A little over month ago, after Tony was approved for disability and we got a sizeable check for back pay for disability, Tony was the first one to declare that we needed a new roof.  Which is nothing new to us, we’ve known for the last few years that it needed to be completely replaced.  But as long time readers know, money was tight, I was working two jobs to make ends meet.  We both secretly wished that we would have a storm just bad enough for one of our surrounding trees to “land” just gently enough on our roof that insurance would pay for the whole replacement.  Um, that never happened.

Tony checked around, found a company that has been in business in our area since the 60’s, got great yelp reviews and signed the contract.  This was literally the week before he went to the hospital.   Based on the jobs ahead of us, we’d be in line for a new roof in about three weeks.  Sweet!

But Tony came home from hospice on Week 3.  We had some sub-zero temps so other jobs got bumped.  On Saturday, November 29, I got a call from the roofers that our job would be in line for replacement the week of December 8.  I told the woman on the phone “I don’t know how to tell you this, but my husband is home for hospice.”  Tony was the one that had been conversing with this woman over the details of the roof replacement.  She said “oh my, I am so sorry, we can send people out to do a patch for the winter, and we’ll replace it in the spring.”  I said to go ahead and hold the week of December 8 and I would let her know if I wanted to postpone it.

Tony’s nephew and his wife and new son came up from Tennessee to visit Tony.  I went into Tony’s room and said “Bob, Izzy and Maddux are coming.”   Then I said “the roofers called and said they could patch the roof until the spring if we wanted.”  He opened his eyes and said “promise.”   I repeated “did you say promise?”  and he said after he cleared his throat “promise me you’ll replace the roof this year.”  I told him “I promise!”

Not too long after Tony’s nephew, wife and their 9 month old son Maddux came to visit.  It’s been so long since I held a baby, but he was so easy going.  They walked into the room, and I told Tony who was here, and he opened his eyes, looked at them, held out his hand for Maddux to hold onto and mouthed “he’s so cute.”  Not gonna lie, that brought tears to my eyes.  I suddenly realized in that instant that Tony would never know his future grandchildren.  This is Izzy and Maddux – I love this picture.

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After that Tony was really tired.  He wanted three things within reach:

  1. Backscratcher – which he used to itch his balls
  2. Glass of water
  3. The remote.  Of course the remote had to be in reach!

I hadn’t had Hannah’s t.v. hooked up since she moved out, so luckily Tony’s nephew Bob was able to hook it up.  I believe we had college football in the background most of the day.  Shhhh… I didn’t tell Tony that he was laying on snowmen sheets!  They are flannel and so comfy and warm.

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As Tony slept most of Saturday, I of course had to get my kitchen therapy going.  I just need to feed people and wanted to make sure I had ample food for everyone.  I had some apples that were on the brink of just getting soft spots, so I made an apple almond bread.  I bought a loaf pan from Goodwill, which I think is supposed to be a sandwich bread loaf pan?  Anyway, it turned out amazing – I had slivered almonds on top.  I wrote the recipe down as I was writing it and will post it some time soon.

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I had two chicken carcasses that I made into chicken noodle soup.  That was a big hit – nothing like having the chicken fat of the skin to flavor the stock.  It was definitely Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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And of course, what’s soup without bread?  I made two loaves of 5 minute artisan bread – with toasted sesame seeds on top this time.

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My brother makes fun of me that in the midst of pouring my heart out to you guys about the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on these last few weeks (months even!) I am still the consummate food blogger.

By now my parents in law were making the trek up from Naples, Florida.  My MIL has been ill lately, and didn’t get approval to fly.  Sadly, of course being Thanksgiving weekend, the traffic was horrible.  I kept telling Tony to hang on, his parents were on their way.  He was sleeping, but I figured it didn’t hurt to tell him that.  And that I loved him.  And that I was glad that he found me.   And that he was my best friend.  And that I wouldn’t change anything in the last 14 years we’d been together.  I told him those things over and over that last weekend every time I was in the room with him alone.

And then I took a picture of the sunset.  It calmed me.  But in the back of my head, I wondered how many sunsets I’d see before Tony wouldn’t be there to see them with me.

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