Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanks for the Memories

This will be my last post on "It's Always Something". It's been so much fun doing this blog with Nancy for the past few years and I will leave it up so that we can come back to the posts here from time to time and relive the memories through her posts and photos.

All of us in Nancy's family want to thank you all for your kindness and expressions of sympathy at this difficult time. One thing I know for sure, though, is that Nancy would not want us to be sad. She would probably say, "OK you guys, get on with it, I'm fine". So, on that note, I want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

On a personal note, I have found that writing is a way that helps me deal with difficult times and I have missed blogging about Nancy. So...I have started a new blog - very different from this one - but dedicated to Nancy. It is called "My Sister's Cottage" and can be found at I hope you'll visit me there from time to time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

a message from Nancy

This is to all of you. It was found on Nancy's computer:

From Dark to Light

Today is a very special day
Not just for me but for all of my friends and family
It has been 5 years of success
Unfortunately, not all of it was filled with happiness.

There were days of darkness
And others filled with anger
Wondering why I was chosen
To be in this much danger.

I have cried and yelled and screamed
Wondering why God was doing this to me
What did I do, was I bad?
I was not sure and became very sad.

I was scared and felt helpless
Not many people my age had been through this
As I wondered how I was going to get by
I was blessed with angels who were always by my side.

As the days and months went on
I started getting strong
And as I learned to cope
I discovered the meaning of hope.

I am in a much better place today
Than I was 5 years ago
And I have my friends and family to thank for that
You are all my angels…and I just wanted you to know.
I love you all

Monday, November 15, 2010

Services for Nancy

Visiting hours for Nancy will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 17, at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 1024 Broadway, SouthPortland. A Celebration of Nancy’s Life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 18, at East Point Christian Church, 58 City Line Drive, Portland. The church is located just behind Time-Warner near the Portland Jetport. Interment will be at Old Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.
There will be a reception at East Point Church Hall immediately following the service at the cemetary. All are welcome.
The full obituary will appear in Tuesday's Portland Press Herald (& the on-line edition) and in Thursday's York County Coast Star.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In a Better Place

Nancy Ann Smith Tufts
September 20, 1952 - November 14, 2010

Nancy's journey ended at 5:00 a.m this morning, Sunday, November 14, 2010. She left us peacefully, surrounded by those who loved her, and is now in the loving hands of God. This quotation was found on Nancy's computer last night:

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". did...and no one you touched will ever be quite the same because of you. Love you forever...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Tribute to Nancy

This just arrived via e-mail:
I can not put into words how much I love Nancy. I am certain that there are countless others that feel exactly the same way. I know also that you love her dearly. I am so sorry that you all have had to endure a farewell such as this. It's not fair to Nancy or to any of you, pure and simple. Nancy was more than just someone that I worked with in the fight against cancer. She was a friend, an inspiration, and she was also a "teacher" on many levels. I will take with me many lessons I have learned from Nancy, and carry her strength into this fight for a cure. It was just a day after losing a cherished member of my family to cancer that I began this journey, and I will not ever stop fighting for a cure in his or Nancy's name. No one should have to go through this.
I am working to put together a resolution in Nancy's honor. This is something that the American Cancer Society does for it's most cherished volunteers. I would like to get it to you before her service. It is a personal proclamation that I know will be very meaningful to you and all of her family and friends. Traditionally it is read to, and then presented to a family by an ACS staff person. I would love to do this for you all in Nancy's honor. I could bring it to you any time next week, as it will take a few days to put together. I would also like to read it at the Relay in June.
Please let me know if there is ANYTHING that I can do for you all! If you would please share this email with Kit and Erin. I would like them to know how to get in touch with me as well.
I feel truly blessed that you would all allow me to come to see Nancy last night. I will not ever forget the feeling of her hand in mine. I could not say goodbye to her. I believe that there are some things in life that can never leave you. Nancy is one of those special things to me. I will carry her in my heart forever.
Sending you all love, and hope for peace,
Dawn Emery
American Cancer Society, Maine Chapter

Native American Poem
I give you this one thought to keep -

I am with you still -
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone -
I am with you still - in each new dawn.

Share your love and memories with Nancy!

Nancy is resting comfortably. Her whole family is with her. She is never alone now. We appreciate your thoughts and will read them to her. Thank you for all the love and prayers. Andi

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Goblin with Donkey Teeth?

Stopped in to see Nancy early this morning on my way to work. When I got there at 6:30, Joanne, Kit, Erin and two nurses were in the room with Nancy....all red-faced from laughing. When I asked what I had missed, Erin said there was a "side issue". Apparently, after a pump or two of morphine, Nancy decided that one of the legs of her IV stand resembled a goblin with donkey teeth! She said it with such a straight face that there apparently were howls of laughter, with Nancy joining in as soon as she realized what she had said. As I was hearing the story about the goblin with donkey teeth, in came a resident with a picture of a goblin she had printed off of Google and Nancy said, "Ya...that looks like it but the teeth need to be bigger". Next thing we know, another nurse came in with a print-out of a very Shrek-like set of donkey teeth for Nancy's careful inspection. Once Nancy agreed that the teeth were correct, the whole Goblin got taped to Nancy's wall amid howls of laughter from Kit & Erin, stunning Smith sisters, and Gibson staff alike. It was so good to see Nancy laugh and to belly-laugh with her again. She has always been the one to bring laughter to our lives and continues to do so even now.

Nancy had a liter and a half of fluid drained from around her lungs yesterday so is more comfortable breathing today...that is a relief to see. Kit and Erin have been spending every night at the hospital with her and last night Joanne stayed as well. Tonight is my turn. The staff at Gibson have been so amazing and so kind to Nancy. Her night nurse, Addy, actually came in to hug her goodbye at shift change at 7:00 a.m.

Nancy's wall of cards and photos is growing every day and she really appreciates everyone's thoughts and prayers. Kit brought Mom in again yesterday and she spent a long time just being with with Nancy. Joanne brought Nancy a book about the cats who live on Mt. Washington and read it aloud to her last night...beautiful story and illustrations. Nancy is surrounded with love right now and she is still giving it right back to all of us.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Good Night & A New Room

Nancy had a good night last night and is resting comfortably this morning. Right now, she is visiting with two friends from her church, Donna and the pastor's wife, Beth. Nancy gave a big smile as soon as she saw them. I have found a quiet little reading room on the floor to sneak away to so that Nancy can have some private "visitor time". Kit is grabbing his first cup of coffee and some Tony's donuts, a perq of the MMC cafeteria, and Erin is making some phone calls.
Last night, Nancy moved to a NEW ROOM, #556. It is just to the right of the nurse's station in the section of Gibson she has been in all along. The new room is much larger and has a beautiful view of Portland looking to the west. Nancy's NEW PHONE # is 662-7698.
Nancy had a pretty comfortable day yesterday. Hank brought Mom in for a visit in the morning and, in the afternoon, Nancy saw Pastor Scott, Lisa from EastPoint Church, Betsy Seavey, Andi and, of course Aaron, Kit and Erin. I hope I haven't left anyone out. Her new room looks really cheerful and is full of flowers and cards. She received roses from Joanne and Mark and a big bouquet of balloons from Joanne Sizemore and Claudia Dalton that are floating right above her bed.
Nancy has always been a "night person" and last night was no exception. This morning, at about 1:00 a.m., Nancy decided that she wanted to go for a walk. She said she was "sick of being in the room" and wanted "out". So, with the help of Nancy's nurses, we packed up the IV pole and oxygen tank, loaded Nan into a wheelchair, and headed down the hall to surprise Kit (Nancy's idea:-) We "snuck" past the second nurses station (wink*wink*) and took a long walk. Nancy told the nurses at the last nurses station we passed to look for her IV pole along the side of the road:=) After our adventure in the wheelchair, the nurses offered Nancy the larger room so, at 2:00 a.m., she moved. After she was settled in 556, Nancy finally was ready to sleep and slept well until this morning.
I know that Nancy appreciates everyone's cards, visits, thoughts and prayers...she says so all the I'll pass that on to all of you this morning on her behalf. Love you all...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Morning Update

I know that everyone is wondering how Nancy is doing so thought I'd post a quick update this morning. She has had a rough few days since my last post.
Yesterday they scheduled her for a CT scan and she showed her typical sense of humor by asking Kit to put her "black cat" Halloween socks on her....she wanted to wear cat socks to the "cat" scan. Yup, that's Nancy!
Nancy got a beautiful flower arrangement yesterday from the "Gold Bond Girls" and Nancy Whitman from Wells Elementary School...just gorgeous! They are right on her bedside tray. I know she misses all of her WES and Gold Bond friends a lot. I heard that some of you would like to visit her and think she would like to see old friends when she feels up to it. I'd suggest you call her first at 662-7706 just to be sure she is up for visitors, or check in with Aaron at 775-7290.
Off to work...more later...