Tuesday, May 28, 2013

His voice & the forgotten video

I came across a video from my phone of the day John came home with hospice (in December, just days before Christmas) when the kids came home from school and realized he was home and got to see him AT home for the first time in nearly 2 months. They had seen him in the hospital a handful of times once he was transferred back to our city but he hadn't been home since the diagnosis.  It had been some 50-odd days or so since he had returned to our home.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Memories that leave you feeling broken

I was driving to work this morning, and my mind wandered to the place it usually does- thinking about John in some capacity.  Sometimes I think about things he did or said, or our life together, or how much I miss him, or I think about when he was sick....just kind of wherever my mind wanders.

Today I was thinking about how its been over a year since he first started complaining about his arm hurting and went to see the neurologist.  The whole year or so played out in my head, all the way to the point at which he died.  And while I know all of this is VERY real, a small voice in my head said in disbelief "There's no way that actually happened."  It all still feels like some very weird dream.  But nearly immediately after that passed through my mind, a bigger voice in my head immediately reminded me that OH YES, it had indeed happened and yes, my husband suffered for so long with a misdiagnosis and yes, once he was diagnosed it was too late (although we didn't know that at first...) and he did die and he isn't ever coming back.  Cue the waterworks and the feeling of my heart sinking in my chest.

I remember almost everything all too well...

And just like that...

Its been 15 weeks.

I want this back.  I WANT MY LIFE BACK.  I know I cant have it…but I’d give just about anything to have it back.

We used to feel like a family. We WERE a family.  Now we just feel like a fractured, empty shell of one.  It always- ALWAYS- feels like someone is missing.  But that’s because someone is.  Every “family” thing we do, every “family” picture we take…it feels like someone is screaming a reminder at me that something is wrong, someone is missing. But that’s because someone is.

At least if he was alive, I could see his face or hear his voice.  I think anything would be better than this.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A favorite picture

This is probably one of my favorite pictures from the time during John's illness.  Its also one of the pictures that make me cry the most.

John frequently had to remove his wedding ring during his illness- even from that night I brought him to the ER.  Between the 4 surgeries in 6 weeks, the frequent MRI's or other scans, treatments, therapies, or even his 3 radio surgeries (radiation) he often had to remove his ring and give it to me to hold for safe keeping.  John's hands and fingers were much larger than mine and his ring was huge, even on my thumb.  I took to wearing it on a chain around my neck so that I wouldnt lose it.  I frequently would have the ring for days at a time, especially when he would have surgery and be in ICU and couldn't wear it. 

But he would always ask for it back when he was able to wear it again.  I always loved putting it back on his finger, just like the day we got married.

One day after I put it back on him, I snapped this picture. 

8 years and counting, I thought. 

I had hoped we would make it maybe to 9, or maybe even 10. We still believed he could receive some treatment @ MD Anderson at that point that would prolong his life somewhat.  Any amount of additional time wouldve been precious.

I wish we had been right.

These days, his ring is on that same chain I wore, hanging from his urn.  My engagement ring sits in a jewelry box, waiting to be given to my daughter one day as a memento. I've moved my wedding band to my right ring finger.

It never stops looking so out of place on the wrong hand.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The only one (for the most part, anyway...)

Something I've discovered in these 3 months as a widow is that it really is SO easy to take for granted having a partner in your life who helps out with things. They always were there and you probably never thought twice about how much easier life used to be in that aspect.

When your partner passes away, it turns out that there are many, many situation in which you end up being "the only one" able to shoulder the burden because you are the only one LEFT.

Side note: have I ever mentioned I hate the word "widow"?  I do. I loathe it.  I know its what I "technically" am, but I just hate the word. Or maybe I don't hate the word so much as I hate that the word applies to ME.  How can I be a widow?? I'm only 31. But damn it if that isn't the cards I was handed and the life I am living...life is full of surprises and they aren't always good ones.  Sometimes those surprises are the stuff nightmares are made of.

Moving on...

If there is no struggle, there is no progress

Last week at work, we had a client come into our office.

The last time I had seen him was during the time John was still in the hospital and we had spoken briefly about John's illness and he was very nice and said he had been thinking of us.  I was in @ work so little while John was sick that I had not seen him since.

So when he came in, naturally he asked me "How is your husband doing?"