Earlier this week I wrote about being ready and I got an awesome response from a friend of ours who is going through a similar journey as us.
"I hope that you are NOT ready. As we have said this is an ugly road that you and I have to travel, even as many others have travelled it before us. In Shadowlands CS Lewis is quoted as saying the joy now is worth the pain then, as he was talking to his wife. He knew the path ahead and was willing to pay the pain of sorrow and bereavement for the joy of his time with his wife.
We are both married to very special people. I think they deserve our unflinching devotion just when they need it the most (I doubt I am telling you anything new!!!!). But this has been my hardest struggle. To not act for myself. To not be ready. To not start preparing myself to be alone. That way (for me) leads to distancing yourself from the one who needs and deserves your complete emotional dedication. It's harder for us because we can't avoid the pain, they don't deserve us acting in self interest."
And he is so right. Our loved ones who are suffering deserve our unflinching love, support, care and attention. Yet it is such a fine line because slowly but surely you are being prepared for when you'll be alone. Slowly over time you take on more and more responsibilities that once where not yours to worry about. And as Roy draws ever closer to being with the Lord, I can't help but try to mentally prepare for life without him as much as I hate that notion, and yet, the reality is that I still wont be ready when the time actually comes.
Which got me to thinking about the 'other side' of the the coin - our loved ones are also probably unknowingly preparing us for life alone too. As the disease progresses and the drug load gets heavier they are no longer able to provide so many of the things they once did. I'm not talking about the everyday helping a round the house things but the intimacy that couples share with each other on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. These things slowly slip away. Connections are broken and the relationship changes even if the underlying love doesn't.
To see Roy suffering, loosing weight, dry retching, being exhausted beyond belief and unable to walk unaided breaks my heart and yet I savor the time we have left however long or short that might be and I will continue to give him all the care, love and support that I can for as long as I am able.
Quick update on this past week:
This past week Roy has slept a lot more - some of that was getting over the busy weekend we had last weekend and some of it is the tiredness caused by the cancer. When he sleeps it isn't really a restfully sleep as he twitches a lot and has very vivid dreams that to him seem very real and are caused by the meds he is now on. Roy has no pain which is a huge blessing, although having said that he did complain today about his sciatic nerve playing up so that might be something to watch and discuss with the hospice nurse when she comes on Tuesday.
Yesterday Ryan and our grand-daughter Inge came down and the four of us went out in the afternoon to watch Joel play soccer which was a lovely outing and the first for Roy this week. Today we went to Church which Roy actually found incredibly exhausting. Richard, Aimee and Noah come for a visit after the service which was really nice. It's been another busy but enjoyable weekend.
Inge is staying with us for the next 4 days so I really should head to bed as I expect her to be up between 6 and 7 tomorrow morning. :0(
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and for all the encouragement and support we continue to receive.
Till next time
Love and blessings
P:S I have some photo's of the reunion weekend which I'll try and post this week ;0)