Camping in the Belts in 2001
Amanda was know for her quick witty comebacks, her loving and giving to others, but mostly for her hugs.Once you met Amanda, there was no way you could forget her, she wouldn't let you. She was good at remembering names and faces and how she met you. Whenever you saw her, she was quick to give a hug and big smile. No matter what kind of pain she was in, she would not let on. Amanda was one that would put other people's needs in front of her own. Many times her health was put on the back burner in order to help someone else.
If she knew you liked a certain item or collected certain things, she would seach for just the perfect gift for you. If you liked a certain kind of cookie, she would show up at you door step with a fresh batch of what ever kind you liked.
Two weeks before she died, Amanda's best friend and new born baby were in an accident. Even tho her health was bad, she needed to be by their side for support. So we spent many hours on the road to Billings and Mile City. We talked about death and she confessed that she was tired of living and was only holding on because she didn't want me to be alone. I assured her that I would be okay and that she needed to think about herself for once. We talked about if she wanted to be cremated or buried. She said that if we buried her, to put her face down so that we could use her butt cheeks as a bike rack. Then she said, no she wanted to be cremated. I asked if there was anywhere she wanted her ashes scattered or if I could keep them. She replied that I could keep them as long as I didn't use them as kitty litter. No matter what the situation was, she would try to find humor or put people at ease.
On Feb, 28, 2006 she just didn't seem right. She would usually go bowling with me, but hadn't gotten ready. Fifteen minutes before I had to go bowling, I called and said that I was going to stay home with Amanda because she wasn't feeling good. Two hours later she stopped breathing and her heart stopped. I called 911 and performed CPR on her until the perimedics arrived. She was rushed to the hospital and was put in ICU. But it didn't look good. She never did open her eyes again, had no response to pain, but when I would talk to her and kiss her forehead, a tear would run down her face. Finally on March 2, 2006, I went to the chapel and asked God to bring her back with no brain damage and restored health, or to take her now. I went back in her room and told her it was time to let go, that I would be all right. After that, there were no more tears when I talked to her. I knew that she had heard me.
Because Amanda had marked the donor box on her drivers license, she was kept on machines until the donor team could come in and check to see what organs they could use. With all of Amanda's health issues and problems, she didn't think they could use anything, but she was able to donate her liver to a mother in Washington and her lungs went to research. She would have been shocked and thrilled to know that.
At Christmas time, Amanda would bake up a storm. She would make cookies for the senior tree in Lewistown. Then go shopping and buy everything on their wish list. Some only wanted cookies and candy. But they would also get a cookie jar and candy dish to put it in, along with a stuffed animal. They would end up with enough cookies and candy to last at least 3 months, if not longer.
I don't know of anyone who has a bigger heart for man kind than she did. She did not judge a person by their social standing or what others thought of them. It was how they treated her and she fit in any group. In college she tutored many older people in the same classes she was taking.
We ended up having two services for her, one in Lewistown where we lived and one in Havre where family members and some friends lived. Even tho she was 25, her grade school teachers were there, along with high school teachers. There were over 100 people at each service. In Lewistown, her "celebration of life" was at 3:00 and the paper only came out about 1:00 with ther obituary in it.
While she was in the hospital, every worker, nurse, lab tech, that had came in contact with Amanda her last 4 years of life, would stop down and talk to me and go in to say goodbye to her. She was well know at the hospital, since she had to have monthly blood transfusions, numerous ultra sounds, cat scans, x rays, and mri's.
We did find out that she had a bad heart that had slipped through all the testing. It was clogged with plauque and was working too hard. That explained why she had the blood transfusions, why the bones in her ankle were crumbling and why the numerous sores on her arms and legs would not heal. Her poor body wasn't getting the blood supply and oxygen that it needed.
I miss her dearly and think about her everyday. But I know that she is at peace and is no longer in any pain. I will see her again! By the time I get to Heaven, she will probably be telling God how to do it better.