Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Life is Strange...

"The lines between us are blurry," says Hubby from his hospital bed.
I know what he means and I find it strange that at the end of his life, we are becoming closer.
How can that be?
There is a part of me that is letting go. I know it is time.
Holding on to someone as tightly as I've been to David cannot last forever.
At some point, there needs to be an uncoupling. A fork in the road. A time when he goes on his way and I, mine.

The letting go process actually started in the fall of 2008. I learned to give up control. Coming home to find the power off and hubby peacefully sleeping while the alarm on his oxygen concentrator screamed unmercifully, was the beginning of this important lesson. Had I been later coming home, Hubby might not be here today. But his journey is not mine to control.

In the spring of 2009, I took a "time out" and went off to Florida for a week. I let go of his care and allowed his son to take over for a while. Full of sand, sea and sun, my energy level was back; my balance restored. Unfortunately, during this short week, Hubby took a step down. Was it because I went away? I don't know. Did I feel guilty? Yes, at first. But then, do I control his illness? I think not.

Now, a year later, we've come to the top of the mountain. We both know this journey is coming to a close. We both know it is time to let go. We are lucky this process is so gradual. Others don't have time; they leave regrets, unfinished business, and final words of love unsaid.

And yet - we both feel this incredible closeness. This blurring of souls.
Maybe this always happens at the end of a life.
Maybe not.
I don't know.

With Hubby, the circumstances are such that right now he is practically helpless, lying in bed, attached to the oxygen hose. He wears a mask making it difficult to talk. So I am the interpreter. Nurses, health care workers, his doctor, even the priest who came to visit, all ask David a question, he mumbles a reply and then they look to me for clarification.
I'm still looking after his basic needs when I'm there, so of course we are close.

But what about me? I anticipate and fill his needs now bringing us this closeness, but what can he do for me?
He gets me to talk about myself. When asked "how was your day?" I usually give a brief account or sweep things under the rug, and then focus on the person asking the question. David has forced me to talk about myself. Essentially, he is living through me. He takes comfort in hearing all about my day with the grandkids, at the hairdresser, the garage, the grocery store, the library. Simple everyday life.
He asks about the progress of my book; encouraging me to continue with the publishing process - not to neglect myself or my work to focus solely on him.

Last week I took a day off to go to the dentist and the hairdresser. These appointments were long overdue. It was time. The weather was strange. Strong winds and rain. We even got hail. Then the sun came out. More rain and wind. More sun. I spent the whole day out, ending up at the garden center. Came home in time to pop a chicken in the oven for dinner - a little later than normal, but with nobody home, it doesn't matter.

I noticed then that clocks were all wrong. In a flash I realized that the power must have been off while I was out. I panicked! My heart flip-flopped in my chest.
Then I relaxed.
David is safe - he's in the hospital. Their generators keep the electricity going.

How strange to think Hubby is safe in palliative care. Palliative care is associated with death, not life.


Cheryl said...

My dear Wendy......what a deep and meaningful post. Your acceptance of life and death is humbling.
I understand the closeness when someone is leaving.........perhaps as you say it is part of the process, part of the journey.

Know you are both very much in my thoughts......tonight I shall light a candle, as the day comes to a close.

Love and light......

Beth Niquette said...

Oh, Wendy. What you've written is beautiful. Profound. I hardly know what to write except to say you have deeply touched my heart this morning.

You are both in my prayers.

mxtodis123 said...

You have so touched my heart my friend. As the spouse of a man with terminal liver disease and emphysema, I cherish your words and the strength they provide me. My prayers are with you, my friend.

Shammickite said...

You are comfortable in anticipating the inevitable. I can hear acceptance in your words.
You have done everything possible to make life easier for your dear husband. There is no more you can do. He is in the right place, where he can get care 24 hours a day. I'm glad he is there, you have done enough. You need to save your strength for the next chapter of your lives.

Beverly said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts, Wendy. My love and prayers go out to you and your hubby in these days.

Hilary said...

Wendy, my heart goes out to you. You are a model of strength and acceptance. Hugs to you.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Wendy,

Such a beautifully written post, Wendy. And, no, not everyone becomes closer at the end. You have been given a wonderful gift, and I am in awe at the peace that I feel coming from you. You and David have been on my mind so much, and I will say an extra prayer for you both. I love hearing that you are taking care of yourself through this. That is so hard to do.

Hugs filled with love,

amelia said...

I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said.
You are a strong lady although I'm sure you don't feel strong all the time. You know what's coming and you are accepting of it but I'm sure when it's over it won't be easy.
Thinking of you and David with love and love and love...

beckie said...

Wendy, my thoughts and prayers are with you and David. You are a writer! What you have written conveys so much and so clearly. Please do keep working on your book.

Take care, dear Wendy. I will hlod you close in my heart.

white_lilly said...

I send my love your way, you are a wise and beautiful women and an encourage to everyone.

Rose said...

This is such a moving post, Wendy. I don't know what to say except that I continue you to keep you and David in my prayers.

I'm glad that David has encouraged you to keep writing, because you are so talented. It's not easy to write about something so close to one's heart, but your words really touch the reader.

Cloudhands said...

Thank you for your words that teach me things I may someday need to practice. I feel lifted up and blessed that you are willing to share your story. Your wisdom probably did not come easily or quickly but it is a shinning light of understanding and I appreiciate your insights.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Wendy, I haven't heard fro you in awhile ---and was thinking about you. Glad I checked your blog.

I am sorry to hear that the end is almost near for David. You, my dear, are a very strong lady. You have done what you have needed to do. God Bless You BOTH. Please keep me posted.

You and David are in my thoughts and prayers.

Q said...

Dear Wendy,
The road you walk is so very sacred. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. You have courage. You have great love.
May you know comfort in the love you and David share.
Sending joy...sending peace.
Thank you for being an inspiration.
I also will light a candle for you and David.
Love and light,

JeanMac said...

Sending love.

Grammy said...

OH Wendy, I read with tears. And I am so proud to be your friend. If even just in written words. I can not fathom the joy of love you have shared with him. I wish I had the words to comfort you but all I can do is send a virtual hug. I know your heart breaks. But peace will come, knowing he is out of pain. But I so wish for u comfort in knowing you are wonderful. you did your best. And he is blessed to have you in his life.

Cheryl said...

Dear Wendy....thank you for leaving a detailed comment on my blog.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you and David. Sometimes you come to me as I walk or work in the garden.
I am so pleased that David is finding strength, he is a remarkable man. May the healing garden show you both the way.

I am glad that you are able to enjoy the sunshine and flowers.
I believe that nature is one of the greatest healers and comes to those that are willing to receive.

Take care my friend......

onesilentwinter said...

this is one of the most beautiful heart breaking thing i have ever read, the tug, pull, release, let go. yet i recognize the feathering of your wings, the testing of your strength.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Dear Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear about your hubby. And as usual the way you write touches my heart. There were many times thoughts about you crossed my mind. The care-giving, the worries about several ifs...

Sending you love and prayers. Thank you for your message on my blog. Your words mean a lot to me. Take care...


Beverly said...

I cannot imagine what you are going through...I am glad you feel closer to him...time will come when you will cherish this...thinking of you...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.
i was just thinking today . . . about the time that will come for me and my hubby to part.
it is sad but it is all a part of lifes plan.

Sending you good thoughts,

Maggie May said...

A very moving post, that I somehow or other missed before.
My thoughts and prayers are with you both.
(((Hugs))) Maggie X

Nuts in May

Deborah said...

Love love love to you. That's all. Just all my love to you. Deb