Sunday, September 4, 2016

Never Prepared.....

Two years ago, tonight, was the last night we had you with us. The house was full of family and friends......I had called everyone you had told me you wanted to be here at "the end." Your children, your grandchildren, your siblings, special cousins and friends. You were always such a private person....that was so unlike you to want everyone around you.

I remember, so vividly, the night we put you in hospice.......I didn't realize that the time you had left.....with us......was so short. (We had been to so many doctors in the past few weeks, I am still unable to fathom that one of them didn't have the nerve to tell us you were in the "final stages.")

I will always remember something you said to me......"Mama (that's what you had begun to call me), I must be dying.....you've called everybody to come home." I didn't lie to you........there was no point. You had called each of your siblings just a couple of weeks earlier and said your goodbyes....you told them you were dying. You didn't tell me that same thing.....because I'm sure you knew I would try to "talk you out of it." I had often said "you won't die, on my watch"......even though I had absolutely no control over what was about to happen.

A diagnosis of cancer isn't always a death sentence.....many forms are curable.....but yours wasn't. It was treatable, but not curable. You responded quickly and well to the treatment and almost immediately you were in remission. However, the treatment that put your cancer into remission damaged other organs and brought great pain. From before your diagnosis, when you sprained your back playing golf in North Carolina, you were in pain......we were to learn that it was one of the "benefits" of your type of cancer as well as of the treatments.

The day you were given the diagnosis of cancer you were also given a prognosis......."you probably have five years." You focused on that number......and you didn't make it that long. I wonder if the prognosis had been ten years.....would you have lived longer?

You lived with constant pain and a regular routine of controlled substance meds to attempt to assuage the pain and keep it under control. You weren't ready to leave us but you were ready to die to relieve the pain and suffering. We weren't ready to give you up, but we were ready for you to no longer suffer and for you to finally know some peace. Your quality of life had become more important than the quantity of days you had remaining.

Our family had been preparing, for this moment, from the time of your initial diagnosis......and we learned, at the moment you took your last breath, there is never enough time to prepare to say a final goodbye to one we love.

Tomorrow, while Labor Day is being observed by others.....it will be a day of observance, in this house.....the day when you left the arms of those who loved you and awoke, in the arms of Jesus. It won't matter how many days, weeks, months, or years pass.......you will forever be in our memories and in our hearts.......and we will continue to relive the last week that we spent......with you.

Loving you always........missing you forever......and we would have never been prepared for what was to come.










#MultipleMyeloma #LaborDay #Remembering #BeingPrepared #Hospice #TheFinalWeek
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