09.20.20 Grief, Social Security and Verizon

Last night, Saturday, I felt such deep grief and cried missing my husband and knowing I will not see him again until I die and go to Heaven. I miss Roy’s presence. I miss his joking and picking on me. I miss his love for me. I miss him reminding me to take my medicine in the morning and evening. I miss his comments throughout the day keeping me on track with my brain. I miss him putting his arms around me when I was having a hard time with my brain. I miss singing with him on Sunday mornings at church whether at Church on the Wall or church in person. I counted on all that and more from Roy and I miss them all. I have so many questions for him about how to do things and where things are around here. I don’t do figuring out things well anymore and I so wish I could have one last visit with Roy, just one last visit.

I started having a few good hours each day and then yesterday happened.

I called Social Security on Tuesday to find out how much of Roy’s Social Security I would be eligible for. and to let them know of his passing away. They took some information and scheduled the official phone interview at 1 pm Thursday.

They called right on time and after asking several questions the Social Security representative asked me to hold while she analyzed everything.

When she came back on the line she informed me that I would be receiving the lump sum burial benefit of $255. And that I was not eligible for any spousal benefits.

My brain froze up and I knew I must have heard her wrong.  I asked if she meant I would not receive any of Roy’s social security benefits.  She said that was correct.

Because I receive a little retirement check from the State of Louisiana it made me ineligible to receive any of Roy’s Social Security benefits.

Even before hanging up with Social Security I was beginning to cry and was just flat out stunned. Mostly my reaction was because Roy would be so upset if he knew that’s where his death left me financially.  After thinking about it for a bit I know that while I won’t be rolling in the dough I will be okay financially. I’m not asking for anyone’s sympathy. I am sharing this so that others will know to check into where there spouse’s death will leave them as far as Social Security is concerned.

When I mostly recovered from that shock Chip took me to Hammond to take care of some things and pick up something I needed. Last week we went to Walmart and yesterday was only the second time I’ve been away from the house since Roy passed away.

We brought my cute little buddy Samson back home. He’s kept me company and I am now looking for a smallish dog for my forever buddy.

Since Roy knew I shouldn’t be driving, he most all of the time took me wherever I needed to go.  Roy not being there like he used to be while I as in Hobby Lobby and GoodWill made me so sad. Chip can’t help that he’s not Roy but I hope he knows how much I appreciate him taking me places on his day off even if I didn’t always show it.

I spent an hour in Hobby Lobby walking up and down each aisle.  That is usually the best therapy for me since I love that place.  It was some help yesterday but I just kept thinking Roy is out in our truck waiting for me. He wasn’t outside waiting for me and that brought sadness to my heart all throughout the store.  I did find some cute things to use in my wine bottle decorating. Chip sweetly replaced my debit card with his when it came to checking out.

The main reason we went to Hammond yesterday was to find out information from Verizon about moving my phone number to Roy’s newer phone. And to find out what my bill will be if I remove his number. The young Verizon representative was very nice but having to say the words to him that the phone number I needed to cancel was because my husband passed away was just overwhelming. The young man is very good at what he does and was very kind to me. I now am using the physical phone that was Roys but it has my phone number now. I was prepared to move over to Consumer Cellular but I was happy with the plan changes the young man recommended so something good came out of that.

Back home trying to get accomplished what the young man said to do has been frustrating. I did get Roy’s phone number disconnected though just not the part where I change the type of plan which will reduce my bill with Verizon. Chip said he’ll handle the part I couldn’t do that made me frustrated.

Each time I accomplish something that is necessary since Roy passed away it brings so much grief and hurts my heart.  I miss my husband so much.

I did get to shop on my outing with Chip which means fun things for me at home and a couple of new blouses even if they are Good Will blouses!

I know that every single thing I am going through will be used to bring God Glory and it will all work together to be for my good.

It is now Saturday and I’ve made some progress on separating paperwork and getting some of it filed where it belongs. Some of that was medical papers for Roy the last month he was alive. I am saving them just in case they are needed. Looking through them brought all the difficulties Roy had during that time to my memory.

When the paperwork got to be too much for me I started working on some decoupaged plates and rocks.

Roy did not like chicken and dumplings. To show you how much my mama loved Roy, when she cooked chicken and dumplings for us she’d cook some fried chicken for Roy. Chip and I love chicken and dumplings so I made us a nice size pot today.

I am planning to lay low next week by not going anywhere or having anyone over. I’ve loved my visitors this week but I feel I need some downtime for a few days.

I find some days now are harder than when Roy first passed away. I was in shock at first, very much in denial that Roy’s gone for good. I can’t say this enough that I don’t know how to do life without Roy, my best friend by my side.  I really don’t want to have to learn but it is what I have to do now and I continue to ask ya’ll for prayers to get our family through this.

Thank you all, Rosalyn

 

 

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.