Pepe’s Funeral aka The Puke Weekend.
Mrs. Charlotte called me on
I’m so thankful she was able to make it to North Carolina so quickly to be by his side as he took his last breaths.
It was a shock to us all that he passed so suddenly, but truly such a blessing to be in such a peaceful, fast way for him at the same time.
I was blessed to meet Pepe on a few occasions. Zach and I visited him once while dating and he attended Courtney’s, Casey’s and our wedding as well as visited for cousins weddings too.
Zach may look a lot like his dad but it’s always said that he really favors Pepe in SO MANY WAYS. He gets his natural ability to be so handy from Pepe, as well as his bit of temper too 😉
Every interaction we had with Pepe was happy. He was always loud but loving and kind and quick to become overwhelmed with emotion for those he loved.
He will be missed and I’m so thankful for Mrs Charlotte that she was able to visit so frequently over the last few years. Her bond with him was much closer and I know that it’s good for her grieving process to know she made so many cherished memories with him.
We learned that the visitation/viewing would be on Friday August 23rd with the funeral that following day.
We decided to still go to Tess’s 5 year well check-up and just leave following her appointment.
Her appointment wasn’t actually until like 10:30 but I arrived right at 8:15 when they opened and explained our situation and they were super sweet to work us in right away!
Once we left her appointment I ran by Walgreens to grab some Zyrtec and Flonase and candy for the road.
I was VERY proud of the kids.
They didn’t know Pepe. So for them to miss school and miss out on plans we had for that weekend to be in a car for 14 hours to attend a sad situation was tough for them to grasp.
But it was a great learning opportunity to explain to them about grief and how much G-Mama needed us. It isn’t just about our feelings, but it’s most important to be there for the ones we love when they are hurting.
We literally drove 7 straight hours with very, very few (and very quick) stops.
One thing we did learn was that Checkers has these chicken mini boxes for only $2! Hello our new favorite fast food stop!
The kids did great (thank you for electronics) for the whole ride!
We drove straight to Pepe’s house and very quickly got changed for the visitation.
They had food there available for everyone so we also grabbed a quick bite.
When we got out of the car Britt mentioned her stomach hurt. And said she didn’t want to eat any dinner.
I assumed it was from being in the car so long. I get car sick myself and the North Carolina hills are no joke when you’re used to such flat roads like we have in Valdosta.
We pressed her to eat something b/c we had no clue if we’d have an option to eat later.
I was in such a rush getting myself and the kids ready I don’t know if she even ate or not.
We got to the visitation and everything was so nice. We loved seeing old photos of Pepe in his uniform from his military days and loved meeting so much of his local friends, family and community.
It was a blessing to be there with Mrs. Charlotte and the kids all did SO well with their behavior and being polite.
Pepe did have an open casket and the kids also handled that situation very well. I remember my first experience with that and it was very difficult for me so it’s important to me to present death to my children in a natural way.
It IS a natural thing. A natural part of life. It will happen to us all. I know it’s also natural to fear death but I’m trying to minimize those fears in my children as much as I can by treating it as that normal thing.
As the viewing was taking place Britt came up to me and said she had to use the bathroom and was going to throw up.
I rushed her to the bathroom and she threw up all over the floor of the bathroom at the funeral home.
The staff was SO SWEET and I really didn’t want Mrs Charlotte even knowing about it because I didn’t want to take away from the evening.
I was in a floor length dress myself and was doing my best to help the sweet staff get the bathroom cleaned up while trying to take care of Britt too.
I had high hopes that it was just the car ride. It was a LONG day and a LONG ride.
Someone got Britt a Sprite to sip on and we stayed in the bathroom for a long time.
She felt well enough to leave and we did a quick goodbye to everyone while Britt was sitting in the entrance of the funeral home.
Yall. As we were making our goodbye rounds Britt leaned down and just puked all over the carpet of the funeral home.
I felt SO BAD.
We drove as fast as we possibly could while Britt held a bag just in case she threw up again.
We got to the hotel and I took her straight to the bathroom while Zach got checked in. She threw up again in the toilet.
Kye said he was also feeling sick at this point but I was hopeful that maybe it was just sickness from being around someone who gets sick as I know that’s a “thing.”
So he hung out in the mens bathroom just in case.
We got all checked in and got into the hotel room.
And then Kye started puking.
We traded off having one kid sit by the toilet and the other hold a trash can.
Zach went to the nearby Walmart to load up on supplies which in hindsight I am SO THANKFUL I had him do!
Kye didn’t make it in the toilet and puked in the hotel sink. Yall let me just go ahead and say it: this was THE biggest CLUSTER of a weekend of my LIFE.
At this point we had Kye and Britt puking but Zach, Tess and I were fine.
Our plan of action was to have Zach and Tess share a bed. The goal being for Zach not to get it because when he gets a stomach bug he dehydrates CRAZY FAST and ALWAYS goes to the ER for fluids. Every. Single. Time.
Our thought was put Zach with Tess since they both felt fine and I’d sleep with Kye closest to the bathroom.
We put Britt on a blow up mattress on the floor since she was the most sick at the time.
We all started trying to go to bed around 9 pm that night.
It did not go well. At all.
I finally got the puke out of the bathroom sink (I gave up trying to get it to go down the drain and just did the hardcore mom thing…I used a cup and scooped it out. Awesome) and got into bed myself around 10:30.
I’m not even kidding…I laid my head down and almost instantly Kye got up and PUKED IN THE SINK AGAIN.
I know what you’re thinking – he’s 10, why is he puking in the sink? But it’s because the hotel room we were in was AWFUL and terribly designed and it was hard to GET to the toilet so he just could barely make it to the sink.
I got the sink cleaned again (let me tell you … that drain will NEVER WORK the same after us haha) and climbed back into the bed.
Kye puked. This time IN THE BED as well as ON THE FLOOR.
We tossed a towel over the floor and called it good at that point. You know
As I started stripping our sheets Zach jumped up out of his bed with Tess as she was puking in a trash can (props to the FIVE YEAR OLD who has better puke control than the 7 and 10 year old do).
I went down to the lobby at 11:30 to get new sheets for our bed leaving Zach to tend to Kye and Tess.
Britt somehow remained sleeping through all of this and she never threw up again after about 8:30 that night.
Zach made the bed while I kept taking care of Kye and Tess. We got our bed all made up and soon after Kye got up AGAIN to puke but this time, miraculously, made it TO THE TOILET! Whoop whoop!
Tess woke up at like 1 am and puked all over herself and all over their bed. Including her pjs and her friend that she sleeps with.
This was a short trip. I didn’t pack extra ANYTHING. So no spare pjs.
I just wiped her and the friend down the best I could and had her roll with it to get through the night and headed back down to the lobby at 1:30 for more fresh sheets.
During Zach’s run to the store earlier that evening I had him get activate charcoal which I HIGHLY recommend keeping on hand yall!
I downed several of them and so did Zach and I had the kids drink the powder mixed with water.
He’d also bought lysol spray, wipes and hand sanitizer.
Courtney always keeps Zofran on her (she has lupus and has stomach issues too) and had given us a few of the pills too.
Everyone took one (except me).
Kye and I finally got to sleep around 2:30
I’m pretty sure Zach got up one other time with Tess but I just slept through it.
Then at 6 am Zach joined the sick club.
Kye is the kind of person that just cannot sleep in at all, regardless of how little sleep he had the night prior. So at 6:30 am he was UP for the day.
Since Zach was already sick I figured it was time to go into ACTION MODE.
First I turned on the TV to some cartoons for the kids and I got change for the laundry machines (luckily
Then I went to the free breakfast to grab as many BRAT diet items as they had available. I’m pretty sure I took a solid 7 bananas and like 15 individually wrapped muffins haha
Courtney and Casey and their fams as well as Mr Rusty and Mrs Charlotte had all stayed in the same hotel as us.
I filled them all in while they were eating their breakfast and let them know that there was just no way we’d be able to attend the funeral that afternoon.
Yall we felt SO BAD about missing it. We drove all that way to be there for it and to not even get to attend? Zach especially felt awful not being there for his mom. It just was a super sucky situation.
Mrs. Charlotte is the kind of person who likes to take action and I DO think all the puking drama helped give her something else to focus on during such a tough emotional time. Sometimes a little distraction is welcome.
She insisted on running to the store with Courtney as they had to go anyway since Zach wouldn’t be able to be a pallbearer and Brad was so nice to step in and I guess he needed whatever pants the guys were wearing or something so they had to make a Walmart run anyway.
Mrs. Charlotte loaded us up with lots of supplies.
While she was gone I called to check on Spear and yall. HE WAS PUKING TOO.
Oh my mama heart hurt SO BAD that my baby was sick and I wasn’t with him AND I felt so much guilt that he was infecting his caregivers too.
Who, by the way, ALSO ended up sick.
Our plan was to rest until check out that morning at noon (they would NOT give us late check out, even knowing our situation. SO ANNOYING) and then drive home.
Zach truly believed he’d feel better.
I truly didn’t believe him.
He got worse by the time I got back to the room and when
He is a big dude yall – 6’6″ around 220ish lbs. So he dehydrates SO FAST and he just HAS to have fluids when he has a stomach virus. It’s a must.
While he was gone I had each kid take a turn soaking in the bathtub while I got ready (I didn’t shower but I did rinse the puke parts out of my hair haha), got us all packed up and finished the laundry.
We walked out the door right at noon all dressed, bathed and loaded up for whatever the rest of the day held.
I got in the car and didn’t know what my next move should be.
I tried to get ahold of Zach and he wouldn’t answer. I finally called the ER and asked to speak to him.
He was SO OUT OF IT. Yet was insisting that when he was discharged that we’d drive home. That I’d drive awhile and then he’d be fine to drive by the time the meds wore off within a couple of hours.
I got pretty upset at that point. Up until then I had been a BALLER just handling everything.
I felt SO frustrated that Zach wasn’t listening to me. I was exhausted and could not handle driving. I also KNEW that he COULD NOT DRIVE. So I knew, in my
I went to the CFA that was next-door and just let the well-kids play a little bit. I got some heat in my DMS over this decision. But yall. Seriously? CFA playground is RIDDLED with germs.
Britt hadn’t thrown up in over 16 hours at that point and Kye hadn’t in about 12 hours and they were feeling fine and I literally had NO WHERE ELSE TO GO.
We were only there like 20 min and they didn’t play with other kids and Tess stayed in my lap the whole time as she was the only one still feeling sick and I think she was more tired than anything else (she also hadn’t puked at that point for about 10 hours).
We finally decided to just load up and head to the hospital.
I wasn’t sure how long Zach would be there and didn’t want to be hanging out in a waiting room for hours but while we were driving Zach called and said for us to come there anyway!
He was SUPER out of it and was still saying once he discharged we’d head back.
Thankfully the nurse explained that he had been given medicine that makes you crazy sleepy and that he was not allowed to drive for at least 12 hours.
I love that I have the kind of husband who pushes through SO MUCH that he deals with buttttt no way was he pushing through his exhaustion, sickness AND hardcore sleepy meds. Nope!
I WAS SO THANKFUL when he walked into the waiting room and announced that we would NOT be heading home.
Let me also add that our children are SAINTS. They were SO amazing through all the craziness of the weekend and behaved so well and were so patient when I had no clue what was happening next.
I instantly felt like a new person with the news that we’d be staying another night. I WAS SO THANKFUL.
But. I also was super hardcore that I didn’t care how much it cost…I was never, ever ever going back to that Sleep Inn hotel from the night before. NOPE.
We got SO lucky (finally! ha!) and Hotels.Com allowed us to cancel the hotel we had booked for that night (we had originally planned to drive halfway home that evening after the funeral) and Holiday Inn Express was amazingggg and got us into a room immediately AND gave us a discount for hospital patients.
I helped Zach load up the luggage cart and he and the kids went to the room and I went to a Zaxby’s across the street to get FOOD.
I hadn’t eaten at that point in 28 hours as the last food I’d had was lunch the day prior.
I have NEVER grubbed so HARD in my LIFE. It was THE best meal I think I’ve ever had haha
It was almost 3 pm by that point and I decided to not nap and not have the kids nap. I wanted them to be able to sleep that night b/c they all needed it SO BAD.
Zach fell asleep pretty much immediately which was good too b/c he needed it the most since he was the most recent sick.
The kids played quietly on their screens and Kye and Tess both were hungry so they had some banana and muffin for an early dinner.
I had one last epic mom situation when Britt pooped in the toilet and clogged it with toilet paper and we didn’t realize it was clogged until Tess was sitting on it and actively pooping. Yall. At that point I’d done so much…I just put my hand in the poop filled toilet, grabbed the massive wad of toilet paper, threw it in the trashcan and moved right along.
This weekend will go down in history for a LOT of reasons but I will always look back on it as the weekend that cemented in my mind forever that I am a baller mom. I am really proud of how I handled it all and got through it and was still calm and happy with the kids.
Now, I apologized and have regrets over how I handled everything as a wife and feel bad not being able to emotionally be there for Zach as much as he needed me.
BUT I juggled a LOT pretty well and I’m still proud of it all overall!
I am so incredibly thankful that Zach went to the hospital when he did that morning.
As yall know he has MS and he had JUST had his infusion the week prior which always makes his immune system low so this junk hit him FAST.
Usually when he goes to the ER and gets fluids he’s fine to drive himself home and feels instantly better after the fluids.
This time though? He was struggling HARD. Even after he left the hospital.
So glad we made the call to stay that night and that he was able to soak in the tub and go to sleep at like 3ish for the night.
We all were asleep before 6 and all woke up feeling SO MUCH BETTER.
Praise the LORD.
Can we all also say how INSANE it is that I didn’t get it?
I never got it. Not even a little bit. So crazy!
And I was on a steroid for a sinus infection which I was told also lowers your immune system so it makes me even more shocked that I didn’t ever catch it!
The upside of this trip? We learned that Tess loves ginger ale 😉
We hit up the awesome Holiday Inn breakfast before hitting the road!
We also def bonded as a family over this weekend as nothing bonds you like being stuck in a hotel room puking like crazy.
While it hurt me to be away from Spear I’m also SO incredibly thankful he wasn’t there and that he was feeling much better (he only ended up puking once!).
It was also such a blessing that Zach woke up feeling 100% better and was fine to drive us the full way home.
We felt awful to miss the funeral and heard it was a lovely service and wish we could have been there for Pepe and for Mrs Charlotte especially. I know that Zach had a lot of hurts about that but he was literally in the hospital at the same time as the funeral so it just wasn’t even possible at all.
Such an incredibly tough situation and weekend and we were just so thankful to be on the other side of it!
We stopped in Savannah and wanted to do a huge epic lunch!
We had a great time eating at Metro Diner! Kye was the only one still not feeling 100% okay and his crud lasted awhile.
Stomach bugs just really affect Zach and Kye in the biggest way. Kye had pain and couldn’t eat normally for quite awhile. Several days!
The girls bounced back super fast and were totally fine (just tired!). Even Zach grubbed OUT!
At that point I was just super pumped to SHOWER. I hadn’t washed my hair since THURSDAY and felt so, so icky!
There was no better feeling than being HOME after such a tough weekend.
I hate that we were never able to make that drive a long time ago to be able to spend time with Pepe while we was alive.
I am thankful we made the trip as even though we weren’t able to be there to support Mrs Charlotte during the funeral, she knows our efforts were made TO be there for her and I know that means a lot to her too.