I know I have been slacking alittle in keeping people updated on wife condition however, things had turn for the worse and on 11 Oct 2010 Debbie went home to Jesus.  The kids and I are trying to stay as steady as we can but it will take time for the healing.  I just wanted to pass on something that I wrote and read to her prior her death.  Composing this story has help me alot and maybe it will do the same for you.  It's called The Sign;

The Sign
It was a sign, just another sign that you would find at any gift shop or craft show.  It was six inches wide by two feet long made out of knotty pine.  It had concaved routed edges about half inch wide along all four sides that were painted Royal Blue in color.   The face of this sign was painted Antique White in color with very slight crackling effect.  Three of the borders had been hand painted gracefully, with green vine work and delicate red flowers that framed the verse.  The verse, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson had also been painted with Royal Blue paint and arranged with equal amounts of words per line for a dramatic effect.
We had acquired this sign from a quaint two story family owned gift shop that sat on the outskirts of town in the Shenandoah Valley this past spring.  We had gone by this shop many times prior on our trips to replenish our food supplies or just to got sightseeing, but could never seem to catch it when it was open.  It seemed like true destiny however, when we passed by it for the finally time and saw the two ladies sitting outside enjoying refreshments and trying to catch a breeze. With a twinkle in her eyes and that suggestive voice she asked if we could just stop to look.  Now being somewhat of an intelligent man, I knew my options were limited and being unarmed to have a battle of wits with her at that present time I turned the van around and headed back.  As I pulled into the empty parking lot I notice through the heat waves coming from the asphalt that one of the ladies was approaching the van.  I lowered the window from my cool confines and the smoldering heat immediately took my breath away. I reluctantly requested from her if there shop was open today.  With a big southern smile and a voice that matched, my fears became reality with her charming response of

I want to thank all who have replied so far, it is nice to know wherever you might be in the world you have somebody to help you through these diffcult times.
I'm currently sitting next to Debbie as I feel she is reaching her final stage in her beautiful life.  It will have been two weeks this Friday that the doctors told us 2 days to 2 weeks.  Although we should never go by these predictions, in this case I think that they are not far off.
Debbie is currently under pain medicaitons and is sleeping pretty much all day.  Jaundice has started to show its ugly face and the ashy complication along with the diffculty of maintaining a breathing rythm tells it all. So I ask for your prayers and support during these closing days and thank you once again.

Rick

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(6 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Holly,

with this website and the people within it you always have Hope.  Never give that up and always pray.  He will answer you, it may not be what you like to hear sometimes but it is what he thinks is best for all and I truly believe that. 

Rick

It has been 18 months since my wife Debbie (49) and I sat in the doctors office at the Unversity of Michigan Hospital at Ann Arbor and listen as the doctor tells us that Debbie has Cholangiocarcinoma stage 4 and it's inopertable and also she only has 4 months to live.
Talk about a punch to the gut, that is one punch that will completely knock the wind out of your sails and then the emotional roller coaster ride begins.  What can and what are we going to do next. How will  the kids (17) (15) and (13)  handle this news,  How do I handle this news.  Being a retired Navy Seabee, I have been taught to handle some very serious  issues in a very calm, cool, and collective manner.  However, when something like this hits you their is no way to handle it, because you have no control over it.  It has control over you, your family, your friends and your life.
I sit here this morning in the bedroom with Deb watching this horrible diease take its toll and I remember back in when she was first diagnosed.  A friend told me, sometimes its even harder for the person that doesn't have the cancer to stand back, feel helpless and watch than it is for the person going through the process.  At times I tend to agree.
Currently Debbie was told  last Friday that all treatments would be stopped and she would be completely in Hospice care for the remaining time she has left.  Which the doctors indicated to me in the hallway was anywheres from 2 days to 2 weeks.
So the final stages of this descending ride are coming to an end.  So much say and so much to do before this ride stalls then continues once again in your thoughts, prayers, and emoitions for the remainder of your own life.  But you know you still have to live, love, and enjoy the memories and guide your kids on that same path so they too will never forget how special of a person whom they were able to call their mom.