Letters to My Hobbit – 3


Today seemed to be going okay. I got to work and I thought it was all going fairly well. My brain does seem to be a little like jello, though. I am not in top mental shape. Anyway, someone gave me a card this morning and I felt first like saying “I DON’T WANT ANY MORE CARDS!!!” but I realized what a nice gesture it was, and how they were still concerned about me. Everyone walks around asking me “How are you doing?” like I might burst into tears at any moment–which I suppose I could.

I talked to a lawyer today, and I had to tell him everything about what happened, from the first time you went into the hospital. How you were NPO for four days, and then could only have jello. How they said you had pancreatitis, then they weren’t really sure you had it because the tests came back and said you didn’t have any gall stones (as they had suspected) but they took out your gall bladder anyway, even though it wasn’t malfunctioning it was just ‘sub par’ (which you would expect for anyone over 45, right?). You were at the hospital for a week getting over the infection, and they sent you home the same day you had surgery. The lawyer thought that was very odd. I told him I thought it was odd too. I had actually left the hospital that evening when they called me to come back and get you. I was sure they’d have you overnight for observation after having to stay for an entire week, most of it NPO. I had to tell the doctor you were still in pain and throwing up for that week after. We called and they said to keep your diet light and lowfat. I didn’t tell them how much you hated that. So much I had to refer you to my brother because you were convinced I was trying to put you on a diet and you wanted to eat so bad. I told the lawyer you started to have pain again as soon as you ran out of the Tylenol with codine, but you were nauseated the entire time. We took you back the next Saturday, only one week after. They gave you blood tests and some nausea medication and sent you back home. I was starting to get concerned and told you to move up the doctors appointments you had to ASAP, but you hate having to use the relay, and I guess it didn’t matter anyway. You were throwing up so badly and you were so dehydrated and hallucinating and having all sorts of problems, that I took you back to the hospital on Tuesday, determined that they would HAVE to admit you. We went first thing in the morning, the time I normally go to work. They admitted you but you were put in a room in the rehab wing. I think if the nurse hadn’t believed me when I told her something was seriously wrong, they wouldn’t have moved you to ICM (Monitored). You told me to go home that night. You were irritated by me always trying to communicate with you. I recognized it as the same symptom as the hallucinations. You couldn’t understand me. You couldn’t understand anyone. I went home and came back early the next morning. You cried to me about how badly you wanted jello, or just a drink of water. I felt so so bad for you, I even thought about giving you some of my water, but I didn’t. This is the point where I started to cry while talking to the lawyer over the phone–and I was at work, or I would have cried much much more, I’m sure. I told him that you thought you were having an asthma attack when they called in the crash team. Your lungs were collapsing. You didn’t want the oxygen on your face. I was squeezing your hand. They couldn’t stop your blood pressure from falling, you had a fever and it was rising. They took you to icu, put you on a ventilator. The icu doctor said he didn’t think it was asthma, he said he thought your lungs were shutting down. You were septic. He said it could be touch and go, but they thought you just had an abscess and if they got it out, you would recover. I gave the ok. They took you to get a cat scan and they drained some fluid where you had your gall bladder removed. Holly came to visit me in the hospital. They wouldn’t let me stay in the room with you, so I was in the icu waiting room playing My Singing Monsters and crying my eyes out. Holly got me a drink, helped me call people–the Bishop, etc. I ate a banana and started to pull myself together. I think it was around 2:30 that I felt this overwhelming sense of comfort. I thought everything was going to be okay then, but they never came back to tell me if you had the procedure or not. I had to go in and ask. I went in and I saw you. You looked better. THey had a tube draining your “abscess.” You were on a cooling pad. Your fever was down a little and your blood pressure was higher than it had been earlier when they told me I couldn’t stay in the room with you and sent me to the waiting room. I told the nurse I thought you looked better, and your blood pressure was up. She didn’t disagree or tell me anything was wrong, so I decided I would go home. I talked to my brother on the phone and I told him what was going on. He was just waking up from sleeping, I think. But he told me to trust the icu doctor more than the surgeon. The surgeon had called me and told me that the “abscess” was not normal. It was not yellow fluid, it was orange, and he had no idea what it was or what was going on with Sam. I asked about advanced directives, but he said that he didn’t think we needed to worry about that. The ICU called me and asked for permission to put Sam on dialysis. I gave permission. People recover from that, right? I gave my brother the phone number and password to talk to the ICU about Sam. He called me back at about 11 and told me to go back to the ICU and stay with Sam, that it didn’t sound good. I took Erin with me and we got there about ten minutes later. We stayed in the room while they pumped him with stuff to get his blood pressure up. Then Sam crashed and they started CPR and told us to leave the room. Someone, the director on duty, took us to a special waiting room and said “Your husband is seriously ill.” I want to say “No shit,” but I just nod, because I know what it means when you start CPR on someone who was on a dozen IV’s, dialysis and a ventilator. My brother called me while I was waiting. The Bishop arrived to be with me. My brother tells me I will have to make a decision if I want Sam revived. I told him I don’t think I will have to make that decision. I said I didn’t think he would make it. I told my brother and the bishop, and my other brother Joe who showed up at the insistence of my brother Zeth, that it was Sam’s birthday. About thirty minutes after midnight, on the day after Sam’s birthday, they came into the room and told me he had passed away. I can still hear myself crying. Isn’t that strange? I can hear me crying and when I do, it always makes me cry, like I feel sad for myself at that moment. I can see my daughter crying across from me and I think she’s crying because she can hear me crying.

I told the lawyer all of that. He did say it sounded a little strange that they not only sent him home the same day as his surgery, but that they sent him home on the Saturday following, even with his vomiting and continued pain. He said it was even stranger that they didn’t put him in a clean environment if they thought he was septic post op on Tuesday. He asked me if they told me what you died of, or how. I said no. I don’t remember them telling me what you had died of. I told him I didn’t think they actually knew other than “cardiac arrest due to septic shock” or somesuch, though that isn’t what they told me. They just told me you were ‘seriously ill.’ So he told me the steps I needed to take if I wanted to pursue this further. I said I did and he gave me the name of another lawyer to call for probate, because you didn’t have a will. I do have a will, by the way, you will remember. I told you that you didn’t have to have it recorded for it to be acceptable. Anyway… it was hard to keep myself composed after that for a while at work. I didn’t want anyone to see me crying. I don’t think anyone in that office of mostly men, mostly old surveyors or young surveyors, don’t know how to comfort someone else’s wife. You know? And I didn’t want to make it awkward for them.

I did manage to pull myself together and get through the rest of the day though I have a bit of a headache and my fibro is definitely acting up.

I’m trying really, really hard to move forward. Some people have suggested I go to the temple, but I think it will just make going home that much harder. I really have to start cleaning up here and getting it together here if I’m going to keep being here. I have to start caring about here. I think my plants might die if I can’t pull myself together and put my head on straight. And it’s spring.

I miss you so much. I’m so sorry I didn’t take you as seriously as I should have about your stomach pains the first time you went in. I thought it was all going to be okay after they took your gall bladder out. When it wasn’t, I’m sorry I didn’t insist we go back to the hospital again. I m sorry my new job distracted me. I know it made you tone down voicing your discomforts. I know you were worried I would lose my job. That was one of the last things you said to me on Wednesday “do you think they’ll fire you?” I told you no, but I wish you hadn’t been worried about that the entire time. I do wish I knew what happened. I don’t know what to tell people. They ask “What happened?” and I have to either tell them everything like I told the lawyer or just: “I don’t know.”

Though today was hard, with all the things I had to deal with, and the crying, etc, I don’t think it as harder than Monday. Monday was horrible. Sometimes I just feel like a zombie, going through motions. I had to tell my supervisor that I needed him to check my work, because I felt like I was not getting it all down right now. My thinking is like swiss cheese.

I fasted today for Sheryl who is going to have hip surgery and I’m so worried about it. I know exactly why I’m worried about it, and I don’t want to be worrying about everyone who goes into surgery. You know? I worry about *me* every time I feel nauseated. I wonder “Is this what Sam had?” Though I know it could just be that I’m really upset and not eating well at all.

Is Jerry there with you, I wonder? We never were able to keep up with his daughter like he wanted. I still feel bad about that. I don’t know what we could do about it. We did keep up with Bethany, your sister.I will try to do all I can from here in your name. But I have to tell you this really sucks, and I don’t appreciate being left behind. Why do I always have to be the one to take care of the difficult things like finances and home management? I told God I didn’t want to do it alone, and now I’m doing it alone again. I think it sucks and there’s no chocolate good enough to make it all worth it if you aren’t here with me. You gave me a little kingdom to manage, but it’s really hard to do it without you, Sam.

Have to go to bed. Tomorrow will be hard too, plus my parents and Joe and his family are all leaving. I’m glad to have my home back to myself, and at the same time, I have no idea how I will manage all this on my own (again).

I will try to be more positive tomorrow, but it will be hard because I will have to write a check for money I don’t really have and really don’t know if I can afford. I just feel it’s the right thing to do at this time, even if it turns out to be a complete waste of money.


Letters To My Hobbit – 2

Dear Sam,

Today was not a good day. I can’t say the weekend was all that good either, but you’ve already heard about that. The day started with printers not working and my mind constantly wondering back to you. I find I’m just not that interested in life right now, but I can’t even get myself to be interested in fantasy or science fiction, or much of anything. Maybe this is all perfectly natural. It makes complete sense to me now why men die so soon after their wives. It gets to feeling like “What’s the point?” I know everyone will say the kids need me and blah blah blah, but they don’t really. Only the house needs me right now. It’s the only thing that needs my income to get back to health, to be repaired. But I’m just not that into the house without you. I can’t bring myself to clean the closet, do my laundry, fill a scrapbook page, write a card.

I got a bill for your surgery and your first stay in the hospital today. I also got the name of a lawyer to talk to about your case. I keep trying to psych myself up to do this or that, but I still end up here, at this place, with a big black hole in my chest and wet cheeks. I want to be interested in something. I want to be diverted, but nothing helps. Even food does not taste good. Nothing makes me feel like it’s worth eating–but don’t worry, I won’t lose weight, that would just help me live longer.

I’m having a hard time wanting to go on, but I don’t want to alarm anyone. I’m not suicidal. I’m just not that interested in life. I’m trying really hard to find a way to pull myself out of it. It’s not easy. It’s much harder than the last time I was seriously depressed. That was just over finances and our situation (which turned out to be a blessing). This is something significantly more substantial, and I really can’t give much of a crap about finances at the moment, which would worry me normally. Who else will take care of finances now if I don’t? As for the kids–I just honestly don’t think they care all that much about me. Sure they would if I were GONE, but I’m not, and they are all pretty AWOL, except my daughter. I think I will rewrite my will to leave her everything. I will have to rewrite my will now anyway, since I had written it to leave everything to you. One more reason to talk to lawyers.

Speaking of which, I am going to be talking to one about medical malpractice.

I can’t write anything creative right now. All I seem to be able to do is write these letters. I’m not sure if they are actually helping, then again, I’m not sure anything can help right now.

I am wondering if your sister Bethany met you when you arrived, or maybe Billy Joe, or Steve. Maybe your mom met you.

I’m having a really hard time, Sam. Please come home, or take me home or help me think of what makes it worth it to be left behind.



Letters to My Hobbit – 1

Dear Sam Campbell III,

Today was ok, but the weekend in all was a little difficult. I had to be home, of course, and take care of things here, and everything reminds me of you. Everything. We made it all together, so of course it reminds me of you. Today I went to Memorial Park and Fallbrook, both. I cried in both places telling people how important it was to listen to the spirit. Naturally, I have a headache now. I haven’t been very hungry, but have an unnatural amount of cookies given to me, all of them my ‘favorite’ kinds. It has been strangely hard to eat chocolate…

I’m a little mad at you for not following through on those “notes to my wife,” like you did for your sister, since your sister won’t talk to me now. I’m also a little iritated that you use Linux, so everything I have of yours is hidden in a Matrix I can’t unlock. I will either have to hope that Gordon Chamberlin can unlock it all, or that I can find someone who can. I have 2 terabyte external drives with your info on it that, if I put it in my computer, it tells me I should format the drive.

I made this little memory box thing and filled it with your beads (the wood beads you loved to make mala’s from), your Star Fleet Academy ring (remember you said you felt like THAT was where you graduated from?) your Texas ID, your personal military spec crucifix, some hearing aid batteries and shoelaces. They are all the things that remind me of you. Remember when I said I thought you had a strange obsession with rosaries? I came to understand that, and how it was mostly tactile for you, and a great focus for your meditation, but I still don’t understand your obsession with black laces (they had to be black) of a specific length. I don’t know how you knew those other laces weren’t black, but somehow you did, and tossed them into your “abyss box.”

I went through the closet this week, it’s still pretty much a mess, and I think I will ask someone to come and help me clean it out when my mom is gone. For some reason, I don’t really want to do it with my mom. Your shoes and boots and your extra monitor are still in the room. And I haven’t gone through the box with our documents. I moved Erin into our room so I can fix up and rent out the other rooms. I think I need to do something to help replace your income. I want to keep working on the projects we had planned, and I can’t do that if I’m struggling to keep above water.

Adam, our sainted renter on a bike, fixed the fridge. He also fixed the hole in the wall in Erin’s (former) room. I am letting him stay free if he will manage the house and the repairs. He has taken much of the expense of the repairs on himself, so I think letting him stay free is ‘fair.’ I have no idea how much I am actually saving, but you do know it’s about 75 dollars just for a visit from a repair man. BTW, every appliance in the kitchen was covered under our homeowners policy EXCEPT the fridge…

I can’t seem to stay focused on any tasks at home. It’s like I’m an ADHD but I can’t even find something satisfyingly distracting.

I am writing our story, but not really. It’s a sort of “what if” story, like Notes From…. I will write our ‘real life’ story later, when it’s not as bittersweet. I do still have lots of fantasy stories we made up together based on Calinor and our personal experiences. I will try to finish those one day too, but right now, I’m writing this story about what would have happened if we would have met in Banning right after I graduated. I do that at night and in the morning to distract me from all the ‘must do’ lists my head fills up with at those times. I like that it helps me remember you, and that it is easier to remember you this way. Plus, you were really hot when you were younger, and so was I, and that never hurts in a story. We talked about it all the time, remember? What would have happened if we would have met when we were younger.

I’m trying not to be upset about having to stay here by myself and finish things up here without you. I am trying to remember pioneer women who had to take care of a farm and family while their husband served a mission a country away, or I try to remember how difficult life was for you and how simple things were starting to become a challenge, and how you are free now, but it doesn’t really help. I have no idea how long this mission will be, I didn’t think, even with your struggles, that things were that bad. Everyone knew we were happy, right? So I dunno and right now, I just want to go “home,” or run and run and run and run and never stop anywhere.

I have to go to bed now, because I have to work. Work is the easiest for me to handle. It’s almost a relief. I’m glad this is the long week. I have the kids this weekend. It’s hard to try and think of things to do–of course everything we plan reminds us you aren’t here, but I want you to know that we are really trying to do the things you wanted us to do, and be the blessing to other people you always wanted us to be. We are trying to bring honor to your name, the same way you tried to honor the name of God (and fathers and husbands).

Still a little angry at you for leaving without me, but love you more than anything left on Earth.

Say hi to Jack for me.

Love, Noelle

Concerning hobbits … and other folks

My hobbit has three siblings still alive. His sister and two brothers. Sam was the oldest. All of his siblings were adopted, as he was, and all of them were, from what I understand, special needs adoptees.  When my mother asked me if Sam’s brothers looked like him, because she was going to pick them up from the airport for me, I told her, “No, mom, Sam’s brothers are black. They don’t look like him.  I don’t think they are hobbits.”  It is common knowledge among all of the family–both my side and Sam’s side–that he was my hobbit, but none of my family knew much about Sam’s childhood. It was something he didn’t share often because he had so many regrets about how he had behaved as a child, especially with regard to his mother who passed away a decade ago.  My hobbit loved his brothers deeply. He was always, as an older brother, constantly concerned about how they were doing and getting along. His sister was closest to him in age and they were best friends as children but my hobbit often had always with her as an adult.  Sometimes I think his sister became the proxy for his mother once she passed and Sam was still working out his frustrations and guilt on his sister. But he did obviously love her and even when he had a spat with her, he was concerned for her well being.

I met them all, except their youngest sister Bethany, who passed away last year (also, ironically from an infection), for the first time when they flew out for the memorial.  I got to hear stories I had never heard before about my hobbit, which was wonderful.  And they fill the empty spaces left by my husband while my mind struggles to get over the shock of a presence in my life being suddenly ripped awayand I personally try to forget seeing him dying and dead and stretch my broken heart to remember him being alive. To remember the six short years I had with him. They were beautiful, hard, glorious years I would never trade and fear losing through the entropy that comes with time. I will be filling these pages with memories of him so I can remember and you can learn about my hobbit.

The Road Goes Ever On and On

My hobbit passed away this morning.  He made my life better and I hope I made his life better too.  Thank you for all your support for us and our struggles.  I know he is out there trying out his brand new eyes and ears and I honestly can’t wait to join him on that forever journey to the Gray Havens.

Regarding Hobbits…

My hobbit was recently in the hospital.  That’s why no updates for so long.  He had pancreatitus and was in for an entire week.  I also started a new, well paying,  job downtown.  Taking the bus everyday, I didn’t have a car to rush home and help him, so he called an ambulance.  It’s a short, muddled, painful story about how to cope with disabilities and still manage a relatively stable home life where everyone feels safe–that help will come in time.

The hobbit is feeling better, but there do appear to be some after effects, and maybe some side effects.  We are continuing to follow up with the doctor.

We are looking into a service dog for the blind as well.  I just wanted to give you an update and let you know that we’re fine.  We’re all fine here.  How are you?

If you’d prefer something about a dwarf, check out my latest post on my personal blog.