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Checking In


MaryJo

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A short bio since I've been off of StrokeNet for almost eight years. 

 

I live in Indiana which is in the middle of the US.  My husband, Dan, stroked in 2009 and passed away in 2013 as a result of surgery.  I truly can't believe that he's been gone so long, I still think of him and miss him every day.  People say that you eventually get over the death of a loved one, I don't believe that to be true.  I don't think you ever "get over" it rather you are able to accept it for what it is.  My mantra after Dan's stroke was "It is what it is but it will be what you make it".  This is still my mantra on most things in life at my age. 

 

I ran across a link to this blog the other day and was surprised that I could still access it.  I read all of the posts and all of the replies that I received.  It was very bittersweet and brought tears to my eyes.  To read how much he irritated me and made me angry at times but at the same time made me laugh.  The responses I received were all so very healing and helpful.  He irritated and made me angry but I would love to have him back even for just a day.   It took me quite a while to acclimate myself to life alone, we were married 26 years, dated for 9 years before marriage, and knew each other for two years before dating.  So, after 37 years I felt really alone.  I am so thankful that I had/have friends and family that supported me then and support me now.

 

Aside from the death of my best friend my life has changed a lot.  I'm a very independent woman and able to take care of myself, a lot of that came to me as a result of being Dan's caregiver and making so many decisions for the both of us.  I am still single but have dated several very nice men, just none with whom I'd like to spend years with let alone the rest of my life. I decided several years ago that I was going to start taking a minimum one big trip each year.  I've been on several cruises, a couple that were sewing cruises which I enjoyed immensely. I went to Ireland in 2019 which was absolutely AWESOME!  I was supposed to go to Italy in 2020 and then COVID happened.  Like everyone everywhere I wasn't able to travel even within my own state; well, I wasn't restricted from travelling within my state, I decided that I wasn't willing to travel.  So I spent the last year in my home with my now eight year old "puppy" Quincy, I got him as a puppy about a month before Dan passed.  He has been such a source of joy and comfort to me.  I've spent my time sewing and started making greeting cards, my newest addiction.  Zoom has been a wonderful source of fulfillment for me.  I Zoom every week with a group of ladies that went on one of my sewing cruises with me.  I also setup a monthly Zoom with some of my high school friends that used to meet for lunch every month.  I've attended several online Zoom and Facebook webinairs and classes.  So, I have been busy, just not socializing with people.  I am fully immunized with the COVID vaccine and my state has just recently lowered some of the COVID restrictions so I've started meeting with a few friends for lunch occasionally.  I don't think we're out of the clear yet but I do believe we're getting much closer.

 

I will end this blog by saying that StrokeNet was such a source of support to me when my journey started and all of the way to the end.  I know that Sue is still active on the board but I don't know if any other of the folks who supported me so much then are still members.  If so, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart on helping me through the journey.  I hope that I am able to stay somewhat active on the board and maybe be of help to others who are having hard times. 

 

I wish all of you peace, love, and strength.

 

 

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Mary Jo :

 

Thanks for updating your blog. I am survivor who joined this site in 2004 & learned lot of things from earlier blogs of caregivers, since my husband is not sharing into sharing his feelings or troubles, so I learnt lot from caregivers blogs what things survivor did helped them & what was breaking  camel's back. I really feel stroke affects the whole family & puts every one out of their comfort zones, & it takes time to create that new normal which is satisfactory to every one. there used to be caregiver chats every tuesday 8-9 pm but as you know how caregivers are so busy so I guess that has stopped though we do have scheduled chats every day afternoon from 3-4 EST  & M,W evening chats from 8-9 EST  in survivor room #2 & on friday we do have chats in the evening 8-9 PM EST in coffeeshop where every one is encouraged to join. hope to see you around often.

 

Asha

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I am glad you came back to update us Mary Jo, for a lot of people life after caregiving is unimaginable so in some ways people like you and I illuminate that road. The strengths we build up as a caregiver enable us to going living a worthwhile life but the feeling of aloneness is hard to shake. Like you I have not so far found someone I would like to spend the rest of my life with. But I do have a lot of pleasant friends and sometimes that is enough.

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I'm so happy you came back. You are truly someone who has helped so many others, along with all the caregivers and family, with understanding and advice. You are always welcome here and I can say , on a side note, was so happy to hear your name again. 

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