Monday, April 14, 2008
Seven Hundred Sixty Six Days
I haven't been able to say much lately, today turns into tomorrow, again and again, over and over. Tomorrow, the 15th, marks the official turn of the page, six months. Six months since my beautiful girl passed to the other side, and left me here to find out where I stand, or more like-- why I stand.
Those two years that I was my wife Barbara's caretaker were the longest years of my life. 766 days in all. From the awful day on September 9th 2005 when Barbara told me she had been diagnosed with liver tumors, to her passing on October 15th 2007. Seven hundred and sixty six days.
Those were long days, long and drawn out, days that sometimes never ended, sometimes days that haunt me still.
Since then the six months have passed, all too fast, like a blur compared to the slow motion life I was fettered in. Lots of things have happened, most notably I found a new love, thanks to fate, thanks to Barbara's guidance. And many MySpace friends and loves that cross all boundaries, my angels, devils, my inspirations, and my muse that guided me and kept me out of the abyss.
Still in those 766 days there are so many memories I would not trade in for all the money sent to China, but there were some days that were terrible, some days that were harrowing, some days that were out of the Twilight Zone, some days in heaven. Many, many days were hell on earth.
But all those 766 days SHE endured the pain, and discomfort, and humiliations of losing one's control of one's body at times that broke her down. Barbara suffered bravely knowing that the odds were stacked against her. But she fought so hard, and never gave in, she wanted to live so much. And I wanted here to be with me. Our rertirement plans, dashed on the rocks like a flimsy raft made of logs lashed together with improper binding. But all that smashed apart and the logs floated away..... out with the tide, like the light out of her eyes that Monday afternoon, 2:00 p.m. in the hospice center.
It was my honor to be with her when she passed, she saw me, even though her eyes had been closed for days, but she opened them at the last. I felt startled that something was happening, I was all alone in the room with her. She simply stopped breathing and her heart stopped. I sobbed there by myself, I guess I had kept some in reserve, because there wasn't much time not to cry during those days, but there are always more tears.
So I turn back to those last days, the goodbyes, the whispers of I love you at night sleeping as best I could next to her, the 766 days before, the trauma, the love, the anger, the issues, the bargaining, the failure, the gifts my work, family, and friends gave with their love. I struggle back to the days of insanity where Barbara lost her sodium, and lost her mind, and took it out on me, how I was insane too. How toward the end days I was so exhausted that time did not matter, it was simply day or night, time to sleep in between the trips to the bathroom, the meals, the cleaning, the medicines, the shots, the appointments, the bed sores, the horrible constipation that comes from morphine, the laundry, the sheets, the pillow cases, all seven to nine of them.... the moments of trying to have fun.. our last days our anniversary.... but always we tried to find time to laugh. Lewis Black made us laugh, Old Saturday Night Live reruns, an occaisional funny movie. She loved "A Night at the Museum", just because our house is our museum, and her toys, and my toy soldiers could dance or bicker all night while we slept.
All these things live in me, and I think about how I stand now... better. Not great, but better. A good sign is that I am almost off my meds... almost. Soon though... and the anniversaries and soul searching will spread out. It was one week, then one month, then three months, now six. Soon it will be a year, soon 766 days will have passed God willing that I stay on the planet. I guess I will. I am on my two feet, I stand proud in her memory, I move on knowing that I carry her with me forever, I stand where I was, and I also move.
I love you still- my Honey Pie- in the sky.. fly.. fly like that blue butterfly, I see you faintly, but I will always see you in my heart.