HAP Posted August 10, 2014 Report Share Posted August 10, 2014 Dear friends, Forty-four months. Forty-eight months. Twenty-five years. The anniversaries swirl around me tonight like building winds. I can talk about wanting to move forward. I can even take small steps in that direction—a thing I could not have imagined even two months ago. But the next 23 days I walk through the debris of a shattered life while I try to rebuild my loving soul. Forty-four months ago, Jane closed her eyes one last time. Forty-four months ago, she breathed for the last time. Forty-four months ago I tried to catch the final breath from her lips. Forty-four months ago, a part of me died—and the part that remained was so damaged that had I not made promises, I would have let the rest of me follow my wife’s body into the grave. Forty-eight months ago tonight, we had returned from our final vacation together. Forty-eight months ago tomorrow, we went in for Jane’s biopsy. Forty-eight months ago on Friday, we heard the word carcinoid for the first time. Forty-eight months ago on Friday, this long battle—this horrid Odyssey—truly began. The rest was only prelude. I hate losing. I have always hated losing. Jane hated losing. She always hated losing. Even in death, she refused to lose. Even after her death, I refuse to say we lost. She beat her cancer in the only way anyone ever has beaten this cancer when it is detected anything but so early it could not be detected other than by accident: she died and took it with her. That is a brutal thing to say, but I can only deal in truth tonight—and the truth is often brutal. It is easy to get caught up in those horrific final months. Watching someone you love gradually waste away—watching their world shrink to a yard to a house to a room to a bed to a coffin—rips your soul into confetti-sized pieces soaked in sweat and diarrhea. They do not float in the wind but fall to the floor in a sodden mass of stinking pain. And nothing helps—not conversation, not drugs, not alcohol, not religion or faith—nor any of the other nostrums the unknowing world pushes at you. I have endured because I have had to. I have been lost in this forest of grief for a very long time. But off in the distance I think I can finally see some small glimmers of hope. In 23 days, Jane and I would have celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary. Part of me is terrified by September 2. But part of me wants to embrace it—wants to reclaim the beautiful memories of that day. I can see the beautiful light that filled the church—a light of a hue and quality I have not seen since—and that no photograph could capture. I can see Jane, coming down the aisle toward me like a white pearl floating in that light. I can see the light dancing in her eyes—and in her eyes see that same light dancing in mine. I can feel the joy of that day and of so many of the days that followed. Those times have been closed to me these 44 months. I could not see them. I could not hear them. I could not smell nor touch nor taste them. But tonight I can sense their faint shadows in my heart—and those shadows give me hope. Forty-four months I have been becalmed here, famished and thirsty. Tonight, I smell rain in the air and sense a rising wind. The sails rustle gently—and I dare to hope that I will again see land. Peace, Harry Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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