Thursday, September 19, 2013

One week ago today,

Todd's dad, Bob, passed away.  It was quite sudden.

Bob had been having severe back pain for quite some time.  Something was causing that pain, but he did not know until about a month ago what that was:  he had a tumor growing on his spine.  This tumor caused him to lose feeling below both knees and rendering him unable to walk without a walker.  A biopsy was done on the tumor and was malignant, however, testing showed that there was another source of the cancer in his body that caused this tumor.  He had cancer in his bone marrow caused by lymphoma.  

Bob's doctors begun chemotherapy right away.  Later, they began radiation on the tumor.  Bob had good days and bad days from the treatments, however, on Monday the 9th, he had a series of strokes (caused by a thickening & "stringing" of the blood) that rendered him unable to talk.  He was admitted to the hospital.  He had developed a blood clot in the artery that goes to the brain.  He seemed to be stabilized, but a couple of days later, Rose Marie could not wake him up for his chemo treatment he had that day.  He was "in-and-out" of it all day.  

At this point, Todd began making plans to go up to see his father, however, he did not get to visit him one last time.  The following day, Thursday the 12th, Bob had a severe stroke and passed hours afterwards.

It was a very emotional week for the entire family.  Especially for Rose Marie.  Please keep her close in thought and prayers in the coming weeks and months.  

Todd just shared that Bob was cremated in a yellow and brown plaid jacket that he loved. (Rose Marie could not stand the jacket and she had been hiding it in the basement for years so he would not wear it out in public!)   Also, the family has decided to hold a party in his honor in the spring instead of holding a funeral or memorial service.  This seems fitting especially after seeing some of the photos below that family members have been posting all week.  Bob - when he was feeling well - did like to have a good time!  

May Bob rest in peace and his memory live on!!

Here's a photo from the 1960s of Bob and Rose Marie (watching a relative's daughter play the saxophone).

 The early 70s when Todd was a baby.

At Tonia and Rory's Irish wedding in the early 90s.

 At an event Bob was hosting for work with the Dominican grocery community.  (Bob was honored as the Dominican Republic business man of the year once.  Ironically, he did not speak any Spanish and had no idea what the speeches in his honor were about!)

A "traditional" pig-roast for a family Thanksgiving spent in the Dominican Republic in 2000.

At Bob & Rose Marie's 40th wedding anniversary in the early 2000s.

The published announcement:

Bob Groves died suddenly on Thursday, September 12th at St. Clare's Hospital, with his family by his side. A Celebration of Bob's Life will be held at a later date set by his family. Those who wish may make memorial donations in his name to either St. Jude Childrens' Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to Parent To Parent (

Born in Ohio to the late Clayton Groves and Jean Atchison, Bob attended Kent State University for business. After college, he met and then married Rose Marie Diacoganes and the couple eventually moved to Mountain Lakes, where they have lived for over 30 years. He worked for DiGiorgio, Corp. (White Rose) for many years as a marketing executive. He continued to be involved in many projects after his retirement and was well respected in the supermarket industry. He loved spending time in the Dominican Republic but above all loved being with his family.

Surviving are his wife Rose Marie of 52 years, daughter Tonia Ahern and her husband Rory, sons Bob, Jim and his wife Rebecca, and Todd and his wife Candice; his ten adoring grandchildren Rory, Tara, Ryan, Zachary, Meagan, Sam, Nathaniel, Marlena, Mercer and Isabella; sister Janelle Jarosh; and many more loving relatives and friends. His sister Betty Copp predeceased him. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Some MAJOR "firsts" for both Mercer and Isabella

Isabella's MAJOR "first:"  she began crawling last weekend!  She's flopping around a bit in this video, but almost a week later, she's really on the move... She can crawl out of her room and into the hallway! 

She also started to pull herself up / stand up in the crib!  She is pretty proud of herself.  That's pretty MAJOR too.  Todd had to lower the crib so she won't pull herself over!  Isabella is very strong!

(One of our neighbors, Sarah, took some fantastic photos of her which are enclosed here.)

Isabella had her 9 month appointment at the doctor's office this week. Her growth and development charted really well.

She's about 30% on weight and height -- consistent to where she's been tracking all along. She's now 18 lbs and 27 1/4" tall. She had an absolute melt-down at the doctor's... clawing and clinging to me the entire time. It seems that she may have remembered the last time she was there to get immunizations?  She has really ramped up her dislike for going to other people.  She used to be agreeable to go to anyone, but now it has to be Todd, me, or the lady at daycare.  (The doctor said this is a normal phase and she'll grow out of it.)

Other than that, this was the first appointment where we didn't have any questions for the doctor. She really seems to be doing great overall!

Mercer got to go to his first football game this week.  Todd donated blood a few weeks ago at a Red Cross event at the Georgia Dome.  For doing so, they gave him 2 tickets to a pre-season game!  Todd equates free seats as nose-bleed seats, but regardless, they had a good time.

Later in the week while Todd was at home tackling some projects, I took the kids downtown to keep them occupied & out of the house.  We met some friends at an annual parade that is held to kick off a conference held in Atlanta every year called Dragon Con.  It's a sci-fi based conference and the parade makes for some interesting people-watching!!  Mercer wore his Spider Man halloween costume for most of the parade - however the zipper broke as he was putting it on.  He got some recognition from other Marvel characters who were in the parade including fist-bumps from a Spider Man who was in the procession.  Here's an interesting shot... my camera "polarized" the Star Wars Storm Troopers (normally in white costumes) and polarized Mercer's left ear!  ; - )  We did several other things while in town as well, but this - by far - was the most unique.  It was both Mercer and my first time at the parade.  I think we'll go back because it was really entertaining!    

And, the MAJOR "first" for Mercer... last night... his first tooth fell out!  The one right next to it is loose as well... it's not far behind, but there goes that beautiful beautiful smile.  We'll be seeing variations of toothless smiles in the coming years, so this will be the new "norm."  Oh well.  Had to happen!  He did not get to see the tooth fairy he said, but, he did receive two gold coins in exchange for his pearly white~