We lost Wendy (far right), the Best Sister-in-Law in the World, on Saturday, April 18th. She was 62.
She had been battling cancer for over a year. Recently, the cancer (leukemia, this time) had returned and her immune system was compromised when 3 different strains of flu hit. She had a high fever and difficulty breathing.
Wendy was in the hospital for 7 weeks, most of them in intensive care. She had already battled through 2 bone marrow transplants, a mastectomy, and various bouts of chemotherapy. When she went to the emergency room, she was having trouble breathing and spiking a fever.
Over the next weeks, her fever would continue and the doctors expressed their desire to re-start chemotherapy in order to boost her white blood cell count and her body’s ability to fight off the flu. Wendy soldiered on.
She was intubated three times. Doctors don’t like to leave you on a respirator for too long, and Governor Cuomo of New York says that 80% of patients who are intubated don’t come off the machines. Wendy did, and sat in a chair and was transferred out of the ICU and was potentially going to be sent to a rehabilitation center, where she would have to relearn how to walk.
These last few weeks, she has not been able to have in-person visitors.
When the call came in at 3 a.m., Mark (her husband) was told he needed to come. Wendy was having great difficulty breathing and was probably dying. He could bring one other person.
Mark and Matt, Wendy’s oldest son who is marrying Samantha in June, went to the hospital. She was not unconscious, but was aware of her children, with whom they face-timed: Megan in Denver and Michael, the youngest, in St. Louis. Mark and Matt were bedside.
I will always remember Wendy’s infectious smile and her spirit. I remember wheeling my huge VCR into my classroom in Silvis to show my class there her appearance on “Wheel of Fortune,” where she won a trip to Hawaii and a lot of Gucci merchandise. (Her final puzzle was “Zero In On,” which also seems unfair). I remember being pregnant at the same time, with Wendy giving birth to Matt forty-four days before I gave birth to my youngest, Stacey (we have the pregnant photos, belly-to-belly to prove it).
Life isn’t fair; Wendy should be here. We shouldn’t be scurrying to set up a Zoom family hook-up to memorialize her and restricting mourners in a church or cemetery to 10 people. She should be attending Matt’s wedding in June and having a great time, living in the moment.
Wendy was the World’s Best Sister-in-Law. I’m wearing the gold earrings she gave me for Xmas. I think she may even have liked me. I will miss her at every family gathering and think of her every time “Wheel of Fortune” comes on, oddly enough.
Rest in peace, Wendy. We love you and we will always remember and miss you. You put up a courageous fight and you should be here with us.
My podcast, entitled Weekly Wilson (like this blog) launches at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 27th on Channel 100 of Bold Brave Media Global Network.
As the maiden voyage of the Hindenburg floats out over the airwaves of Bold Brave Media Global Network, you can call in at 866-451-1451. I’ve already lined up eleven-year-old twins who will lend their youthful voices to the air waves and solve the world’s problems. (!) Well, maybe not that, but they ARE my collaborators on one of my (many) series I will start out discussing. (Check ConnieCWilson.com for the others).
Since no one will know who I am, it is customary for the hostess to tell them, which I will do during the first segment (2 after the hour of 7 p.m. CDT to 10 after the hour). Then, a commercial break will occur.
There will be 5 distinct segments thereafter (followed by commercials). For your scheduling pleasure, since I know you won’t want to miss a single word, they are currently scheduled to be:
THE COLOR OF EVIL – from 7:12 to 7:20 p.m.
Hellfire & Damnation series – from 7:22 to 7:30 p.m.
Ghostly Tales of Route 66 – from 7:32 to 7:40 p.m.
Obama’s Odyssey: The 2008 Race for the White House, Vols. I & II – from 7:42 to 7:50
The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats series, with co-authors Ava & Elise Wilson – from 7:52 to 7:56 and 1/2.
Following these cursory descriptions of the 40 to 50 books I’ve published since 1989 (most since 2003), other weeks may see me going into great depth about a series, but I’m planning on having as many guests as I can round up. So far, here’s how that looks:
1) Author Michael Serrapica, of “Conned Conservatives and Led-On Liberals” (politics, anyone?) on Show #2. Michael has graciously consented to come back and talk politics as the presidential race heats up. He has a background in radio and is a proud former union member and representative, so we’ll be talking politics.
2) Several representatives from SXSW of various sorts during that run (March 13-23) and before and after (working, right now, on a Val Kilmer thing at the local Alamo Drafthouse on Sunday for an article for the blog).
3) An expert on the corona virus from the University of Texas in Austin (Bill Kohl).
4) Author (Charlotte Canion of “You Have to Laugh to Keep from Crying” who will discuss caring for your elderly parents while also coping with your own health issues.
I am sure there will be technical issues aplenty, knowing my usual luck, but feel free to find Weekly Wilson on Channel 100 on Bold Brave Media Global Network and call in (it’s live) at 866-451-1451.
Hoping to hear from you with your questions or comments about any of the various topics this program will feature. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that it tends to be movies, politics, books, some travel, but the corona virus falls into none of those categories. Think of it a bit like any of the late night talk shows with hosts (Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, etc.). I’ll be interested in what you’re interested in, hopefully.