01.29.19 Introducing our new blog theme “BECAUSE HE LIVES”

We started writing this blog years ago under a different name, Dora and the Explorers.  There will be no more posts about Roy and I traveling with Dora since Dora moved to California.  That move lead to a change in the site’s name and the look.

Please click the “FOLLOW” link on the right if you’d like to receive an email whenever a new blog is posted!

In this new blog we will focus on our life in Louisiana, about living a Christian life, updates as my dementia progresses, along with some Wild and Wacky posts from time to time.

Because this new blog is about our future life, I thought a good bit about how that should be expressed in the blog’s new name.

The new theme is BECAUSE HE LIVES….. I can face tomorrow!

Some of you will know what that means and some will not. If you do Praise God!  If you do not I hope you will read and learn!

As I was thinking about the new name, the thought that stood out in my mind is that I don’t know what my future holds.  Whatever it holds, I know my future is in God’s hands because I am a Christian.

After Christ died on the cross, He was buried and rose from the dead so, HE LIVES.  Because of this I have the reassurance of Christ walking by me through every storm and joy that comes our way.  Therefore I can face anything that the future brings.

BECAUSE HE LIVES I can face tomorrow is the first two lines of the chorus in the amazing song written by Bill and Gloria Gather in 1993. I will share an audio version of the song and the lyrics below.

Back in the mid 1990s I was in a particularly dark place in my life.  One Sunday during that time in our Worship Service we sang a new song called Because He Lives.  My attention was immediately grabbed by the first verse.

God sent his son, they called him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives

When we got to the chorus I felt something come over me that couldn’t be ignored.

Because He Lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He Lives
All fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just Because He Lives

When we sang the second verse it hit me hard because it talked about the calm assurance that this child can face uncertain days Because He Lives.  During this dark time my main concern was  the well being of my children. I felt like God was talking straight to my heart giving me the assurance I needed.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain day Because He Lives

I had to sit down I was so overcome with that amazing assurance from God.

And then one day I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know he reigns

Oh how I needed to be reminded of this guarantee for true Christians who get to live with God in Heaven for all of eternity!

This song reminded me that Christ came to earth for the purpose of giving Christians the assurance that we are able to face tomorrow, with all of the uncertainty that it brings. God holds the future right in his hands and makes life worth living for all who trust in him.

I shared with my mother why that song grabbed my heart so much.  After that time whenever we sang Because He Lives we’d look at each other and hold hands while we sang.  It became our favorite song. Since she passed away, whenever we sing it I think of Mama and how Great our God is!

Here is a You Tube video of the song with the lyrics included.  I hope it will speak to you as it did and always will to me.

Songwriters: Gloria Gaither / William J. Gaither

Because He Lives lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

There is a much newer version of Because He Lives.  It’s a beautiful song but the original speaks to my heart with such comfort.

I look forward to sharing fun, meaningful and even silly moments with ya’ll.  When I am having a great brain day my favorite thing to do is to write.  When I’m not, well I just don’t write.  It takes me much longer to put together a post now but I push through it since I know it’s good for me.
Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

09.14.20 At those times that somone asks me how I am…

At those times that someone asks me how I am, my response of “Fine” or “As good as I can be” please know that any one or more of these things below are what’s really happening in my life or in my heart at that time.

I will not see my husband Roy again for the rest of my life. That is the most overwhelming feeling yet. It makes my heart hurt.

I know and respect that this is God’s will for our life. Roy has gone to live in Heaven and I’m living here. I don’t know how to do life without my honey Roy.

If I didn’t have Jesus as my Lord and Savior I wouldn’t have the comfort of His presence which I desperately need.

I see Roy all throughout the inside and outside our home. I have done a little bit of going through his things but can’t handle too much at one time.

Roy was my best friend. We had so much fun living life together. Sometimes our big outing for the week was going to Walmart and we loved it.

This covid mess made us stay home together all the time and I loved it.

I just realized that I am now a widow.

I have dementia and just lost my caregiver. He knew all of my problems that no one else knew. He loved me through it every time something would make it bad.

I always thought I would die first and Roy didn’t agree. Guess he was right.

I’ve lost the person who reviewed all my blog posts before I clicked on Publish.

I just checked out the number of photos I have in my funeral PowerPoint and it’s 266. Guess I’ll have to start reducing that number!

I went to the grocery with Chip Saturday evening. How bad could it feel to go to the grocery? It was awful in some ways.  Roy and I had our grocery shopping routine worked out. On Saturday the fruit section was first and I almost didn’t get past the bananas without tears coming to my eyes.

I am right now watching the first Saints game I have ever watched without my husband Roy. We loved our Saints and loved cheering them on.

Whenever it rained Roy claimed that it was his turn to water everything that day.

The bath towel he used last is still hanging in my bathroom. I don’t know when it will ever be removed.

He finished so many projects around here and every time I look at one of them I’d give anything to trade that finished project to have him back.

I still have food in my freezer that we bought for me to cook something he really liked. I just cooked a pot of chili he was looking forward to.

My heart is broken but I have been told it will heal over time.

I needed the good cry that each of these things made me do.

I am spending my birthday, today, under my craft table cleaning and organizing things. Roy’s desk is now in my craft room and I take comfort having his “things” near me.

Please continue to pray for our family as we learn to live without my precious Roy.

Thank you all.

 

 

 

 

 

09.11.20 Roy’s photo slide show, the trash bag and the God thing!

I needed to write something that made me smile and be happy for a few minutes.

Roy’s photo slide show: After  Roy passed away I went to the folder on my computer where his pictures to be used at his wake and funeral were saved. I did think there were a lot of photos there and there were over 300 photos in the PowerPoint I put together about a year ago. Before sending the photos to the funeral home I tried to go through the photos but being in shock and having dementia I didn’t do too well.

Chip brought the thumb drive we put the photos on to the funeral home. Right after he left there they called me because they could only use 100 pictures.  He graciously went back and removed 200 photos. That is not however what this is all about.

When we were at the funeral I noticed some odd photos in the slideshow. Odd as in my husband without his shirt on replacing the wallpaper in our bathroom a long time ago. That and several others were not ones I would have used.

Then it hit me, All those photos were just dumped in the folder last year and were never filtered through. At some time earlier in my life I would have freaked out but I didn’t this time. I’m thinking Roy was restraining me from Heaven.

I am going to check out my slideshow to get it under 100 and are appropriate!

Here’s the trash bag story.  As far back as I can remember Roy has always said that he didn’t need some expensive funeral and coffin. H’s be okay with being dumped in a trash bag and put out for the trash men to haul off. We’d all roll our eyes and shake our heads. Well………

When we were at Brandon Thompson Funeral Home the day after Roy died we told the Funeral Director the trashbag story.  We asked if we could bring a trash bag. He said sure. When we got to the Funeral Home the night of the wake they showed us that Roy’s legs were in a black trash bag. I know for sure that Roy, who was quite a character was smiling so big because he definitely was put in a bag to bury him! Funerals can be morbid and sad but the fact that I got to share the trashbag story with friends and family at the wake and funeral helped keep a little smile on our faces or helping us to chuckle a little bit.  Roy would have absolutely loved it.

I’ll finish this off with an absolute God thing that happened today and yesterday. God used some friends of ours from church, who as far as I know, are rarely on Facebook to see the request I put there yesterday for a bed. Michelle Hill I love you! Michelle called her sister in law Julie Lester. Julie and her husband Keith brought me a queen size frame, mattress and box springs, two sets of sheets, two pillows, and a bedspread today. I love you, Julie and Keith. God didn’t even mind that I’ve been fussing from time to time at God and Roy for taking Roy away. I did spend almost an hour yesterday singing praises to Him. Thank you these church family of mine for your generosity.

I seem to have so much to share here and I thank you to those who have encouraged me to do just that.

Have a Blessed weekend! The Saints play Sunday around 3 o’clock!!! Roy and I have always watched the games together. I’ll have to cheer for both of us now.  Please keep us in your prayers.

09.09.20 Getting through the first days and Roy’s wake

I’ve learned so much through this experience from others about what really helps a family during the first day or so after losing a loved one. Prayers and love are of the highest importance but food comes in next. The day after Roy passed away friends brought food. The unbelievable new neighbor Missy who ran to our house and started CPR before I could even get home brought the most delicious red beans, rice, and cornbread. Another friend Cindy brought roasted chickens and streusel cake. We couldn’t eat all of it so we froze some for a later date.

I am thankful that we had a few days to let this loss sink in before Roy’s wake was on Friday night at Brandon Thompson Funeral Home in Hammond. It was the first time we got to see Roy since he passed away. He looked so handsome like he always did. Living my life with Roy has been one of the biggest joys of my life. Other than the times I’d like to whack him over the head for something or other we had a long wonderful marriage. I’ve always thought it as creepy to touch a dead person but I didn’t for a second feel anything wrong about touching Roy’s hand and kissing his head. God must make doing that okay for the love of your life.

People I haven’t seen in years traveled here from other states and cities. It made me so happy to see them and local friends/family. Chad and Chip’s family brought food for us and for friends/family who attended. It was a long evening but one filled with so much love. Roy’s remote control flying club members were there. Lots of family members were there. Our dear church friends were there as well. My littlest grandchildren were as sweet as could be playing in the playroom. The older ones behaved well too! That’s always a good thing.

My daughter in law Misty took care of printing out several pictures of Roy through the years and buying frames to put them in. I can’t tell you how wonderful that was for her to handle that. They were all perfect pictures. I have them around our home loving them here. We brought one of Roy’s remote control planes, his black cowboy hat, and other items that reflected his life.  The funeral home took care of gathering all those items together and placed them around our church for the funeral. I can’t tell you how amazing Brandon Thompson Funeral Home was. They think of everything and do it all so well.

Saturday, September 5th was Roy’s funeral. It feels so unreal to write that sentence. I want him back something fierce but that’s not God’s plan. I’m going to stop here and will write again when I can. Before I forget I will write next about the photo slide show and the trash bag.

Thank you to all who got me through that absolutely horrible time. I’ve been encouraged to continue writing and I will. Roy really loved the reaction folks had to our sharing our lives here. He helped me so much with this blog. He read it before and sometimes after I published it to correct my mistakes before they became public!

Have a Blessed week ya’ll. Please keep praying for me and our family.

 

09.07.20 The day Roy passed away September 1, 2020

I never thought my heart could hurt like this. My husband Roy died last Tuesday of a massive heart attack. I know millions before me have gone through this pain of losing a spouse. I’m not the only wife ever experiencing this but some of the time I feel like I am.

Our last day together started out really nice. Roy cut our grass and took care of our ducks. I pulled a bunch of weeds and did some rock painting. I cooked us a nice dinner of fresh green beans from our garden and jambalaya with shrimp and sausage.  He gave me a thumbs up on how it tasted.  That always makes a wife’s heart happy when feeding her man and him enjoying it.

About an hour or so later he was helping me work on our Sunday School’s prayer list, getting it ready to text to our class members. When we were done I went to the bathroom for just a minute or two.  When I came back Roy was dead.  A new neighbor of ours, Misty, that we didn’t even know came to her front door when I ran there to find someone to help me. She ran back ahead of me, got Roy on the floor and started chest compressions. The fire department and medics came to our house right away.

Both our sons, Chad and Chip, dropped everything and came to be with me right away. Our pastor and my Sunday School class teacher were there giving us so much comfort. The events after we left for the hospital went on for hours including attempts to get him airlifted to North Oaks. So many medical people worked on him but in the end, Roy couldn’t be revived.

We were able to be with him after all of the attempts to revive him were stopped. Those were cherished moments we would never have again. It is never a normal thing to be with your spouse’s lifeless body. I will always be thankful for those moments.

Since I have dementia we both thought I’d be the one to die first. God had a different plan. God’s plan right now is for Roy to be with him and for me to learn how to live without Roy. Can’t say I’m wild about this plan but it is God’s plan and I know he’ll walk beside me along this journey.

I didn’t think I would be able to write here for a long time after Roy’s death. My heart and mind are bursting with a need to share this time in my life so that maybe it will help someone else that is going through this or will be going through this. . I hope you will understand that I need this time to write as needed.

God Bless You All

 

 

09.01.20 My husband and best friend Roy Chauvin

I won’t be writing my blog for a while. My wonderful husband of 47 years Roy B Chauvin, passed away on Tuesday evening. You know he had been having heart problems but we thought he was getting better. This is his obituary online.

https://www.thompsoncares.com/obituaries/Roy-Chauvin-2/

I would appreciate prayers for me, our sons Chip and Chad, and their families. We weren’t ready to lose him but we all have the comfort of knowing he’s in Heaven with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I don’t know when I will be able to write again but I will. Rosalyn Chauvin

08.26.20 Roy’s doctor visits this week

Roy and I went to his cardiologist, Dr. Georges Khoueiry Tuesday. The last two days Roy has slept a good bit during the day. He’s also gained 3 lb overnight. Both of these are indications that he needed to get to the doctor about the Cognitive Heart Failure (CHF) and Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). We had the appointment today scheduled when Roy was discharged from the hospital week before last.

I’ve done a lot of reading and learning about both CHF and AFib. I knew nothing about this before Roy was hospitalized week before last.  Here’s a sentence or two that I found online giving a basic understanding of CHF and AFib.

Congestive heart failure occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Certain conditions, such as Atrial Fibrillation, gradually leave your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently.

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that occurs when the two upper chambers of your heart experience chaotic electrical signals. The result is a fast and irregular heart rhythm. The heart rate in atrial fibrillation may range from 100 to 175 beats a minute.

Roy’s CHF was brought on by AFib. When we were at the cardiologist’s office Tuesday he was having atrial fibrillation and they could still hear fluid.  Here’s the new plan.

On August 31 at North Oaks Roy will have Cardioversion which is a shock to his heart to stop atrial fibrillation. It works in some people and doesn’t work in some people.  We certainly hope Roy is in the group that it helps.

Dr. Khoueiry added one Lasix pill a day for the next 10 days to help Roy get rid of the fluid that has collected.

Dr. Khoueiry wants Roy to go back to the vascular surgeon because the report he had shows the aneurysm has grown. We will see him on September 3.

Roy has to stick to a low sodium diet. Almost everything we eat contains salt. I just fixed red beans, ham, sausage, and rice. I can’t even imagine how much sodium that contained.  This is going to be such a huge change. I’d appreciate some delicious low sodium food recipes. Please send them to me at rosalyn@selu.edu.

He also must wear his CPAP to help his breathing at night. He has been supposed to wear it for over 10 years and he hasn’t. He is a stubborn Cajun but he WILL use his CPAP now.

Wednesday we went to Dr. Kidd. We were able to change his Thursday appointment with Dr. Valdes to Wednesday right after Dr. Kidd’s appt. This saved us a drive from Amite to Hammond and back on Thursday. Dr. Kidd was pleased that Roy had been taken care of by Dr. Khoueiry after Roy saw Dr. Kidd last.

All is good for the things Dr. Kidd takes care of Roy. Dr. Valdes went over everything with us and ordered a couple of blood tests.

What’s going to happen in the immediate future. Roy goes to North Oaks Diagnostic Center for two blood tests on Friday morning. Then Monday morning he has a TEE which is a transesophageal echo (TEE) test that helps detect blood clots and masses located inside the heart. The TEE will be performed first so that if there are any clots they will know about them before proceeding with the cardioversion (shock treatment). Those two procedures will be done at North Oaks. Roy will start on Entresto after those two procedures. Then on Thursday, September 3rd he will see the Vascular Surgeon about the increased size of Roy’s aortic aneurysm.

There may be more after that or what I hope is that will wrap up everything.

I can’t begin to tell you how confusing and upsetting this is for both Roy and I.  We know God is in control of all this and we trust in His ever present care. We are just confused about managing all the new medicines and food changes  Thank goodness we are using MedPaks from our Thrift Town pharmacy. When it gets confusing is when new medicines are prescribed after the MedPaks are put together for the next three months. Roy’s brain isn’t as sharp as it use to be and we know my dementia struggles especially at times like this. We are trying to take care of each other and would really appreciate yours prayers as all this diagnosing and medicine changes settle down.

I apologize if I’ve said things multiple times or said them not clearly.

 

 

 

08.24.20 Little updates! Peep and Chickie, grass runners, and Rosalyn’s crafts

There are a few updates in our lives.

We’ve had a quiet week staying home and I am very thankful for that.

Peep and her new baby Chickie are doing well!  Chickie has grown so fast. Peep has laid a few more eggs and is nesting almost all day right now. We enjoy the hour that we let them out of their cage when they swim and dip in the pond, waddle around the yard eating little bugs and water in the grass as they go. I haven’t been able to get any new photos of them but this is Peep sitting down and Chickie standing up in the corner. He’s gone from pretty yellow fuzz to beige and white features and which fuzz. The 16 x 16 foot area where our main garden grew is now planted with St. Augustine grass runners. Every day for several days I pulled a bucket of runners from around the yard. The center area that you can see the grass the best is the area planted first.

I have been working on several decoupage wine bottles, glass decoupaged trivets and tile decoupaged coasters.

I am toying with the idea of selling my little creations.  We’ll see how that goes if I do it!

Roy’s three doctor appointments start Tuesday, August 25th with the cardiologist.  Please please be in prayer for him. Yesterday and today he took several naps during the day.  While he has been known to take a good nap once a day this is different.

I will update everyone on how the cardiologist visit goes tomorrow.

Ya’ll have a Blessed Week!