Too much of a good thing

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Okay I know I am loved but right now I am getting over 60 phone calls a day. And too many visitors. That stay far too long. I have six children and a husband (who has stopped working to be with me). And I have spent zero time with my family. This is very overwhelming and has to stop. I just need you to understand these are my last moments with my CHILDREN. They are more important than you. I still need my core group of helpers. I will name you if I must but please give me the chance to grieve with my children. I do not want my last days to be spent entertaining my adult friends. Sorry. If you are not sure if this is directed at you, text me and I will tell you. Love, Andrea

So now that I have calmed down here is what I have to say. For the next week my husband’s mom and dad will be here as well as my special-like-my-mom Naomi Landau. Kelly will be off as well. We do not need any childcare for Clay. I need no help for me. And you should not come by without asking me…me.Not Kelly or Naomi. Me. If I do not call you back…no visit. Exceptions..Ed, I will see you here for acupuncture Monday. Tamara, Penn Charter visit Monday with the folks? Megan can we visit the house on Wharton? Sheena you may see a group of us this weekend. Some of you are my core group and actually welcome anytime. To spare feelings I have not written them. Please be respectful about my precious time with the children. I love you and need you but can not put you before them.

And maybe I will linger for months and grow tired of my children and beg for you to keep me company. This is how I feel today. Give me some time.

40 Responses to “Too much of a good thing”

  1. Donna says:

    Sweet Andrea,
    I honor and pray for you from afar, across the country. You are always in my mind and heart. I truly think you need to make the list on your blog of your core support system, put your phone on silent and use your caller ID. I am appalled at how your heartfelt expression is being acted on as celebrity. You must feel like a salt water taffy, being pulled in many directions. This blog was very direct in strongly requesting your needs and the needs of your family. I truly hope it is respected. I love you Andrea
    Donna in Northern California

  2. imstell says:

    Andrea,

    Absolutely post the list of accepted callers/helpers. Do not feel bad about it. Do not hesitate for an instant. Everyone else must know they are loved and cared for but simply can not interfere at this point in time.

    Sometimes we are very dense in our love and friendship.

    May I suggest you change your message and let the machine pick it up.

    As always, you are in my thoughts.

  3. NYGrrrl says:

    God bless you, Andrea. This post makes me wish like hell I’d had a chance to meet you. FIERCE love. Praying for you and your family –
    Sally

  4. deezee says:

    I think those of us outside a situation like this don’t know what is appropriate. Is it too hard to simply ignore the phone? To put a sign on the door that says, “I’m sorry, I can’t have visitors at this time”?

    I imagine people just want you to know they care, but your being direct educates all of us.

    I wish you time with your family.

  5. Melinda says:

    Just crawl into the biggest bed you have with everyone and shut out the rest of the world. We are all with you in spirit and prayer.

  6. Cathy Marshall says:

    Thank you for sharing through this blog, from a complete stranger who was led here from another blog which I cannot even remember now.

    More importantly, peace and comfort to you and your family. God Bless,
    Cathy

  7. Katrina says:

    I agree with Melinda…hole up with your family and just drink each other in. Put a sign on the door for no visitors. Change the answering machine and turn the ringers off the phones. all such excellent ideas. I am sending prayers up for your family and wish you peace.

  8. I hope and pray that your friends honor your requests…

  9. mariko says:

    owen and i are loving you from canada. (dan will join us next week)
    it was so wonderful to see you at your party and to kiss your cheek.
    i knew that was probably goodbye and felt the peace in that.
    thank you for so much… you are ridiculously generous!
    thank you for teaching me about breastfeeding last year, when you were losing your own beautiful breasts! i think about that almost every day. owen and i are forever so thank ful.
    thanks for hand-me-down clothes.
    thanks for your laugher and sharp whit.
    thanks for teaching your kids to be loving and generous too.
    we are thinking of you and kelly and the kids… and praying for you all to have the time you need together.
    i love you!

  10. Ruthie says:

    Andrea,
    You have made the right decision. Priorities are solidly posted. It was time, and your guilt (about how to balance the need to be with your family and to be able to be there when you are able for them AND all the people who want to see you) lasted less than 24 hours before you settled it in your mind that there was no way possible to balance it and you stated your need clearly for all to know. for. sure. where they stood. Husband and children first. People who have become your main helpers, and will help you balance what you can handle, second. All others, a far distant third. If they truly love you, they will not be offended and will totally understand. They will know you love them, too, and appreciate their attention and good intentions, but, as you have quickly realized, too much of a good thing isn’t good at all. It has become too overwhelming and needs to stop, pronto.

    All of us bloggy people, too, will understand if we never again see your typed words on the screen. Please feel NO obligation to keep us informed if that is something that takes your time and your heart away from your family. We stand fourth in line, and it has been a pleasure to do so.

    God bless you and your loved ones, Andrea,
    Ruthie from California

  11. Doris Tritt says:

    Dear sister Andrea,
    You are a brave woman. I doubt I would be able to tell my friends to leave me alone with my family in my last days. Your bravery sets a good example for many.

    May you have all the time you and your family need to say goodbye and may they cherish every moment. May your pain be nonexistent for the rest of your days. May your entrance into Gloryland be quiet and peaceful. May your friends and family remember only your laughter and joy and that you loved them all.

    In case you haven’t thought of it, I think it would be wonderful for someone to print these blogs out and make a book for your family to read. I am sure they are proud of you now. The blog I am sure would make them prouder. That their mother, wife and friend went through this year not in fear but with bravery, and that she wanted a way to help others cope with your loss and with others who may have the same disease.

    P.S. If you talk to Rosanna, please tell her to email me. I miss her. In His Precious love, Doris Tritt

  12. Denise Henry says:

    Dear Andrea,

    Savor every precious moment you have left with your family. I remember our MOPS days and was always impressed with your amazing mother’s heart. What a blessing!

    You are so honest about your feelings about all you are going through and God’s plan for you. Your authentic heart is truly a gift, Andrea. God has used you to touch so many lives!

    My family and I are praying that God will carry you and your family through this time of grieving and togetherness by His Amazing Grace.

    Love in Christ,

    Denise Henry

  13. You absolutely should make clear who you want and need around you right now. People need to respect your privacy and the time you are so desperately seeking with your family.

    Much love xoxo

  14. jenni bender says:

    i think that is very important and completely right for you to want who you want. this is about you. really about you. and your family is the most affected. no questions asked. family time is so important. i love you very much.

  15. Fudd says:

    Andrea,
    I Love You. Im sorry about the last year. For so many reasons, and for so much of it. Im really sorry about last May. I guess I didnt understand what your diagnosis was or about IBC. I am sorry. I love you. Goodbye.

  16. Mary Beth says:

    Ruthie has it right on … for those of us who have gotten to know and love you from this blog, we don’t want to be another “person” pulling at you. You know what you need and especially what your husband and children need. You have expressed it eloquently. Without a doubt, all of that needs to come first. I hope all of you feel more calm and peace today.

  17. Sarah,Leo,Bella & Gigi says:

    As we walk through life we will always look to your example of how to live under the best and worst of it all. You have made me and sooooo many others better parents and people – thank you.

  18. Jodi says:

    Andrea, by telling those that you love what is needed, it is the best and right thing to do. I am sure many of your friends/family have said “let me know if you need something”. Well, THIS is what you need.

    I bet the visits are strained and THAT message is not the memory you want to leave behind.

    Enjoy what time you have and I hope and pray that you can muster enough strength to make many more happy memories.

    Peace.

  19. julie says:

    i love you. you know that right??? if you need or want anything i can provide please have one of the crew get in touch with me.

    i love you and your beautiful family.

  20. Michelle Wienke says:

    Andrea-
    Please dont feel guilty about setting limits-I agree with Ruthie-well said, we come last-we love you from afar-someone will jump on when they have a chance and keep us posted-please know that we surround you from afar with love and support and good thoughts of peace and pain free days spent with your wonderful kids and Kelly and his family.

    We love you and we care about you and we think of all of you often, as we will continue to do for a long time……..

    Keeping you present in my thoughts today-
    With love and Blessings-
    Michelle

  21. Peggy says:

    Andrea, I feel like I am a lurker, I got this website from a friend of a friend, and have been reading it.
    You amaze me, if I could have a tenth of your strength and courage,wow!
    Good for you setting limits! Your family needs you and you do not need the chaos of visits.
    My stepfather passed away 2 years ago from pancreas cancer, the day before he left us, his house was in utter chaos, children screaming, siblings fighting, it was a nightmare. I think he would have left us that day but he couldn’t. The next day when he left us forever, it was peaceful, my oldest step sister was saying the lord’s prayer to him and he went peacefully.

    Hold your children tight and your husband, you truly have an amazing family.

    Even though I have read this blog toward the end of your life, I feel honored and blessed!
    Thank you !
    Peg in Portland, Oregon

  22. Cindy says:

    Well said, as usual. Prayers to you and your gang. Cindy

  23. leah says:

    nicely put, even before you calmed down : )

  24. Kathy says:

    I am smiling.

    Andrea, your family knows, your friends know and the cyber world knows you are awesome. You are the Queen Punk Rock Mommy – well Sharon Osbourne may be the Queen but you are definately a Princess in high standing!

    Do what feels right.

    Hugs,
    Kathy from Washington State

  25. Ha! Great post! I agree about the answering machine and sign on the front door (a la “Do Not Disturb!” I know from experience that these types of situations really brings out the best and worst in people. Surround yourself with the best.

  26. Morgan says:

    Because it’s how we met, I continue to think about how similar birth and death are. I have talked with friends inthe past about hospice and “home death” as compared to home birth. All of the suggestions about signs on the door and phone off the hook are so like the very advice you give to laboring women. As you experienced strength and instict at the beginng of those six amazing lives you ushered in, may you also have that strength and spirit as you usher your soul to the next life.
    As with planning birth, you should only be surrounded by supportive, like-minded, loving people. Hooray for you setting your terms; though I’m sorry it had to come to that. It has to be the way you want it. You only get to do this once. May you have the very best midwives for this transition from life.
    Peace

  27. Victoria says:

    What did I tell you the other day? My friend’s death was interrupted, can you imagine that, because another woman from the church felt she ought to be there. My friend’s family were too polite to tell her to just fuck off and my friend, God bless her was just a little preoccupied at the time to do much about it….With love Victoria x

  28. Donna Arnold says:

    Hi Andrea:
    I totally support you and agree with you on setting limits……its sad that you have to do that, folks ought to understand. Death holds many different ideas for each of us…some are curious, some want to help and don’t realize that they are “in the way’, so to speak, and others do so out of morbid curiosity. Still others want to be there, out of guilt…..and yes, there are genuine friends who want to help, and be a part of your journey!
    You are blessed with a wonderful circle of love, support, prayers, and bloggers who only know you through this incredible past year!!!
    I know you are probably oversensitized to all of us telling you what a truly remarkable person you, you are a HERO to so many, and you have taught…each of us owns a small piece of your wonderful being…which we will all cherish forever!!!
    So do whatever it is you need to so you may be able to spend quality time with your kids and husband….don’t feel like you owe anyone an apology….this is about YOU and no one else….there will always be someone who doesn’t “get it”…so no worries…just hang tight with Kelly, the kids, and your helpers!!!!! You have long since paid your dues…..now you deserve the rewards of peace, quiet, and family!!!! I love you, my friend….Donna in SC

  29. Bridget says:

    I think you did the right thing. You have to do what feels right for you and your family. People need to understand that, and I hope they do. You know they all love you…but what matters now is your family. They need to be with you. God bless.

  30. Ed says:

    Andrea,
    I’m glad you are able to tell us what you need now, even if it is your space from us. When we’ve always been there for others, people expect that we always will be. Right now it’s just you, your family, and the select few who are taking care of you. You are no less loved…..Ed

  31. Jeremy Avellino says:

    Andrea,

    Jenna and I love you and Kelly and the kids so much. We respect your time to grieve. We both felt so lucky to get some time to see and kiss and hug you the other day at the party, plus be with all of our great friends and family! I have learned so much about how to live, laugh, love, parent, and receive from Jesus by knowing you. I feel a sense of peace that I may not see you again, although I would love to at some point……but we do have eternity together, right? I see Jesus in you in so many ways. May your days be filled with an unfailing love surrounded by all that you have made, done, and received. Peace and love be with you my friend.
    Jeremy

  32. Helen says:

    Sending prayers and hugs to you, your extended family, and all you have touched by sharing your story. I pray for peace for you in your body, which must be very tired by now, and in your soul, which remains strong and fierce. None of us can know what life will bring, and often it is not what we would have wanted for ourselves or those we love. But “thy will be done”…not yours, not mine, or anyone else on this earth. Take comfort in knowing you have spent your time here on this earth wisely, and have a legacy of children–yours, those you have helped bring into this world..and all you have touched with your life and your story. Peace to you and all of your family and friends.

  33. Jenna says:

    Andrea,
    What Jeremy said 🙂 We were so happy to get to spend some time with you last weekend. And I love you. You have taught me so much in the past 5-6 years about being a christian, a mother and a friend. I am so blessed to have you in my life. I am praying for you and your beautiful family. I am with you.

    Love,
    jenna

  34. Annette says:

    This is your time woman — no apologies to anyone – it needed to be said. This is totally the time for you to lay it on the line and tell everyone what YOU need and what YOU want. I think you put it very well on your last blog when you said that you are tired of making this ok for everyone else — someone needs to make it ok for you. I can’t get that out of my head – it was just so well put. Lose yourself in each moment with that beautiful family of yours. I am sending every good thought/vibe/prayer your way and wishing you enjoyable, pain free time with your family.
    Much love and light-
    Annette

  35. Karen says:

    You told me today to check out your blog and so I did.I told you today that I am in awe.In awe of your frankness,of your preparedness,of your busy household,of so much love in the air in this household,of the abundance of truly good people surrounding you,of your openess and honesty and of your beauty.The pic you showed me today is gorgeous but when I came in the door and met you……..I was in awe.In the short time I have been doing hospice work I have been touched by so many people, in so many ways.Since meeting you and your family, just a short six hours ago,I again have been touched and forever changed.I ask God to let me be, what you need me to be ,at this time.

  36. Lisa says:

    Dearest Andrea,

    You do not know me but still you have touched my heart. So much so that I think about you all the time. I hope that you find peace in your last days. I wish I could do something to make everything better but I know that I can’t. I have loved someone who died from cancer and I know that it is not easy. You are in my heart and so is your family. I am glad that you are able to speak your mind and know what is right for you. Take care dear Andrea. My heart goes with you at this time.

    Lisa

  37. Jeanie says:

    Andrea,
    Spend every second you can with your children. They will forever remember these days. I wish you peace and comfort.

    Jeanie

  38. lizz says:

    i talked for a bit with jen21 last night when i brought the boys home… she didn’t know if she was a core person either…
    ( you see, none of us has the audacity to assume that we are on the “short list” )

    we all love you unconditionally, love your honesty, love your beautiful face, love the way you make us laugh… and we absolutely understand when you’re angry, or need time alone with your family.

    BTW
    i still wish i had a freakin video camera yesterday, when the people from the Baptist Church knocked on the door and you answered it…

    Lady: Hi! Can we talk to you about Jesus?

    Andrea: Oh! I’m actually dying right now, I have cancer! I’m in hospice, and only have a few weeks to live! But give me your names and I’ll tell Him you said Hi when I meet Him!

    I can’t even…
    Na and I could hardly stop from peeing our pants. That woman had NO idea what hit her… you are too much!!

    you’re amazing. lovely. smart. and completely hilarious…

    what will we do with out you?

  39. Sarah says:

    Enjoy, your family needs you now.

  40. Carolynn says:

    Please let us know you are okay. thinking and praying for you.