Thursday, December 6, 2012

Do you hear what she hears?

From the beginning of our marriage Dwight's parents would call on our Birthday and sing Happy Birthday, we loved it.  We returned the joy to them on their birthday's.  We attempted to carry it on with our children and grandchildren, although with my special singing talent I stood as far from the phone as possible. 

Even after Dwight was in the nursing home we called and sang to everyone. 
This year all the children and grandchildren celebrated their birthdays after Dwight's entrance to gloryland.  

Each of the grandsons, in their own way, told me they missed Papa helping them celebrate.  Today is Aurora's 7th birthday, she doesn't like to talk about Papa being gone.  I asked her this morning if she would like me to sing Happy Birthday to her,  she said no, she could hear Papa from heaven singing to her.  


Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Dwight

Dwight's Birthday would be this Thursday.  But he doesn't celebrate earthly birthdays any longer.

Last year at this time Dwight was receiving numerous birthday cards each day.  They started coming about the 5th of the month.  He questioned why he was getting cards so early, and from so many.  I did my best to act as if I had no idea.  But as the day of his 60th birthday got closer and the daily influx of cards increased I had to confess--I had requested a card shower for him.  I had hoped for 60 cards, but he ended up receiving over 120 cards.  Even the grandchildren and children of friends got involved, making him wonderful homemade cards.  I have them in a fancy bag and will look them over on Thursday. 

We involved a couple of aids in the celebration and they worked with Dwight for a couple weeks to practice getting into his wheelchair so he could join us for a birthday dinner.   He thought he was surprising us.  The grandchildren were wonderfully surprised, oh the looks on their faces.  I think some where hoping we could load him up and take him home.  They never gave up on that dream.

I am so glad we did that for my wonderful husband.  Maybe more for us (me), than him.  We had a great day.  He loved KFC and cherry pie.  We had both.    All three kids were there, all the grandchildren. We sang, laughed and loved.  It was a great time.  We had birthday cake that we shared with anyone from Mill Run who wanted a piece.   He tired and returned to his bed in less than an hour.  That was the last time any of us saw him in his wheelchair, although those same two girls got him up a couple of other times to 'inspect' the new addition to Mill Run.

We will miss celebrating Papa's birthday this year.  Our terrific son-in-law, Tim, shares Dwight's birthday and who loved Dwight dearly is having a hard time as his birthday approaches.  We have decided to have a dinner celebrating Papa's love and influence on all of us.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Being just over half way through my month off from work, I realize that I am not going to come even close to completing my list--like about 10 months off. 

Many of the days have been a complete wash.  I am not happy about that, but also seem to be powerless to correct it,  I am told by many who have been there and some still there, that this is a normal part of grief.  Don't like it. What it to stop, so far the energy to get out of it hasn't appear.  Is there an energy fairy?

Today I did get one major item taken care of.  The headstone.  I called the place that the Shirey/Elliott family usually uses.  I was not at all impressed with the phone conversation, hung up frustrated and felt like I had been spoken to in a condescending manner.  There were a couple of questions I asked that he should have been able to pull up on the computer, if he turned it on and used it.  He said he would call back, he never did.  Till this morning while I was driving, in response the message I left him, "I found someone else and will be using them."  Said he didn't understand it, oh, and he did find an answer to one of the questions I asked.  Too late.

I called the funeral home that normally handles all the Shirey funerals, the entire phone call was excellent.  All my questions were answered while on the phone.  And they do headstones.  I drove out today and met with John.  He patiently showed me several options, didn't try to talk me into or out of anything. 

I could go on and on, but I won't bore  you.  I will say that there will be a lighthouse, with the light beam on it.  Dwight loved lighthouses. He had good sized collection and we had visited several, including climbing up two of them.  The trademark, so to speak, of Ridge Road Church (that Dwight pastored) was a lighthouse with the light beam.  Our name, Shirey will be in the beam.  Can't thank God enough that when I asked if they ever did lighthouses that John went digging through several books (not the books he had first brought to the table) and found me a half dozen to pick from.  They are also able to put our wedding date on there, which is important to me.

I took my little dog with me so that she wouldn't have to be shut up in the kitchen all day.  She was very good, slept allot, including in the office.  She didn't enjoy the  stop, go, stop, creep, stop, creep, stop.....traffic coming home.  She came out of her crate, sat on my lap and pleased the people in the next lane.  Babies and puppies are such attention getters.

Couple more

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Time Out

Really, time off.

Side bar first, as I sat to write this I decided to check on a couple blogs first.  Got to one and no further as I am sitting here with tears running down my face--I read my son, Sam's blog where he shared his day and his missing of Dwight.  There is a link to his blog on the right.

I have requested a month off from work to get many things done.  A list resides in my mind, I will get it (or them) on paper soon.  Number one is just time alone to process the last two years.  The kidney failure and the life in the nursing home, and lots of hospital stays.

I will finally get to Pennsylvania and order our headstone.  And, if I can find it, visit the Shirey Cemetery.  I sprinkle Dwight's ashes where he requested.  I will visit my family in Falconer, New York.  And lots more, maybe I won't get everything done.....

But I really need some time off---alone.  Maybe a few days at Lake Erie, one of OUR favorites.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Dwight and I have always enjoyed fireworks.  I think the only year we didn't attend was 1976. (I know, of all years!).  He had a weekend  full of concerts so Sam--11 months old, and I spent the weekend with my family in New York. 

But we never missed another year that I can recall.  The first year after he became wheelchair bound, we still went to the fireworks at Eastland Mall in Niles, Oh.  But after moving to Columbus we no longer 'went' to fireworks, but continued a tradition we had started somewhere along the line--we watched the fireworks from Boston, complete with the Boston Pops--one of our favorites.

I was hoping to get to fireworks this year, but I work July 3rd, when Columbus has Red White and Boom--a bit crowded for me. I have heard that Grove City has terrific fireworks at Beluah Park, more small town, my preference, but alas they were Saturday night.  Yeah, I worked.

I was lamenting my poor plight to the Mom of some my favorite teens at Church, hoping for some pity when low and behold I was invited on a date.
It seems this wonderful mother is going to be 'familess' on the 4th.  So she and I are going to attend the celebration together.  I won't mention her name or where we are going cuz we have decided we are going to hold hands and skip through the park together. 

Can't wait.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Times of Tears

To say it has been easy would be a lie.  There have been moments of tears, some I have forced down, some I have allowed.  The time and place of course play alot into it.  Today a friend shared the following song with me, and I allowed the tears, soft and gentle.  This song says it quite well, enjoy, have a tissue handy:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Heroes of the Faith

The first time I noticed my husband he was playing Roll Jordan Roll on his trombone at the assembly welcoming freshman and returning students to the campus of, at that time, Eastern Pilgrim College.  He was really rocking it, pushing the limits at a very conservative college.

Throughout our entire courtship and marriage my husband has been involved in some type of music in the Church. Solos, duets, quartets, worship leader....and his trombone.

Since his injury that planted him in the wheelchair we have become owners of many Gaither Homecoming videos.  Often, in the darkness that surrounded Dwight in 2002, I would put one on and the Holy Spirit used the music to lift him up. 

Since he has been at Mill Run I have added to our collection, including Red Rock.  He had written in his notebook a number of songs he wanted for his funeral, (13 in all!!!) including a song called Heroes of the Faith from this DVD.  I was not familiar with song until till tonight.  I must admit this an excellent song for Dwight and I would like to share it with you here...


Dwight Elliott Shirey, 60, passed May   8, 2012 at Mill Run Gardens and Care Center, where he has been a resident for the past two years.  Dwight and his bride, Susie Thompson Shirey celebrate their 40th anniversary this month.    They have three children, Samuel-Troy E Shirey of Lisbon, OH;  Karin Shirey Henn (Timothy) of Galloway Oh; and Kristen Shirey of Columbus, OH.  He is the proud grandfather of five grandchildren: Isaiah, Isaac and Esther-Faith Henn and Jackson and Aurora Deubner.   He is preceded in death by his parents Ralph C and Lilias Elliott Shirey of Latrobe Pa and his brother, Calvin T Shirey of Salt Lake City, UT.  Dwight graduated from Greater Latrobe Area High School and United Wesleyan College.  Dwight has been active in the Church of the Nazarene for 40 years as Song Evangelist, Minister of Music and an Ordained Elder, Pastoring in Warren Oh.  He is a member of Shepherd Church of the Nazarene, Gahanna Oh. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested giving to the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Music Department Scholarship Fund in Memory of Dwight E Shirey. (800 Martinsburg Rd, Mount Vernon, Oh 43050)

A Memorial Service will be held at Shepherd Church of the Nazarene on May 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM.  (425 South Hamilton Rd.,  Gahanna, OH 43230).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Dwight is sleeping a lot, rarely waking.  It is a pleasure to watch him open his eyes and slightly smile when a staff member stops in and speaks his name. He is definitely well loved here at Mill Run and Gardens.  Staff from the office, nurses, aids, kitchen workers, cleaning ladies and one of the gentlemen from maintenance stop in often.  Some are very sad that Dwight will be leaving us soon.  Those who don't understand the joy and healing he will have in Heaven seem to be having the hardest time.  Sunday he tried to explain it to an aid.  As she says, "He let me have it." 

Thank you to all who are praying for him, myself, the children and grandchildren.  I ask that you especially pray for our precious grandchildren, that they will understand Papa is better and waiting for them.  We have purchased some excellent books to help them.  Randy Alcorn has one called 'Heaven for Kids'.  A kids version of a great book for adults, "Heaven."  It is good reading for all at anytime of your life.

Friday, May 4, 2012

What were they thinking?

Of course no one will own up to being the one responsible, but when I walked to Dwight's room I thought I was in a Swedish sauna.  It was so hot I am surprised my glasses didn't fog up.  'Someone' had turned the heat on full bore, could not get it any higher.  And they had Dwight covered with a sheet and two blankets.  Dwight isn't a fan of blankets so I know he didn't ask for this. He was sweating alot. 

Heat off, blankets off.  Washed his poor face.  Fan on (no A/C--he doesn't like the cold air any longer).  He is still hot, but he isn't eating or drinking much so that could be the cause of that. 

Yesterday he had a great visit with Pastor Tim complete with a Boston cream donut.  They shared many things with each other. Prayed together. What a wonderful friendship they have.  I wanted to leave, felt like an intruder on something special, but Tim wanted me to stay. 

This morning he had a visit from a dear friend of ours, Donna Lewis.  Another dear friend, Pastor Fred called a few days ago. We have made some wonderful friends through the years.  I have received many messages on email and facebook.  Thanks friends, for being friends and praying. I can't put all the names here, but I have you in my heart and mind.

This afternoon Dwight is having some trouble breathing and difficulty conversing, mostly in two or three words.  Not all making sense.  But he still gives me that special  'I love you'  smile.  He still knows how make me feel so cherished.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Honey, I'm Home....Part 2

Many people told me my first part felt like more was to come.  It was, I had be composing part two in my head for a few days.  It was going to focus on my son, Sam and his adventure on the Appalachian Trail.  Hiking it end to end has been a dream of his for years.  One he never let go of.  This spring he arrived in Georgia and started north. I wanted to share the pride I have in him and his adventure.  I was going to add a link to his trail journal.

Then I got a phone call from him.  Shouldn't have.  He had his phone off to safe battery life.  And it was during time he should have been hiking.  But he wasn't.  "Mom, I need to come home.  I broke a bone in my foot. "  Raw emotion full of disappoint flew over the phone.  "Of course Son.  I love you.  I am so sorry."

Sam spent the weekend with us, visiting his sisters, nieces and nephews.  And his Dad.  We didn't know this would be the last visit before a new infection, complications and prayerful decisions would put Dwight on hospice care.

Dwight will soon be leaving us and adding his great voice to the heavenly choir.  He will joyfully meet His Lord and Savior.  I am sure his parents, brother, and grandparents will be called to the Pearly Gates to hear him say,

"I'm Home."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Honey, I'm Home

We have all said, or heard these words countless times, perhaps in many different addresses. This is true for Dwight and I. When we married, in 1972, Dwight was still in college, I had just received my A.A. and MRS. We were both working full time and were very involved at Church.

We found a very small duplex in Allentown, PA. It was cute and had a workable layout for two college kids in love. The downstairs was basically an open floor plan with an alley sized kitchen. I think I had a total of 2 feet of counter top and an apartment size stove. I painted the walls of that kitchen sunshine yellow and the ceiling fire engine red. I loved it, the landlord didn't.

We entertained many of our college friend couples there. Lots of laughs and fun. Not sure how (or where I did it),but alot of pizza, Texas sheet cake and other goodies where made and shared there.

But the other half of the duplex was empty, as was the garage next door. Our front door opened onto the alley. Our bedroom window looked straight back at the apartment building behind us. And we had to park on the street another alley away from us. Not the ideal walk when you (I) worked second shift and Dwight worked nights. Also there was no lawn--no place for all lawn. The only grass was what happened to grow in the cracks. I missed my grass. So we decided to move, "Honey, I'm home" to a new address.

We where very happy to find a nice, second floor apartment in Bethlehem PA. With lawn. And a small patch for a veggie garden. And a landlady that prayed for us to get 'the blessing'. Sam was born 11 months later and Karin 11 1/2 after him. Thirteen months later, when I found out Kristen was on the way I started packing.

God lead us to Leetonia OH where our three children attended school, made friends, helped us built our home and develop our acre of Shirey property. Lots of lawn, shade trees, fruit trees, and a nice garden.We were very blessed with wonderful friends and opportunities to serve our God. Lots of "I'm home." there.

After an auto accident that messed up Dwight's back, God called Dwight to Pastor a small Church in Warren OH. Another back injury and difficulty traveling led us to Columbus Oh and the expansion of our family with five terrific grandchildren. We are so happy to be able to see them often and watch them grow.

We moved to Columbus Valentines Day 2004. Valentines Day 2010 Dwight was in the hospital with kidney stones. And now, when he is back in his room at the nursing home after dialysis he calls my cell phone and says,

"Honey, I'm home."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Growing Old Together

I try not to allow myself to spend much time thinking about what has been lost to Dwight and I in the last nine and half years, especially the last two. We were settling in quite well to the empty nest and the new career of Pastoring when the injury placed him in the wheelchair. But we adjusted and were doing quite well, it even brought us to Columbus and the joy of seeing our Grandchildren often. It was easy at that point to not even consider the travel plans and other dreams that were gone.

We were still able to go out to eat occasionally. We took short sightseeing trips. Wish we had gone to the Zoo, Dwight would have enjoyed that so much.

Dwight was able to set up a very wheelchair handy wood shop. Several of the neighborhood men would stop in and visit, often most of his time in the shop was conversation time. All the men have told me how much they miss visiting my husband. Even the grouchy lady next door would visit. She was never grouchy with Dwight, even though he is a Steeler fan and she a Browns fan. (Poor Girl) And the grandchildren loved spending time with Papa in 'The Shop'. Isaac and Jackson had begun learning much from their grandfather. Each had their own tools and shop apron. The girls loved sweeping the sawdust around and couldn't wait until they could start 'hammering' with Papa. Those four still talk about Papa coming home and working in the Shop with them. Breaks my heart to know that at some point they will also be heartbroken.

As for growing old together, it maybe happening, but it isn't really. Last night was one those times when Dwight couldn't get his thoughts expressed as desired. He repeatedly told me how much he loves me, he had more to say but it wouldn't form into words for him. He did state many of the things he wishes we could do still....long walks in the country, snuggling on the sofa, sleeping in the same room and many others. I totally agree with him, there are days, times that it is hard to cope with. Your mind wants to scream, "It's not fair." And it's not by the world's standards, but we don't serve the world, we serve God and He has allowed this. We still have each other, our memories and our hope of healing in heaven. We can still hold hands and kiss good night. And talk to each other through out the day on the phone. It could be worse....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crazy Cats

My Snookzie, who is almost one year old, is a very beautiful cat. Altho' he is probably the largest cat I have had, he is still light weight. Sophie Rose, Kristen's cat, is smaller but very much overweight. Hard to believe the way the two of them chase through the house. Their favorite time to chase is when we are going bed. We are disappointed that neither is a lap cat, I have told them I have considered the addition of a third cat or a dog, but they don't seem to take me serious.
Dwight continues much the same. He is continually tired and takes allot of naps, although on dialysis days he doesn't sleep as well at night, waking often. All the infections have affected his mind, it takes him longer to think things through and respond in conversation. Very frustrating for myself and the children, not the same as he was two years ago before this started. He seems to have lost more weight.
A couple of minor surgeries have been suggest to reduce the urinary tract infections, he has agreed to one of them, now just trying to getting it set up. The urogolist won't see he because we have an outstanding balance. I was unaware of it and told them it is kinda hard to pay a bill when you don't send me one. Still waiting to receive it.
Sam and his girlfriend where down over the weekend and spend time with Dwight. It is hard to believe that in one month Sam will be heading out on the Appalaciation Trail. We will be keeping up with him on his trail blog.
I am still looking for winter and have asked the Lord for a snowfall of at least a foot.....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


What a boring winter we are having. Can not believe it is February and we haven't had any more than a half of snow at a time. I know not to expect snow belt snow in central Ohio, but snow shovel is getting lonely. Just one good snow of a foot or more would be more than welcome.

Dwight went back to Mill Run Wednesday evening(Feb 1). They did dialysis in the hospital on Wednesday and we made sure the nursing home had him scheduled for Thursday. They didn't get an actual diagnosis of the newest bug until Friday, but in time to order it for Friday night's RX delivery to the nursing home so he could get started on a new antibiotic. It was ordered and delivered but the nurse on his hall didn't give it to him, said it wasn't in the delivery. Don't understand how you can get a drug delivery and not take care of it. It all has to be checked in and properly stored in the locked supply room. They did get him started Saturday night, it does to seem to be working. Dwight doesn't seem as cloudy in his thinking, he did sleep through most of the Super Bowl. (But they did hear my cheering out in the hall!!!)

Dwight does seem some weaker, and I do believe he has lost more weight.
Most of his blood work looks pretty good for a guy on dialysis.

Dwight is very thankful for his Kindle, it is light weight and with the large font setting it makes it very easy for him to continue his Bible reading and study. He spends a good amount of time praying for his family and for other prayer needs.

Can't say he is happy about the snow, or the cold. But he is happy that I am happy with our half inch of white fluff. It is so pretty.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In the Hospital Again

Saying good morning to Dwight this morning, I had feeling we were in for 'it' again. But he often sounds tired and his conversation is a little off before breakfast. But about 40 minutes later he called and asked me to come see him, he needed to talk. Normally he knows I babysit Esther Faith on Tuesday, but he had either forgotten that or that it was Tuesday.

Pastor Tim had stopped in to see him before he went to dialysis and he immediately knew some was wrong and talked to me when he realized Dwight was have difficulty holding the phone and communicating. After talking to him and the nurse, we knew another infection had descend on my dear husband.

Off to Grant Hospital again. And again some in the ER thought he was having a stoke or something.... Please listen to me, I know what an infection does to my husband, please start the testing--find it and treat it.

We were there by 10:3o, it wasn't till 4 that they gave him a broad spectrum antibiotic. It was 6:30 when he got to a room. No food, no drink, no pain meds all day. But the infection was affecting him so that he wasn't aware of the pain. It was 8:30 before I was asked all the admitting questions. Gr-r-r.

Dwight also told me that he has been getting antibiotic shots at the nursing home for about four days, I knew nothing about that. I do believe I should have been told, and I will be calling tomorrow.

Dwight was sleeping when I left, he gets another dose of antibiotics at midnight, hopefully we will see some improvement. Also, they are to get him into dialysis first thing in the morning, three days without is one to many.

Thanks Pastor Tim for your help and thanks to all friends and family for the prayers going up.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pity Party

I am hosting a Pity Party, all are welcome, altho' I know few will attend. Every once in awhile it is necessary, then you move forward.

First off, Dwight is doing quite well. It seems the antibiotic did its job, he is pretty much back to his normal. He is going to a new pain management Doctor on Friday. We are praying they can get him on a better management than he is on now. Someone at the nursing home, who doesn't see him to discuss his pain, keeps changing his drug program.

My self pity list:

1) I have been using Dwight's desktop PC since mine got sick, but his has limited hard drive and keeps yelling at me.

2) In the fall the dryer quit. Just stopped being helpful. You can faintly hear the heating element come on, but no tumbling is happening. Took the back off the dryer, the belt is intact and there is no fuse. Just a no go show boat. Not an overly big deal, I just hung some clothes line in the basement, dug out the clothespins, a fan and hang the clothes.

3) Just before Christmas my blue tooth printer decided to go off line. And of course the CD ROM is no where to be found to reload in the PC and get the printer to do its job. Gr-r-r

4) This morning I tried to run the dishwasher, it is very full of very dirty dishes. It is (was) a good dishwasher, a Maytag, you don't have to rinse your dishes dishwasher. It has been moved four times and still ran well, mostly. It is at least eighteen years old. Sometimes the door won't shut tight, it gets caught on the counter top. It was installed by Dwight in the wheelchair and an elderly gentleman from down the street so a couple hiccups are acceptable. Till this morning, the door wouldn't close tight--at all. As I tried the usual tricks the door removed itself partially from the dishwasher and now will not close or open completely. Just kinda hanging there. I truly appreciate the knowledge God gave someone to invent the dishwasher, and I am one who greatly enjoys that blessing. Guess it is time to shop. From somewhere where they install without spending a fortune . Guess I keep hanging my laundry for now.

I could list many other of life's challenges, but those are the ones that are causing me frustration today.

Thanks for attending my party, there is still coffee in pot, nice and hot--it works fine. Want a cup?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting Better

Thursday they changed Dwight's antibiotic and we started seeing improvements. He has been given this antibiotic by IV twice a day and by Sunday afternoon he was definitely better.

He had both Doctors visit him again on Friday, both presenting their opposite ideas to him. At this point neither will be used.

Dwight had several visitors from Church yesterday afternoon which served to put him in a great mood. I am not sure I can say the same about the Steeler's loss in the evening tho'.

It is planned for Dwight to return to Mill Run this afternoon. The IV antibiotic will be administered as a shot there.

I thank the Lord for his recovery from this round and to all of you who prayed for us, we really appreciate it and know it helps. This round has really wore me out, would love a couple normal days, but I know better.

Now to finish getting the Christmas decoartions taken care of......

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What to do?

I can not honestly say I am seeing any improvements in Dwight. He is alittle more awake, but not totally understanding what is being said to him. It could be that the board spectrum meds just aren't doing much because he is resistant to them, or it could be that he is just so bad.

One Doctor has suggest one extreme that I don't believe Dwight could handle, and is a kinda like locking the barn door after the horse is stolen. Another Doctor suggest something totally in the opposite direction. They can't be further apart. I just don't know what to do. I have prayed with no answer. I have searched the scripture and felt like I was studying a math book when it is a history test I am going to take. I have prayed some more. Mostly, "God this is your man, your servant. You know better than any Doctor what is going on and what needs done. Please show us your will." And I wait, we all wait. It is hard on all of us: wife, children, in-law children and grandchildren, and extended family. My Mom worries so and wants to be here.

They finally got a result from the urine culture this AM and will start on a new antibiotic. We will see. How much more must my dear husband suffer? I love him so and miss the 'real Dwight'.

God, please, show us what is your Will.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

At the Hospital Again

When I spoke with Dwight Monday morning I knew we having a problem. I hoped I was wrong, but about 12:30, in the middle of making mac n cheese from scratch, I got the dreaded call. Off to ER, all the classic symptoms of a bad infection. Only they didn't tell me his urine was mostly blood.

He didn't arrive until after 1:30. And it turned into a mostly waiting day. He didn't leave for a room till 1:30 in the morning. They did a chest X-ray, was the same spots they always see and declared pneumonia. A CAT scan and lots of blood work. The scan did show a serious problem, but no one worked on it till this morning in dialysis. Not something a dialysis RN does, but did, thank you.

Several DRs in, waiting on cultures to grow on the blood work, Dwight was given a general antibiotic in the ER. He continues to sleep, not eating or drinking anything. Another waiting game....

I have received several posts on Facebook of people praying, We thank all of you.