COTE DE TEXAS: TWO WEEKS

TWO WEEKS

I have spent the majority of my leisure time these past 14 years writing in this blog about anything and everything.  I started out writing about design and antiques and then ventured into historical properties and the royal family, movies and fashion, and often times – my family.

Indulge me this one more time.

This year has been a weird one for everyone.  It didn’t matter what continent you lived on, you spent it either in fear or defiance of the great new virus.  We argued endlessly whether masks were effective or whether we should just let the virus spread as it wanted to – creating a herd immunity.  We voted against our president because of the virus and that is the first time in history, we’ve done that. 

Do you remember when there was only one person in the states with the virus?  Little did we know it had already spread its wrath to so many unsuspecting victims. 

Did you wear a mask?  A shield?  Gloves?

Or did you feel invisible against the threat?

Here’s my story:

I have issues with my legs, I tend to retain fluid, lymphatic fluid which gets infected.  Yuck.  It’s gross.  So I was terrified of Covid-19.  I still am.

Ben and I wore masks outside our apartment from around mid March or April.   Not from the very beginning.  Houston seemed far away from the threat.    But as NYC exploded, we began to take it more seriously.   We stayed home.  We used instacart a lot.  When Ben when to the store – he wore gloves and his mask.  He ordered an assortment of masks which we keep in a pretty Rose Medallion bowl by the front door.  Always the designer.

I stopped cutting my hair.  My roots grew out a weird salt and pepper color and my hair became wiry and more curly.   I looked like Sasquatch.  I thought I might go grey.  After all, so many bloggers did and they looked fabulous – but I didn’t.

I rarely left the confines of my apartment except to walk my dog, always with a mask.  I never touched a door knob or an elevator button.  Instead I used my sleeve or my elbow.     I was nervous – I had an underlying condition and I was 66, not great odds. 

I banned my daughter Elisabeth from our apartment.  She worked at the Galleria and I was sure she would catch it.   I didn’t see her for months.  Finally, I agreed to meet her in the parking garage while she stayed in her car.   A while ago, I came in after walking Micki and was furious that Ben had allowed her to come inside the apartment!   I stayed in the kitchen, much farther away than the recommended six feet.

But there was one problem, one issue I couldn’t avoid.  My parents.  It seemed wrong to say I can’t come over and it seemed, well, very over dramatic.   They lived in a high rise and had a group of three caretakers – all related – who rotated in and out their shifts.   At 90 and 97, my parents could not be left alone during the day or night for fear they might trip in the dark, which did happen more than a few times.

The caretakers lived at their house but they also went to their own homes.  They never wore a mask. 

In my heart, I knew what was going to happen.

Months ago I told Ben, my parents are going to catch this from their caregivers.   And then I extrapolated that to include me.  There was no doubt.  

During the summer when the virus cooled down before gathering up its strength to explode back into our lives, Ben and I started getting lax.   He didn’t scrub his hands after a trip to the grocery store anymore.  I had a service man in our apartment.   You probably did the same thing.  We had Covid fatigue.  We were tired of the masks, the constant handwashing, the isolation.  My apartment needed a good cleaning that only a professional could give it.  It was enough already!!!   I called my hairdresser and she came over and cut six months of growth and frizzy grey hair off my head.  I was a new person!!

I joined my parents at their apartment for Thanksgiving, along with their three related caregivers.  One of them told me she was so glad I had joined them.   I was stunned.   Was she implying she was hosting Thanksgiving in my parents apartment?   The familiarity was startling and upsetting.  It wasn’t professional.   My sister and I both thought a change was needed but my parents were comfortable with the three relatives, almost defensive.  

Looking back now, nothing would be right again.

Suddenly, the virus roared back into Houston – strong and virile, a kamikaze looking for new hosts to infect.   We were all sitting ducks.

There was one saving grace.  While the promise of a vaccine seemed like a fantasy at first, it became reality.  Could it be?   Would we really be saved in time by a vaccine?  

I gave Ben a serious speech after Thanksgiving..  

“Listen.   We’ve almost made it.  We have been so diligent.  We never ate out.  We never went to a store except for groceries.  We’ve been alone.  We’ve avoided crowds.   But, we have gotten negligent.   Let’s try really hard for another month or two until we can get the vaccine.  Let’s scrub our hands and not touch doorknobs.   We can do this!   It’s one yard and goal.”

The only thing nagging in my mind was my parents.  It was hard to not visit them.  It seemed selfish and ridiculous.    And now I feel incredibly guilty.

My mom started having acute memory loss one Monday.   It wasn’t totally out of the blue, she had been having random lapses here and there, but this was different.  She didn’t recognize my father.  She didn’t recognize the caregivers.  It was beyond frightening.  I sobbed for a few days every time I thought of it.   I was sure this was something serious.  The doctor said to get a workup at a clinic.  I was shocked, beyond scared, when they told me she tested positive for Covid.  A CT scan showed no abnormalities in her brain.  The memory loss was Covid.  They called an ambulance and took her to the hospital.  It’s a story repeated over and over and over again.  When it happens to your family, you are numb, shell shocked, disbelieving.   I’m still not exactly certain what happened, but the Covid attacked one lung and her heart worked hard to resist it.  

While she was fighting for her life, other senior citizens in highrises were getting vaccinated.   The irony is almost too much to take.   I’m not sure why one highrise gets the vaccine and not another?

Even the Daily Mail had a story about the Houston highrise vaccines. 

I tested myself twice – negative both times, but my sister and brother-in-law were positive.  She caught it from her mother and passed it on.

Two of their caregivers had Covid.

Four or five days later, after we hired an entire new group of caregivers who properly all wore shields and gloves, my father began to have a nagging dry cough.  He tested positive that day.

The doctor refused to send him to the hospital.  He had no symptoms she said.  He was alert, lucid, even pulled an F-bomb out when he grew tired of waiting in the clinic.    Ornery to the end, I laughed.  

Still, why would you not send a 97 year old to the hospital who tested positive for Covid?  

We went home and the next day his cough turned stronger and then it completely stopped.   He asked us to call his wife and that was the last coherent thing he said.

Did I say I feel guilty?   It’s overwhelming. 

My comfort is that he passed at home, in his bed, without complaint, and in no pain, with no machines and without the terror of being in a hospital, alone.

When I tested positive the next day, I felt some justice.  Shouldn’t I too suffer what they had?   Why should I be free of it?  Didn’t I deserve what all my family had or would get?


So, I’m here.  Praying my symptoms stay the same and don’t escalate.  My first symptom was an upset stomach which I blamed on bad cantaloupe for three days.  That was so really bad melon.  When on the 4th I awoke with a very slight fever and severe lethargy, I knew the bad cantaloupe was no longer to blame.   I’m tired.  I have a bad head cold for which I take a decongestant Mucinex.  Highly recommended.  I kept smelling something sweet that was making me ill.  But when I lit my Nest candle, I couldn’t even tell it was burning.  I have a little sense of taste and smell, but just a tiny bit.  Oops – that tiny bit might be gone now too. 

I hate when I read some 40 year old died of Covid.  It’s beyond scary.

We aren’t alone.  There are several other elderly people who died of Covid contracted by their caregivers.  While the media talks about the risk of nursing homes, the threat from caregivers is never mentioned.  It should be. 

Which is why I wrote this story.   The clinic doctor told me he is seeing case after case of caregivers who pass it on to the elderly.

We were the unlucky ones.  We almost made it. 

Two weeks. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                          






































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103 comments :

  1. You are in my prayers for health and survival through COVID and for peace in the loss of your love ones. Stay strong and positive and keep up the tough part of quarantining!

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  2. Joni, thank you for that heartfelt post. So refreshing to read such an honest account, when we all plaster on a smile and try to hide what we are going through. I am so sorry for the loss of both your mother and father, and hope your complete recovery comes very quickly. What about your Ben? Hope he is virus-free. We lost my father-in-law to Covid in July.

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    1. oH NO! I'm so sorry! Ben is fine - so far. So sorry about your father in law. Just a terrible virus.

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  3. Joni I’m praying for a complete recovery. I had COVID in October. I’m 62 and have a few health issues too. My symptoms were very similar to yours. I went through most all of the symptoms, except for the bad one. I never was short of breath. Sometimes I felt like I might be, but it was anxiety. Im praying this will be over for you soon. Then, I promise, you feel like you got out of jail free. I’m so very sorry about the loss of your parents. Hang in there Joni. You will make it through this Virus. ❤️

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    1. This makes me feel better. Whenever I hear someone died from it, it raises the anxiety. Glad you are OK now.

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  4. Joni
    Please take care of yourself. For such a long time we knew no one who had it. Now that is different, our son in law caught it but miraculously neither Jenna or Summer contacted it. My nieces mother in law now has it. So far only the symptoms you are complaining of. I am so glad you wrote this post. I hope people are listening. Be well my friend.

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  5. Joni, I am so sorry, and I hope that you feel better soon. I can't imagine how stressful and scary this last couple of months has been for you and your family. Please try to internalize this: You were a good daughter. You did the best that you could at the time.
    Having lost both of my parents through long-term illnesses, I know what it's like to like in bed, stare at the ceiling and think, "what if." You and your sister took good care of your parents and COVID happened anyway. It's not your fault.

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    1. Thanks so much. So sorry for your loss. I just can't help feeling overwhelming guilt.

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  6. Joni, thank you for your heartfelt story...it brought tears to my eyes. I am praying that you will have a quick and complete recovery. I am your age and have always been asthmatic so have been isolating and sticking to the guidelines so much so that I did not see my son over Christmas nor indeed anyone at all which was very difficult for us all as we always spend Christmas as a family in the country. Last week I had an upset stomach and I feel slightly feverish like a cold coming on and reading your story with similarities, I am wondering??? However, it is very cold here in London, 6 degrees C and I always get the sniffles at this time so we shall see. Please continue to be positive and let us know how you get on. I am sure you will get through this very difficult time.

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    1. I thought mine was bad melon. I hope you do not have it. Maybe get tested?????

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  7. Dear Joni
    I am so sorry for your loss and wish you a speedy recovery!
    I have followed you for years in fact I believe you are first blog I followed. I have have forwarded this article to my friends and family as a warning in case they get tired of Covid measures. I’m from New York and I will never understand why people from other parts of the county particularly Texas took this so
    lightly. There was a smugness in the writing of blogs and Instas from people I follow in the South and in Texas that what New Yorkers were experiencing couldn’t possibly happen to them. I was so disgusted I actually unfollowed them all.
    Hopefully your excruciating tale will remind people that we are All human and All susceptible to the same illnesses, have the same feelings and the same humanity.
    My heart goes out to you and everyone that has gone thru this terrible disease around the world.
    As we say in New York
    “Stronger Together”

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    1. I think it was all about politics. So glad the election is over. I read a blog the other day that this girl in Utah writes and she brags about not wearing masks and only 1% die. on and on. I was boiling angry.

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  8. Dear Joni, I am so sorry for your losses. There are so many painful aspects to your experience and to top it off, now you are sick. I am sending positive thoughts for a quick and total recovery. Your blog is a bright spot in my inbox and I really appreciate you!

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  9. Thinking of you as you fight through this awful virus! Never give up hope that this virus will soon end!

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  10. Dear Joni
    Thank for your finding the courage to share your important story with such raw honesty. People need to hear this. I hope that you recover quickly.

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  11. First, we are all banded together in praying for your swift and complete recovery -- maybe that's why you have been engaging us for all this time -- to have an army behind you today. And then, please think about how you would console a friend with this awful story. You would reassure her that she had been loving, cautious, disciplined, and caught in the perfect storm that everyone with frail parents has found themselves during Covid. Your mother and father would be heartbroken to imagine that their deaths caused you ANY sense of guilt. When you are well and the world is back in balance, you will find ways to honor their legacies, with joy. Truly you will.

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    1. YOu are sooooo sweet!!!!! I never thought of the army before. lol. I just can't help feeling guilt - like could I have done more? I am still in shock. I just thought my parents would be with me forever.

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  12. Thank you for this account. So sorry for your loss. I hope you beat it and write to tell us how. Its a lesson for all of us. I know a trio of siblings who just couldn't be bothered to find a room in their home for their 92 yr old mum after she fell in her own home. So they dumped her into an assisted living where on average 30-40% of all deaths are occurring. I told them I would contact the DA if their mum died of COVID. We must call out all the people who who are willfully disrespecting those of us who are taking this seriously.

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    1. I haven't said this but Ben's mother lives with us. It's been hard to quarantine with her - she has dementia and doesn't understand. I have to keep my door locked. She is getting her vaccine today, thank God.

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  13. Joni - am so devastated to read that you have lost both of your parents - I am very sorry, it just brought on many tears, but I am also grateful that they enjoyed long lives in their own home - I am making the choice to move my mother into a swank assisted living spot in Buckhead Atlanta for this very reason of the at home caregiver threat - it feels like Russian roulette every day - tomorrow both she and my step-dad will get vaccinated - it is difficult to try to make them understand - at 87 + 92- that even though they will be protected, they can still GIVE the virus to others + must continue to wear masks. I will hold you in my thoughts + send healing positive energy for a swift recovery from this dreadful virus and pray that you have no lingering issues - thank you for writing - I know this was a labor of love to share this story - Jill

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    1. I feel for your decision. It's hard to make to put our parents in a home. Mine refused. lol. Ben's mother lives with us because he just couldn't do it even though we think it would be better for her, socializing etc. The caregivers are giving it to everyone. It's just so hard to know what is right to do with the elderly. Thanks again Jill.

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  14. Joni, I’m so sorry for the loss of your parents. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery.

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  15. Joni, What a heartbreaking post. I'm so sorry for your loss and hope this post will opens some eyes. Wishes for a quick recovery.

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  16. No you should not feel guilty. You didn’t do anything wrong and it sounds like your parents had a fabulous life and they were really elderly. For me I put my faith in Christ. I worried a little at the first, now hardly at all. I have several kids working their way through college at a nursing home. They get tested twice a week. One son’s theory is a resident gets a negative positive, is sent to the covid floor, and then actually catches covid. One of my kids did test positive, but he never showed any symptoms. Plus, no one in our family have ever showed any symptoms. My husband has worked from home since this has started, but my kids have attended school. We are on vacation right now. The plane was packed like sardines. No way was there any social distancing. I will be glad to get the vaccine. My kids will be getting it soon bc of working in the nursing home. Of course they don’t trust the vaccine and I’m trying to push them into taking it! The main thing I religiously is take my vitamins. Oh and I enjoyed reading about your parents. Your Mom was so pretty!

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    1. It's so tricky because of the false positives and the delayed symptoms. It's almost impossible to avoid it in a large city. We tried.

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  17. So sorry for your loss. This pandemic was so badly mishandled from the beginning. My husband and I both had COVID in early July. We were in Galveston where my husband was overseeing work on the hospital. He contracted it most likely at work and I eight days later. At ages 70 and 61, we too were worried about surviving it. We did and still have lingering symptoms, mostly COVID brain, but are thankful to still be here. Like you, we used all of the precautions that were available. Didn’t go to restaurants and I haven’t been to the hair salon in a year. Give yourself lots of time to recover. This virus is brutal and what is most concerning is the lack of knowledge about long term effects. Thank you for putting your story out there.💖

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    1. You are still sick?????? Don't tell me that! lol. I am already ready to be rid of this lethargy and just funky feeling. It is brutal. Thanks so much for your comment.

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  18. Guilt is an exhausting emotion. You are a good daughter and your folks would not want you to feel this way. They would want you to do everything you can to be healthy and happy. I'm 57, hubby is 62. How we feel about Covid swings back and forth. You start to get cozy with it all then I read something like your post and immediately retreat. Overall been very safe. We live in a more rural area but you still hear of cases and I know many who have had it. Mostly younger than us. I pray that you recover quickly. It is hard some days to see the glass half full. But we must count our blessings and be grateful. God Bless you and your family.

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  19. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I know one thing for sure GOD does not take people home until it is their time. Don’t feel guilt over your parents deaths. How blessed you were to have them with you to such old ages.
    We are the same age. I too have health concerns. It’s been a scary time for all of us old queenagers. Blessing and prayers for a full recovery. Peace as you grieve.

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    1. Queenagers!!! I love that!!! Please stay safe. Thanks so much for your kind thoughts.

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  20. Dearest Joni, my heart goes out to you and I wish you will soon only focus on the great memories you have with your parents. It's hard enough to lose one parent, and now you lost both within such a short period of time. How awful for you. Do not regret hiring new PPE wearing caregivers for your parents. Your Mom and Dad were obviously very comfortable with the original three. They might have resented you bringing in new people; new caregivers who quite possibly could have also brought Covid in with them at some time. At least your parents led a very comfortable, loving and secure time they had left without strangers taking care of them in their home. Their home was one of the few things they might have had left which they controlled and was so important to them. You allowed them to be themselves and loved and respected them for it. Bless you.

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  21. Dearest Joni, I’ve always believed that birth and death are not random accidents but the beginning and ending of the soul’s chosen journey. Perhaps this philosophy comes from losing one of my daughters in a car accident when she was 11. Our safes say even the Dr’s mistake is the Lord’s intention. We took a decision at the beginning of this pandemic to continue to have our weekly Shabbas together at my mother’s home. Ten days ago our decision caught up with us and several family members tested positive including my 83 year old mother. Weirdly, some of us have tested negative despite our shared intimacies. So far everyone who tested positive is alive and kicking, and doing well. She’s the guilt, and recriminations. Your parents were beautiful beings who will be welcomed into Olam Haba with love love love. Long life and may HaShem comfort you amongst the mourners of Zion xxx

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  22. Joni, please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your father. I remember the many posts you wrote about him and your stepmother, especially during the holidays.

    While my husband who died recently did not die from COVID, I attribute his death to COVID neglect. He was a resident of a nursing facility. Prior to the lockdown, our family brought him home every week-end to spend the day with the family and enjoy dinner together. That was abruptly cut off 8 months before his passing and we were left with only face time and later window visits. We began to notice a lot of changes in him and requested what our state referred to as a "compassionate care visit". We used a patient advocate for this. During that visit we took pictures of significant swelling in his legs which were not being addressed by the staff. He gained 12 lbs in two weeks time, also ignored by staff. His heart was failing and the highest level of care he was getting was a nurse practitioner once a week, not a doctor.

    What is so utterly disgusting in this entire COVID saga is that those with "skin in the game" were denied access to their loved ones while the careless caregivers who were stupidly called heroes were bringing the virus into facilities all over the country. Yes, our loved ones literally lived in prisons made by government while the caregivers were attending Juneteenth Parties, birthday parties, 4th of July, you name it, because they are basically under trained and stupid. In our state, you can become a CNA in less than one year of training.

    You did all of the right things. Please don't beat yourself up over what might have been, but remember all of the caring things you did over a lifetime. I know this is tough. I too am sharing your angst.

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    1. Joni, please forgive me. In reading the story I failed to realize that you also lost your mother. I know this grief is just devastating for your family. Again, please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your parents. Also, thank you for sharing your story. It is very easy to become lax on protocols after months and months of lock downs.

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    2. Then you should have taken care of your own parent. Calling these people stupid and careless is subhuman. Skin in game would be caring for your own parent! You are as bad as Joni for firing her caregivers for expressing happiness to be together for Thanksgiving. These people do the things you refuse to! You attitude is disgusting. You go clean adult diapers. Americans do not deal well with aging and death and what is real. You want your parents to die away from you so you do not have to see and watch and feel. So sad.

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  23. Dear Joni,
    I wish you a speedy and complete recovery.
    I have a relative who has had COVID twice (he's a first responder and intubates a lot of people, so he's been well-sprayed with virus). It's really bad and we're worried about possible long-term effects. Another younger relative tested positive and was told that as long as she wasn't bed-ridden she had to keep going to work--in a hospital maternity ward. In the Midwest. The lobby of the hospital is all marble, with a grand piano, but they didn't have money for masks for their employees.
    My parents died a couple of years ago, and what I saw with their caregivers were people who were genuinely loving and gentle, and who did not get paid nearly enough to wipe poop off of old people's butts or to dress and feed combative residents with dementia. It is very hard work, and almost all of them juggled multiple jobs to make a living wage. This is why they spread the virus--going from institution to institution. It isn't possible for families or individuals to pay enough for this kind of care; it needs to be subsidized by all of society.
    Also, don't let down your guard post-COVID. Yes, there's immunity, but it doesn't seem to last long, perhaps six months, maybe less.

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    1. You are so right - the care givers aren't paid enough. The ones who took care of my father were angels on earth.

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  24. Hello Joni, You must be in shock from the events in your family, exacerbated by your own weakened condition. Please take it easy and build up your own strength so you can recover fully.
    --Jim

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  25. I’m so very sorry for your loss of your parents and the situation surrounding their deaths. I’m so sorry to hear you and your husband now have Covid and I pray you have a swift and complete recovery. Thank you for sharing your story. It will kick me into being even more careful. We’ve stayed away from family, only seeing our children and grands a few times since March, and only outdoors. We have to be vigilant just a little while longer til we get the vaccine. I pray for you, that you heal and you don’t beat yourself up. You did the best you could.

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  26. Joni, I want to send my sympathies again for the loss of your parents. How heartbreaking. But please don't feel guilty -- just think positive, get rest, and get well soon. And I hope Ben is well too. You story is such a good reminder why we all have to push through the Covid fatigue. Sending you hugs and thinking of you,

    Becky

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  27. Oh Joni. I am so sorry you got it. Shoot. I also know of people who have gotten it from their caregivers. It is a big problem. I am so hoping you don't have more symptoms.....Praying hard. Sending love and appreciation to you. Your blog posts are the most amazing. We are all so grateful.

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  28. Joni,

    Please get well soon. We need you.
    The virus is the bad guy, no one else, so don't blame yourself or anyone else. Bless your parents, blessings for you and Ben and please get well soon.

    Patti

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  29. Joni, I so hope that you recover quickly and without complications. I hope that Ben remains healthy. You did the best you could to protect both your parents. Please do not beat yourself up. You loved them, they knew that, and they loved you and would not want you to suffer further because they died. Go ahead and cry, but because they lived and left you with good memories that not even covid can take away. Peace to them and to you and Ben and your daughter.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I just am waiting out time to heal. Thanks again.

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  30. My heart breaks for you. My 66 year old brother is fighting for his life in an ICU in B'ham, AL on both a vent and ECMO. He has no underlying conditions and could physically out work someone half his age. Praying you and Ben recover quickly. I am so sorry for your loss.

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    1. OMG!! I hate hearing this! Why do some suffer more than others?????? I hope your brother recovers soon.

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  31. Dear Joni, such a sad, sad story. My condolences to you on the passing of your parents. They lived such long and good lives; may your sweet memories of them bring you comfort. My prayers for you--for complete healing. Please don't feel guilty. Some things are simply out of our control.

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  32. this breaks my heart! i am so sorry for your losses. you tried so hard. wishing you improved health and peace.

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  33. Thank you for trusting us enough to share this story. I’m crying now, but sending you a hug from deep in my heart.

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  34. I am so very sorry.It is virtually impossible to isolate completely. if you are city folk. You have done all you could. Wishing you good health and peace,

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  35. So sorry for your heartbreaking loss! Thank you for sharing your story. It helps remind us to keep taking this seriously no matter how tired we are of it all. Hope you and your husband recover quickly with no lingering problems. Prayers for comfort and peace.

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  36. Your story touched home to me and I am so sorry for your loss! My sister lives with my mother who is 93 and helps with her caregiving, she also has a service come in to the home on a daily basis that helps my mom with bathing, etc.... My sister has been one to deny that covid is even real, that once the election was over covid would be gone, etc... very adamant about it! she allowed people to come and go without mask wearing, even the care givers that came into the house to take care of my mom. The outside care giver went to Alabama for thanksgiving, did not quarantine, spent the following week helping my mom. By the weekend my sister came down with it and is still struggling, a week in the hospital. Because no one outside the home had covid, we were unable to go in and help my mom. she was forced to go into a nursing home, not understanding why and within days tested positive for covid but is asymptomatic. We are unable to see her and mentally she is a mess. She will probably not be able to return home. The rest of the family has worked really hard to stay safe and wear the mask and follow the guidelines. None of us have gotten the vaccine yet, still not offered to us where I live. Its one of those things that was beyond our control and we did not have a plan for what if this happens??? Last night I had these awful feelings that something was wrong, its horrible for the elderly in these circumstances! with 2021 and a new president, I have a very slim hope that soon things will be better but the world will be forever changed.

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    1. I think the anti mask movement was horrible. Horrible. Also having large rallies where no one wore masks. I hope your sister recovers and your mother stays well. You are lucky she has no symptoms. What a terrible situation. I hope everyone gets better soon and gets the vaccine too. But you can't get it if you are positive. You have to wait six months I heard.

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  37. I am heartbroken for you, Joni. To lose not one, but both, parents to this dreadful disease is unfathomable.

    I am furious at the anti-maskers, at the COVID deniers. I'm furious with the people who insist on taking vacations and not quarantining when they return. I'm furious with the people who insist on throwing parties. I simply cannot understand them.

    I hope with all of my heart that you recover quickly and completely. My thoughts are with you.

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    1. I will never understand the selfishness. That's all it is.
      Thanks so much for your kind words.

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  38. I am so sincerely sorry for your losses. Prayers for comfort and healing for you and your family.

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  39. Oh Joni! I have enjoyed you for so many years & you have me crying. So sorry for your loss & shame on their caregivers for being so judgemental. My 81 yr old husband got it in Sept & we were likeyou & Ben so very careful. He made one trip to the doctor & somewhere... 6 weeks in the hospital and 4 weeks home with therapists & home health and he made it but not without twice almost dying.He has had to learn to walk & talk again. I take him today to the VA hospital in New Orleans for the covid vaccine...I am a cancer survivor age 68.....please keep blogging-we need you. Love, Sherrill

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  40. Thank you for sharing such an important and personal post. I'm so sorry for your loss. Praying for your complete recovery.

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  42. Wow! I am overwhelmed and very teary by your post today. You have written it SO WELL and put into words exactly how so many of us feel. I am so sorry for your loss. You can beat this! We are praying for you!

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  43. Dearest Joni,

    Guilt is hard to live with, darkening us and steeling our happiness. Give yourself the gift of time and be kind to yourself.

    Your parents spent their COVID time in one another's company, sharing their days. From what you have written they were exactly where they wanted to be, home with one another. We do the best that we can for our parents. Whether the three caregivers they trusted or rotating caregivers or moving them to facility, or you personally attempting to care for them, COVID would have still have been a risk. There are no "bubbles", as hard as we try to carry out the suggestions of the CDC, they are not fool proof. Even the full gear worn in hospitals doesn't always protect the wearer. We cannot control the actions of others who place us at risk.

    Though this year has been filled with enormous numbers of cases, our medical community is still learning. Overwhelmed attempting to sort all of the data to give clear advice, to understand the virus which seems to effect people with so many variances. Eventually the data will show trends, cause and effect, high risk triggers may become more clear, as well as the reason some are more tolerant of the virus. It all takes time.

    Your parents lived long and happy lives. Think of all the amazing experiences they had, their accomplishments, how lucky they were to find each other, to be in love and to share a family. They passed within days of one another. One didn't have to bare the loss of the other. There's blessing in that. Being left behind is the hard place to be, experiencing the guilt, sorrow, regret - being left wanting more.

    We can only do the best we can with the information we have in that moment. There is no gazing forward and learning the outcome of choices before they are made. You made every choice for your parents with the best intentions, with a heart full of love, based upon the information you had at that moment. You did the best you could do.

    Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, beat the virus so they can live on in you-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. YOu are so right, there is no safe place at all - except for the vaccinated. I can't wait until this is all over.
      Thanks so much for your kind words.

      Delete
  44. My heart goes out to you. My friends have recently lost parents and the hardest part is knowing the vaccine was just around the corner. Keeping you in my thoughts as you go through this struggle and mourn for the passing of your parents.

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  45. So sorry for the loss of your parents, and thank you for sharing your story. Please take care, stay safe and vigilant.

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  46. I love your blog, I found you one day when I was home sick and watching the Crown. I was reading about the royals homes and their stories. I appreciate you sharing your story, as we all muddle through the pandemic. It is so hard to know what sacrifices are worth making. I hope that you recover as easily as possibe and take comfort in knowing that you did your best (which is all we can do right now).

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  47. Praying for your speedy and complete recovery, Joni.
    A

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  49. So sorry for your loss. You were a charter member of the "Good Daughters' Club," and I hope that time and your memories will bring comfort.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Maybe sharing this will save one of your dear readers! Hubby and I had a similar conversation this weekend - we're so close to a vaccine, we can't get careless now. Keep wearing the mask and washing your hands!

    Sending you positive thoughts for a speedy recovery and looking forward to a post-COVID time and your next design post!

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  50. I could just weep...well, I am....this is so typical...we are careful, careful, careful and then bam. We were told to "get up and move every half hour...day & nite, so pneumonia doesn't hit as well...you are a smart cookie so feel confident you "know the drill." HANG IN THERE, Joni...we are ALL pulling for you, etc. franki

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  51. Joni, sorry bout your parents, my condolences. Hope you have a speedy recovery. You shouldn’t second guess your decisions, you did your best.
    Ellen

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  52. I am so sorry about your parents, and am praying daily for your full and speedy recovery, as well as that of your other family members. I also pray that you feel relief and grace from a sense of guilt. You did nothing that all of us haven't done this past year. I live with my 90-year-old mother and am her caregiver, and I am terrified. I am terrified that something will happen to us and we'll be forced be around others. I am terrified of running out of money. And, I am terrified of the new mutations circling the globe, and that they will impact the new vaccine. The virus is winning at the moment, but I pray that prayer will see us all through safely. God Bless You, you actually have done an excellent job for your family, and so many are pulling for you.

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  53. Dear Joni- I have been a long time reader and feel as if I know you-- if even just a little. I was so upset to hear of your loss and that you too now have this virus. I want you to know that you've been on my mind and I've been praying for you since I read this yesterday. Please know that because of your gracious effort to share your love of design--people around the country that you've never even met are praying for your quick recovery. May God Bless you and keep you.

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  54. Joni, I have been reading your blog for years and have so enjoyed reading about your close, loving family. As a fellow Houstonian, I enjoy reading your posts about local houses and neighborhoods, and in a way, you feel like a neighbor. When I saw your Instagram posts about your parents, my heart hurt for you and your family. Although we've never met, please know I have thought of you often over the past week, and you will continue to be in my thoughts, wishing you a fast recovery.

    ReplyDelete
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  58. I am so sorry for your loss. It's so cruel, when the vaccine is almost in sight. I have a similar story, except I developed symptoms this past Sunday, after hosting my 90 year old mother for New Year's day dinner. I am awaiting test results, along with my husband, and am praying I haven't given it to her. We have been exceedingly careful and haven't gone anyplace but the grocery store until I went to physical therapy for excruciating pain from a fall. I'm 65 and feeling horribly guilty and worried.

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  60. I was so very sorry to read of your parents passing, so much more devastating losing them together. I am sure you did everything humanly possible for them. I have followed your blog for a long time now and I know what a caring person you are. Please don’t let guilt eat at you, you need all your strength to fight this virus. Besides, now more than ever - I’m being selfish - we all continue to need to be informed and entertained. Love you Joni, stay strong.
    Debra

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  61. I am so sorry. Sending you all my prayers and best wishes.

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  62. Dear Joni,

    Sympathies and condolences. I can't even imagine . . . It must be devastating.

    When we are ill, we oftentimes cannot stay certain of a positive future, and so others do that for us, and we most often get better. I want to be one more person who does that for you! It doesn't matter that we can't totally figure this thing out, or that our emotions aren't our friends anymore, or that we don't even know when we are rising back up. It matters only that complete strangers are there to support each other's thoughts and feelings. I count 80 people from this blog alone who have your best interests at heart.

    Virtual hugs,
    Mojave Moon

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  63. Hope you get better soon, dear friend!

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  64. Oh Joni- My heart breaks for you - biggest hugs in the world - from Linda , NY

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  65. So very, very sorry. The whole world has been affected by this. China has conquered the world without firing one shot.

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  66. Have I interpreted this correctly? Is this 2021?
    "I joined my parents at their apartment for Thanksgiving, along with their three related caregivers. One of them told me she was so glad I had joined them. I was stunned. Was she implying she was hosting Thanksgiving in my parents apartment? The familiarity was startling and upsetting. It wasn’t professional."
    I am appalled that you wrote this. I hope this is not representative of the rest of Texas. My mother has a wonderful caregiver and she has become like family. She sleeps in the same bed as my mother to watch her all night, she dresses her. bathes her, cooks for her, and cares for her intimatly in ways that I do not. Did you do those types of things for your own parents? I am unfollowing you from all places. Your higher than thou attitude is disgusting. You fired the caregivers because they expressed happiness that you joined them for Thanksgiving??Those are called words of kindness and gratitude. You interpreted that as if they were being what? Uppity? That they were "hosting Thanksgiving"? Do you realize how bigoted, racist and classiest you sound? Guess what? God created all people equal! Especially those that do the most God loving work of caring for the elderly. And from a Jewish women like yourself who should know what a group of people feel like to be treated unfairly. Wake up! Did you have them kiss your hand and bow to you when you entered the room? All your love of monarchy has gotten to your thoughtless head.

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  67. I'm sure this was very difficult to write, but thank you for your complete CANDOR. Our youngest son, age 32, had four friends infected last March who were severely ill; and he just lost a colleague who worked with him in LA -- a 30 year old, healthy male -- and it has really wrecked him. COVID does not care about political party, skin color, age, gender, or what country you live in. As a highly contagious virus it merely seeks a new host organism. My husband is much older than me -- age 77 -- and I won't let him go to the grocery store. I make once-a-week shops (fresh produce) and we buy most everything online. We have been in our OWN BUBBLE since last March despite a move from RI to GA. We are registered Independents, and I was an advertising professional, so I wish to God that the Trump Admin had just adopted a SIMPLE public service message: Save Lives & Save Our Economy: Wear Your Mask! We would have been in a very different places, and 330,000 lives might have been saved. May the memory of your dad bless you!

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  68. I'm so sorry. I too have been terrified of my parents getting it. My dad was able to get the vaccine this week. Still waiting on my mother. But it's been awful not seeing them. I hope your symptoms stay mild.

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  69. So thankful my 96 and 97 year old grandparents are cared for in a Florida assisted living complex and are safe. The doctor in charge of the center started residents (prophylactically) on a regimin of oral hydroxy, zinc, and vit D back in June. They are still interactive around the complex and able to visit family. If anyone gets the virus, they are immediately put on erythromycin and there have been no fatalities.

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  73. I am so sorry for the loss of your parents. I am so glad your father had a peaceful passing and I hope that continues to bring you comfort. It is impossible to isolate completely when you are a front line worker, these folks are brave to keep on toiling in underpaid and under respected jobs in these circumstances. I hope you will recover soon and that your husband and MIL stay healthy. God bless and keep you all. My husband and I have both expressed gratitude over the last four years that our parents weren't alive to see this mess, and even more so since the virus.

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