times at the University.

Cool Hand Luke

We returned to Dad's room last night with some of Dad's classic favorite movies. He chose to see "Cool Hand Luke", the Paul Newman road gang movie. I could tell he liked it. He is getting very frustrated with the lack of effectiveness in his communication. It is almost impossible to understand what he wants/needs.
I hope he had a restful night.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dad Update

Melissa and I went to see Dad this afternoon. He was dressed in a hospital gown. His ability to speak fluently is gone. He moves his hands, arms and feet around a lot. He desperately wanted water, so Melissa fed him water with the swabs they give you. He said he was hungry, so we fed him a dab of grape jelly on his tongue. That is what it has come down. He did not urinate all day, so we are just waiting for organ failure.
We are going back up tonight to watch a movie with Dad. I am just hoping he can sit peacefully with us. Bottom-line, pray that the end is near. This death has been agonizing. He has fought a good fight and we have all given him our blessing to let go. I hope his body cooperates.

I miss my Mother already. I always wondered what it would be like to pick up the phone and not have a parent to talk to on the other side. I just got my worst nightmare in 24 hours. My Dad wants to communicate and can't. My Mom can't communicate because she is no longer with us. I will miss her tremendously. Everything I am is because of her guidance. My world just got really quiet.

Terrible News

After seeing our Dad this morning, Suzanne, Stuart and I left the facility and came back home. I received a call from a friend of my Mom's. Mom had planned on going to brunch with Donna today down in Carrollton, Texas. When Mom did not answer the door or multiple calls, Donna had the local authorities break down the door. They found Mom on the floor where she had presumably died this morning of a heart attack. She had been feeling under the weather over the past few days and had scheduled a doctors appt this coming Monday.
This family cannot handle much more heartache. Stuart and Suzanne are en route to Dallas from Northwest Arkansas as I type. Melissa and I are going to watch over Dad until he passes. It is only a matter of time.

We are not going to tell Dad about Mom's passing. Please keep our family in your prayers. We are strong and will survive this tragedy.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hog Country

Greetings from Arkansas!  I can't express how much it means to me to be able to spend time with Dad right now.  We had a great visit last night and I think he enjoyed his footy massage.  I thought Dad looked fantastic all dressed up too.  It's extremely hard to see your father this way and it breaks my heart that he has to deal with all this.  I am so grateful to Steven and Melissa who have really made a difference in Dad's life.  The facility is beautiful and when I asked Dad if he was happy here he nodded his head yes.  He has an extremely difficult time talking and gets frustrated easily.  I think the best thing I can do during my visit is to love on him and tell him how much he means to me. 
We are planning an "Italian" night tonight with music, pasta, and maybe a few laughs.  I hope it gives Dad a few moments of happiness.
Love, Suzanne