I was nuts about him immediately. We could talk for hours about everything and anything. After many, many conversations, exchanges of photos and a couple of care packages for him (he wanted peanut butter with no fish in it, imagine that) and flowers and a bear for myself and my daughter we decided to meet in person.
Rob was coming home to the states for a family wedding on the East Coast and was stopping in Seattle for a week so we could spend some time together. The long and short of it is he came to Seattle, went to Connecticut for the wedding, then came back to Seattle and never left. We got an apartment and adopted a couple of dogs. We tent camped a lot and we spent most weekends taking photos of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We got married about a year and a half later. Our 15th anniversary is coming up in April.
When we got married Rob told me our life would never be dull. He was so right! Shortly after we got married he took a job in Tennessee and we bought a log cabin on 7 acres (online) and the three of us moved to Portland, TN. An interesting place, I must say. About 6 weeks after we moved to Tennessee Rob had chest pain and other symptoms while at work and was rushed to the ER. A day later he had a triple bypass at the age of 44.
He recovered fairly well except, at six weeks post surgery he busted his healing sternum open while pushing a metal fence post after it bent in a flood. It creeks and pops and when you see his chest x-ray the wires that were holding it together are broken.
The years went by, we raised our kids, worked hard, and moved a lot.
|Rob and our three girls together|
Over the years Rob's health had continued to decline and about 8 years ago he finally became unable to work at all. His doctor placed him on permanent disability. It's been hard for him to adjust and he has been through some pretty bad bouts of depression over these past years.
The medical reality is that a bypass generally lasts an average of 15 years and it's been 14 1/2, his kidneys are in stage 3 failure, he has diabetes, congestive heart failure (CHF) and several other conditions. He takes more than 20 medications and uses a cane to walk much of the time. Honestly, we just don't know how long he'll be physically able to drive and travel.
We both love to travel but at this point RV travel is really our only option because he has to be on a very low sodium diet for his CHF. That means you cannot eat out and most of the foods we purchase are expensive, specialty low sodium foods or fresh foods. We can live in the Little RV and travel and I can still prepare home cooked, low sodium foods so he doesn't fill up with fluid and end up in the hospital like he did in December.
With time ticking away, me working part time so I could be available to him when he needed me home we had discussed full time RVing a couple of years ago but it just didn't seem like something we could pull off. Then last March it came up again and we both jumped in head first. If you want to read more about how we came to our decision read this post.
We've had challenges and some incidents we would like to forget but it's all part of the experience. Would we do it again? We both answer yes to that question. We've seen some pretty awesome places and things. We have had some spectacular follies. We have not done this without fear of the unknown but we put on our big girl and big boy panties and dove right into the deep end and here we are.