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If only... We knew what to do, why didn't we just do it?

Hoogenakker
Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2012

Other short stories about cancer, grief and loss here
http://hoogenakker.net/ feel free to share - Steve

Teri’s dad, Don has a certain way around small kids. Whenever a toddler or baby was crying, no matter where we were, Don could take the baby up in his arms and within a matter of minutes, the baby was quiet and usually asleep.
I asked Teri about it once because she had that same ability. As most of you know, Kids loved Teri mama, just like they love her dad, Don.

It turns out that Don passed the secret on to Teri. Not so much a secret as an understanding.
See, what they would do is cradle the baby’s head in the crook of their left arm and tuck the baby’s right arm under their left arm, so the little one’s arm was pressed against Don’s ribs. That wasn’t all of course. The baby was held VERY securely and tight. He couldn’t move. Don’s right arm flexed and making contact along the entire length of the baby, a little rocking and shhhh’s and it worked like magic.

As I think about what could have been different over the last year, there was one thing we never did. We both knew what to do, but because we were always honest with each other, I know we both felt like doing this wasn’t in tune with our ne’er said honesty pledge, but sometimes we have to fake it til we make it.

What’s the one thing? Teri and I BOTH needed to be held by each other every once in awhile VERY tightly with full body contact and whisper into each others’ ears, “Everything is Going to be Alright” over and over and over again. Maybe til the other fell asleep, or their breathing slowed and deepened. Wow! Simple, powerful, an eternity of comfort with a few words. Why we didn’t take the few minutes to do this, when it would’ve provided comfort for an eternity, I don’t know.

Does the statement stand up to scrutiny? No!
Does it stand up to logic in the face of certain death? No.
Can you then follow up with questions and doubts? No.
Don’t lessen the magic, there will be plenty of time for worry. Just be engulfed by the glow of the moment and let your comfort work it’s way deep into your loved one. Or harder still, to calm the inner child inside of yourself, and not to squirm, as you are the one accepting of the love and comfort.

See, even in the face of death and an uncertain future,

You Never Lose the Right to say Everything is going to be Alright to the one you love.

david54
Posts: 115
Joined: Apr 2009

Very powerful. I will forever remember the last day of my wifes life. I had returned from work and she needed help to the bathroom. I got her in the wheelchair and halfway there her head tilted back and she was gasping for air. I told her "It's going to be okay. It's okay. It's okay."

I was really upset. I got her back to the couch and propped her up. She died 30 minutes later with the hospice nurses with me at her side. If they had not arrived at that moment, it would have been so much tougher.

We used to play this little "Game." She would ask me to rub her sore back after chemotherapy and I would say "Oh why should I?" She would smile and reply "Because you love me."

I would playfully say "How do you know?" She would simply respond "Because I just do!"

And I would rub her back, sore legs, feet. I would get her a warm water bottle that brought comfort to her belly bloated with tumor.

For me those were some of the most intimate moments in our marraige.

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

David,
You sound like you were a great hubby like mine was. The last day of his life seemed like an okay day till he went upstairs at about 10:00 that night. Because he had lung cancer and from the chemo, his voice was hoarse. He soon pounded on the bathroom floor and I ran upstairs to find him hemmoraging with a look of terror on his face. All I could do was help him lie down when he started to collapse. I screamed & went to call 911. I was hysterical, and always wonder if I could have revived him, but instead just ran to the front door to see if the ambulance was coming. I regret not knowing this would be the end and telling him I loved him, although he knew I did. There are so many "what ifs" in my mind and even though he died that night, Mar. 25, 2010, I still miss him and find tears flowing occasionally.
We were married for 46 years and the emptiness I feel is horrible. I hate being alone and having to be responsible for everything. I find myself being jealous when I see couples together. Does this happen to you?? I miss the back rubs, head rubs & foot massages too.
Hope you're doing okay. "Carole"

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Carole and David
Nice to see you posting. It is the good memories we have to remember. Not the sad cancer journey ones. We all as caregivers did the best we could for our loved ones. I read your date of your husband's passing carole, and thought....wow, 6 days after my dad passed. March 9, 2010. And David, you were a wonderful husband, and to this day a wonderful man. Lets not do the "guilt" game. You know we took care of our love ones, and you know we loved them and they loved us. My mom looks at pictures of she and my dad and says, "awww, there is dad on his motorcycle..i miss him." I say, "yes mom, there you are with dad on his motorcycle....I remember this day, you both had so much fun, and we all laughed that day." Remember that? She said....oh yes, that is true....thank you for reminding me! Dad used to leave her notes some days hiding on the tp roll ( of all places! that is funny!). I leave her notes now too, hidden where she has to find them, her response is...this makes me sad, because daddy used to leave me notes. I say, Mom! That is a great memory to have! You loved getting his notes. Think of how happy it made you feel to find those notes. She says, Oh yes....thanks for reminding me! See what I am saying? Hope this helps all of you. Coming here sure has and will continue to help me. Many hugs.
Tina in Va

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