Monday, May 2, 2016


As many of my followers know, my sister-in-law Jennifer passed away on April 22, 2016.   She had been battling metastatic colon cancer since October 2011.  The month before her passing, the family had taken turns to care for Jen.  She had pretty much been confined to her bedroom and was unable to care for herself towards the end.  The last day that I helped to care for her was on Thursday, April 21st.

While we were with Jen on that last day, the hospice nurse came to assess Jen.   The nurse introduced herself to me and Jen's other sister-in-law, Jenny.  The hospice nurse tells us tat  her name is Michelle.  Michelle was filling in for Jen's usual nurse just for that day.  As Michelle is talking to Jen, I start recognizing her calming voice.  Hmmm, "Michelle", I think to myself.  I know this person, but how?  At this point, Erick and Jenny were helping Jen with something so I tell Michelle that she looks familiar to me.  She tells me that I also look familiar to her.  "Did you work at Pitt", I asked her.  "I worked at the Asthma Research Center", she replies.  Well, what do you know.  I was her Research Manager 13 years ago!  We hugged and she asks the usual things, are you still living in Edgewood, are you still working at Pitt......  that then leads to why I resigned from Pitt - Olivia's death.

After Michelle assesses Jen by listening to her heart and taking her blood pressure and temperature, we head downstairs with Michelle so the tJen can get more rest.    Michelle sits at the kitchen table with us to give her "report".  It wasn't the report that we wanted to hear.

Let's back track now 13 years prior to this.  April 25, 2003, I'm at work and my ankles are swollen due to being 37 weeks pregnant.  I waddled over to the clinic and asked our research nurse, Michelle to take my blood pressure.  It was fine.  Who knew that about 12 hours later, Olivia would be born.  Too soon but there she was.

Michelle would eventually be laid off from her position at the Asthma Research Center due to lack of funds.  I never saw her again until April 22, 2016.  She assessed Jen for the first  and last time as Jen would pass away 12 hours later.  Too soon......

Why was Michelle brought into our lives twice?  Coincidence or does her presence have a purpose?  I can't help but wonder.