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I can’t sleep (what else is new?)

Well… when I last posted on my blog (amidst the tumbleweeds and crickets chirping in the distance) I’d written about how Gigglemom had a cardiac arrest on March 1st and that she was on a ventilator & how I’d actually had the priest come in to administer Last Rites (or I guess they’ve softened the blow nowadays by renaming it The Anointing of the Sick)

GM was on the ventilator for 5 days and then they took her off…. moment of truth…. 3 minutes after the tube was out she was asking for a cigarette and when we were leaving to go home. that was on March 5th.

At that time, GiggleAunt Judy had been moved from the observation room (I’d mentioned in the previous post that GA Judy had been admitted to the hospital on Feb 26 because her liver had grown tired and toxins weren’t being flushed out of her body) —- anyway, GAJudy by March 5th had been moved to the rehab in the hospital.

March 7th GMom was doing much better and was moved to a regular room on the 5th floor.

a few days later GAJudy was moved out of the rehab and back into the hospital… then she was moved to the CCU. The liver was being a jerk again and not cooperating.

Neither GMom or GAJudy remembered that they’d seen each other on Feb 28.

Anyway… GMom was in a regular room and then she was moved back into the rehab. They wound up taking x-rays of GM’s ribs and chest because of the pain she was in from the CPR that was done on March 1st. The verdict: 12 fractures throughout her ribcage.

GA Judy wound up going to a regular room after a few days in CCU as well. She was still a little out of it though. I WAS able to wheel GM up from the rehab to visit her once though.

Then she was transferred to a rehab center in Point Pleasant.

So, Gigglemom and GiggleAunt Judy were both getting better.

Or so we thought.

Last weekend – on April 2nd, GiggleAunt Judy was brought back to the CCU because of, you guessed it, her tired liver.

Unfortunately, this time, when they brought her in, she was unresponsive and not talking. After a few days they got some of the toxins out and she woke up but was really weak and didn’t start talking until Wednesday.

That was the day I was able to wheel Gigglemom down to the CCU to see GA Judy – where they both had a few words and GAJudy said to GM that they “both need to get better” and both sisters told each other “I love you”. Then my gigglecousin said the doctors were planning to transfer her to UMDMJ up in Newark and have their specialists see what they could do or get a liver transplant.

Thursday, April 7th Gigglemom was discharged from the rehab for good. So, I brought her up to the CCU to visit GiggleAunt Judy…

As we were coming off the elevator, my gigglecousin Kerry was coming out of the CCU hallway in tears — which scared the hell out of me. She told me that they wouldn’t be transferring her to Newark, that they were moving her to the hospice in the hospital.

There was nothing more the doctors could do.

We went to see GA Judy and she was able to really weakly smile and get out “I love you” to both GM and me.

Then I took GMom home for the first time in 2 months.

For a week prior to her return home, GM was practicing in physical therapy how to go up the one step that we have to get in the house. She did great at the rehab. I even went there and practiced with her.

Then we got home. Unfortunately, the step at home was like an inch higher than she was ready for.

She fell. I caught her and was able to ease her to the ground. I then called 911.

Then I took photos (oh come on. I had to.)

Finally the EMTs were able to get GM inside the house. She’s been there ever since.

Thursday night, GiggleAunt Judy was moved into the hospice room. They made her comfortable and put her on sedatives and morphine.

I went to visit her on Friday night at 9 o’clock.

This would be the last time I would ever see her again.

I had a few moments alone with her. Thanked her for being the best Aunt that anyone could ever have. Thanked her for being there for me and for being my Godmother. Told her that I would look out for Kerry for the rest of our lives. Told her that she was going to make an awesome angel and asked if I could call dibs on her being my other Guardian Angel. Then I asked her to give Nana & Poppy a hug and kiss for me. Of course, she wasn’t conscious at that point.

Saturday afternoon, I was out getting lunch and picking up prescriptions for GMom and around 3:30pm I felt this weird wave wash over me and I said to myself “I think Aunt Judy just died”

At 4pm I walked in the door and GMom was on the phone and handed it to me. It was Kerry… who then told me that Aunt Judy passed away half an hour earlier.


Right now it’s 4:26am on Monday morning, April 11th. I haven’t been able to fall asleep. I keep thinking of the dumbest things and bursting into tears.

Like when GMom would be on the phone with GA Judy, I would always interrupt their conversation with stupid jokes that would make them laugh…. and also annoy the crap out of GMom because I would make them lose their trend of thought.

Or an hour ago, I was trying to make myself tired, so, I started playing some mindless slot machine video game and it reminded me of when Aunt Judy and I went to Atlantic City together a couple of years ago on a whim. Or when she took me on the cruise to the Bahamas in ’08 and we were cracking up as we were losing in the casino.

I just am going to miss her so much. My heart is breaking.


Judith A. (Martyn) Senecke AGE: 64 • Brick

Judith A. (Martyn) Senecke, 64, of Brick, passed away at Ocean Medical Center, Brick, on Saturday, April 9, 2011. Mrs. Senecke was born in Elizabeth and moved to Brielle as a child, where she lived until moving to Brick three years ago. She was a graduate of St. Rose High School and Georgian Court College. She was a second grade and special education teacher for 20 years at Griebling School in Howell Township, before retiring. Mrs. Senecke enjoyed going to the beach and the Catskills with her family, and loved spending time with her grand-daughter, Hannah, her “Baby Girl.”

Mrs. Senecke was predeceased by her parents, Franklyn and Mildred (Maher) Martyn, and her brother, Val Martyn. She is survived by her loving husband, Francis X. Senecke, and her devoted children, Francis X. Senecke, Jr., and his wife, Georgina, of Florida, and Kerry Senecke, of Brick. She is also survived by her grand-daughter, Hannah, her brother, Frank Martyn, and her sister, Maureen Bennett, both of Brick.

In accordance with Mrs. Senecke’s wishes, all services were private. Arrangements were conducted by O’Brien Funeral Home, Brick.

—– I’m just thankful that my mom and my aunt were able to talk to each other one last time on Thursday.

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