Get out of that same ol’ recipe rut and try one of these delicious and easy recipes this week! This week I highly recommend making the Ultimate Mounds Brownies and the Grilled Pollock Flatbread Pizza with Slaw and Mexican Crema!
Happy Sunday TKW Family! I hope this finds you well and blessed. I want to take a few to minutes to talk about this past week’s events. I don’t even know where to start or if I’ll be able to even write it. As you may recall last Sunday’s post was rather brief. You see the youngest of my 4 brothers suddenly passed away. We received a call from my niece saying that my brother was found unconscious and unresponsive at his home on Saturday. We rushed to the hospital where he was already in the ICU. After speaking with the nurse the outlook was not good. My brother was not well though none of us knew just how bad his health was.
He had diabetes and had a seemingly small cut on his foot that unfortunately never healed. Though he saw doctor after doctor, anyone that has diabetes knows that this is extremely scary and often difficult to manage. This same thing happened to my sister who had diabetes as well. She ended up having to have part of her foot amputated. However my brother’s foot became infected and spread. Though he never let on that it was bad or getting worse.
The infection ended up being Osteomyelitis which is unbearably painful and often fatal. I contracted it years ago from a filling I had in a tooth from when I was 16. The filling leaked and ended up in a bone infection in my jaw and face. I was hospitalized and was quarantined for 6 weeks while a PICC line was inserted for antibiotics into the main vein near my heart. To find out my brother suffered from this and didn’t tell anyone broke my heart as that pain is excruciating.
Due to that they also found that he had sepsis. The nurse and doctors said that the prognosis was not good. Since he was contagious we had to dress up in masks, gowns, gloves and have everything covered. I sat in that room in shock. I went numb to be honest. How could this have happened? How could none of us have known he was so bad? Why didn’t he say anything? So many emotions surfaced at once – anger, sadness. We all had been through so much these past 3 years with the death of Dave’s wife (my sister in law) just 3 years ago to Leukemia to the passing of our sister a little over a year ago to now my brother. I sat there just staring, tears streaming down my face, trying to make sense of it all.
After several hours we all opted to go home for a little bit as the nurse said that we wouldn’t know anything more until the doctor came in the next morning. I told my brother that I loved him, said out loud to my sister in law, my sister and parents that their spirits keep him blessed and safe and that I wasn’t saying goodbye. The next morning we got the call that we had to make the decision. His blood work was getting worse and he was suffering. I fell to the floor when my one brother called me. We all agreed that the 4 of us had to make a unanimous decision. We drove the 1.5 hours back to the ICU where I was met up with my 2nd oldest brother. Eyes swollen from crying – I lost it. I gowned up and went back to see my brother. In less than 12 hours he looked even worse. You could see that the infection had spread to the other foot. I asked everyone to leave the room as I needed a few minutes with my big brother.
Dave was 9 years older than me (I was a surprise in the family). He was the only one of my brothers that really bothered with me as a kid or spent time with me. He’s the one that showed me how to stretch a pizza or run a pizza shop. He’s the one that, while I ran his shop, gave me free rein to create whatever I wanted. Dave was a bs’er and the biggest chatterbox you’d ever meet. He was humble and always had time for you no matter how bad his life was. Dave said something to a friend of mine, that honestly, was the first time he had ever said it – he said “I’m so proud of my sister Lori. She accomplished so much and we haven’t even seen the tip of what all she can do. She did it all on her own and she is truly amazing.” I literally read that about 15 times and cried the whole time. My brother was proud of me. In his ICU room I had a conversation with him, my sister, Cindy and my parents. My brother knows I love him and will always love him. Soon after that he passed peacefully. While it is hard and I still am full of sorrow, the outpouring of love, prayers and calls from the number of people who loved my brother and all of you has made this a bit more easy. To know my brother was loved by so many takes away a bit of the sorrow and replaces it with love. So to all of you, thank you. You’ve all touched my heart and I am forever grateful.
So needless to say this past week has been extremely difficult but I am blessed with amazing friends, loved ones and my dear amazing Mr. Fantabulous. He is my rock and honestly I don’t know how I could have got through this past week. He stayed by my side, gave me my space when I just needed to be alone or seemed to always have a spare box of tissues with him. Friday night he said “Hey my parents are coming up tomorrow, k? It’s your birthday weekend and they want to come up to see you.” I was fine with this but honestly I wasn’t sure if I would be good company or not. But I so love his parents and cherish every moment I spend with them. So early Saturday morning we got up and power cleaned all the rooms we could (we still have a few rooms that are still under construction). Since I had made pizza the night prior I said “Can we just go out for Chinese? I really don’t have the energy to cook.” But he said “That’s fine honey but you know how much they look forward to your pizza. Whatever you want.” Knowing me and how I react of course I made a pan pizza.
Mr. Fantabulous also said “I am making you a birthday cake. You are not allowed to help me at all. I don’t want you in the kitchen either. All you are ‘allowed’ to help me with is show me which pan to use.” I chucked and said “Who’s helping you with all of it then?” to which he replied “My Sous Chef Betty”. It took me a minute then I laughed – Betty Crocker was his Sous Chef. A few times he’d call me out to the kitchen saying he and ‘Betty’ got into an argument about how to make something and wanted me to settle the argument. Just seeing the big grin he had on his face as he made this made me smile – something I hadn’t done in over a week. He got the cake all made, cooled and opened up the cans of frosting. Apparently I threw him for a loop when I told him what kind of cake I wanted – chocolate fudge cake with a middle layer of vanilla buttercream and chocolate on the outside. I asked for an ‘advanced’ cake he said. I think he was only looking to make a sheet cake. Oops. lol As he was frosting the cake, his parents arrived.
We sat at the table for an hour or so just chatting about everything when the doorbell rang. Since we live back off the road it’s pretty rare someone just rings our doorbell. Here it was 1/2 of our best friend couple (Paul). Leslie, his wife, was away at a workshop. This meant a lot to me to see him. As we were eating the doorbell rang again. Mr. Fantabulous just ran to the door grinning the whole time. In came our other best friend couple – Jimmy and Sue. I couldn’t help but smile. The 6 us are so close and seeing them all there really meant the world to me. About 35 minutes or so later the doorbell rang again. In walked our new friend “Harry Steve” with a vase and flowers. I couldn’t help but have my heart fill with joy. To be surrounded by those that love you and that are your support system truly was what I needed. They all brought food and drinks. I didn’t have to do anything. I made the pizza sure but that was nothing. They made a full spread and I had no clue about any of it.
As they sang happy birthday to me I looked at Mr. Fantabulous who, I don’t’ think his smile could have gotten any bigger. He was positively beaming. As he sliced the cake (apparently we all needed Jethro-sized pieces) you could see the happiness he had. He was taking care of me. While I am still grieving, last night helped me in a way I didn’t expect. It made me realize that it’s ok to give up control and let someone else take care of you.
And this is his masterpiece. It was absolutely DELICIOUS! I told him he’s now in charge of all cakes.
This.. this will be my lunch today!
Lastly, thank you again for your love and prayers this past week. You truly touched my heart. I lost my smile and you selflessly gave me yours.
♥ Monday – Happy Birthday to me!
♥ Tuesday – Chicken Spiced Bacon Avocado Baked Egg Rolls
♥ Wednesday – Tilapia Burgers with a Spicy Jalapeno Slaw
♥ Thursday – Crab Stuffed Zucchini with Gruyere Panko Crust
♥ Friday – Grilled Pollock Flatbread Pizza with Slaw and Mexican Crema
♥ Saturday – Biscuit Crusted Summer Fiesta Chicken Tart
♥ Sunday – Spinach Feta Stuffed Feta Burgers
♥ Dessert of the week – Ultimate Mounds Brownies