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 relax.....in 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 knew.....one 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