Wednesday, December 24, 2014

There's never enough time.........

Almost 4 years ago, when I was told that my honey had cancer, I thought it was one of the hardest days of my life. Little did I know, many other hard days would follow. Calling Hospice, a few days ago, was another. 

In June, when he almost died.....I begged God for more time. I should have been specific and asked for years. God has given us days, for which I was thankful, but I realize it would never have been enough.  I still think of things I wish I'd said or asked.....but one thing for which I'm thankful.....he knows how much he means to me and how much I love him. In one of his lucid moments during the first days, he looked at me and said "I love you"........

I sit on the foot of our bed and watch him as he begins to the hospital bed across the room. For a number of years now, he has called me "mama" - the same affectionate term my dad used for our mother. He calls out;  I get up and go to him but he just mumbles "mama, mama".  Over and over he says "I want to go home." He no longer understands that he's in our bedroom - in his own home. I soon begin to wonder if I'm really the "mama" he's calling out for.....or is it his own mama......calling him home?

We are surrounded by the love of family and friends during these hard days that seem to have enveloped this house. How fortunate we are to have chosen the Gentiva Hospice organization. What a caring, compassionate group of people. 

I have finally realized, during these years, I have existed in one or more of The Five Stages of Grief (Elisabeth Kubler Ross). I seem to float between anger (not at God), bargaining (with God) and depression (no explanation needed).

 I called him "my energizer bunny" - he could outwork and then outplay men half his age. I was angry with him - he was no longer able to do what he once could. Later, when he became unable to walk and had to be told to straighten his legs to stand, needed help getting out of and back into a chair, had to be dressed;  I was so angry. How could this have happened to my husband - to us? I was angry with him.....he had cancer!!! I was angry with myself because I wasn't better able to deal with it. I was (and still am) just angry.

This time, my bargaining with God isn't to allow us more time. My prayer is that God allows him to slip away, peacefully. I pray that he will soon be free of the pain and discomfort that has racked his body. The cancer has robbed him of his dignity and of his smile. I pray that one day both will be restored. Many years ago when my father had a massive stroke, an aunt told me "honey, don't pray for the wrong thing, there are many things worse than death." How often that memory has flooded my mind as my honey has sat, with no quality of life.

Before the hospital bed, when he slept in our bed.....I tried to "soak up" those moments.....because I day.....this would come......and I wanted to be able to remember every detail of how it had once been. The grieving process begins before the end actually comes.  The lump fills my throat and the tears fill my eyes as I do menial tasks while he sleeps......knowing that one day......I'll be doing them in an empty house.

We've had 54 years of marriage and 4 years to prepare for the day that will come.....but there's just never enough time to say goodbye. 

#goodbye #multiplemyeloma #Gentiva 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Finding My Spirit Guide

Nestled among the tall pine trees, deep in the woods not too many miles north of the thrills of Disney World, your destiny may await you. The town of Cassadaga, FL was formed by George Colby, a member of the Spiritualist religion in the late 1800’s.  He was searching for a place where his fellow Spiritualist could go to escape the brutal winters of the north.  Legend has it that his Indian spirit guide, Seneca, led him to this area because of the synergy, in the area. The name Cassadaga was adopted from a similar area in New York.  The camp, as it is called, sits on 57 acres owned by the Spiritualist church. In 1991, it was named a Historic District.

Going into the little community is like driving back in time. Most of the streets are sandy lanes and the houses, though well kept, are all wooden, white frame structures.  The houses are owned by the residents who are given a lifetime lease by the church. Most live in the camp during the winter and return to their homes, mainly in New York, in the summer to escape the southern heat.

Always interested in exploring the unusual, my cousin Teresa and I decided a trip to Cassadaga would be an adventure. On a beautiful fall afternoon, we sat outside the Purple Rose awaiting our time slot. It was one of the shops that sold books, stones, and tarot cards, and booked readings for several mediums. (We had chosen it because of the name!)  When our time came, we were led into a darkened room lit only by burning candles.  The medium that we had chosen spoke in soft, low tones.

I was told that I was creative, something at which my older daughter later chuckled. The medium asked if there was anything that I’d like to do.  When I replied that I’d like to write a book, I was told that I should start immediately and that I had a spirit guide who would help me with the book. (I surely wish he would appear when I’m attempting to write one of these articles!)  I was also informed that I would travel abroad, to the country where I had lived in my past life, and I would see the place where I had lived. We did travel abroad, but if I was ever where I had once lived – I didn’t recognize the place!!

I was also told that we would be invited to a family wedding in the Upper Midwest somewhere near, or in the direction of, Chicago during the next year.  My husband had an aunt and cousins in that area, but we’d never been close either physically or otherwise, so the idea of them inviting us to a wedding was nonsense – as far as I was concerned.  The following summer, I had a consulting assignment in Kentucky around the 4th of July holiday, I suggested to my husband that we make the trip in our motor home and turn it into a sort of working vacation. 

Our trek up through southern Illinois, took us near my husband’s aunt. He suggested that we stop and visit, since we were so close.  Upon arriving at her house, we found that four of her five children were there – to attend the wedding of one of her grandchildren.  Of course, we were invited to attend and we did.   I didn’t remember the Medium, and the “reading” from the prior year, until my daughter reminded me that I was fulfilling prophecies.

The final prediction also came true a few years later.  At the time, we were living in our retirement dream home, in Florida, on the banks of the beautiful St. John’s River.  The Medium had stated that we would leave Florida, and we would build a home west of Florida but toward Tennessee.  We owned property in Mississippi, the old home place of my family, but at that time we never had intentions of moving “back home.”  As was foretold, we sold the FL home, and I now enjoy my Mississippi Front Porch.

Many people use psychics and mediums to guide them through life. Ours was just a fun-filled afternoon of adventure even though some of the predictions, at which I had scoffed, later became reality.
I think I’m going to look for that Spirit Guide and get that book started………..

#Cassadaga, FL  #Mediums