Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Painful Reminder

This past Sunday I took an all too familiar trip to the Oncology floor at the medical center here in Augusta. Any trip to the hospital since 12-13-2013 has been difficult for me, let alone a trip to the floor treating so many cancer patients. This one was especially hard as it brought back so many painful memories from when I had to say goodbye to the one I love.

It was around this same time 2 years ago that I was sitting in training at work and received a phone call from you that I will never forget. My heart sank as I heard the fear and pain in your voice as you told me the results of your biopsy. I could not speak for a moment just standing there in shock while everything stood still in my world as if trapped there in that painful moment trying so hard to grasp what was going on and if it was real. Hiding my fear I managed to promise you that everything was going to be alright and that we could & would get through this.

After eight long months of back to back appointments, surgeries, ER visits, treatments and many sleepless nights we ended up in the hospital once again. Little did we know, that this would be the last time. Even then, after being admitted again for about the fourth time in a very short period of time, my optimism had not faded. I know you were scared, and I was scared sick unable to eat or think straight and running on a few hours up restless shuteye every night on the cold couch next to your hospital bed. I managed to hide my fear from you the best I could.  I spent so many hours in that room holding your hand as I looked out the window wondering how everything outside was continuing on with out missing a beat while our lives trapped inside this hospital room seemed to have been turned upside down as time stood still.

It was not until you lost full capability to communicate with me that I was told just exactly how severe your condition was and this is something that I struggle with every single day. I find so much comfort in notes that you have given me in the past as well as text messages and have saved all that I could find so that I can look back at them. It tears me up inside thinking that we could have had the chance to say goodbye had we known that would have been our last opportunity, and what you would have said. I would give anything for those words and have prayed many nights that they would come to me in the form of a dream. I've never questioned your love for me but I guess in your absence I have longed for the comfort in a last goodbye and expressing our love for each other as well as your wishes for me in the future. All of these thoughts flooded my mind on the drive home from the hospital and without realizing it I turned off route headed to the cemetery to sit and talk with you. Theses visits provide me with strength after letting out a good cry and a chance to reminisce. After almost a full week of overcast skies and lots of rain, the clouds parted with the sun shining full force almost at the very instant I left from my little visit. Thank you love, this brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart that I needed today.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beach Wedding

This weekend I drove down to Hilton Head Island to stand beside two very good friends of ours, as they exchanged their vows with one another. This wedding was supposed to be in June originally but due to a recent diagnosis and treatment plan, it was moved ahead of schedule. My heart sank when I heard our dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. The same good friend that was by my wife's side throughout the duration of her battle against melanoma.  Not only was she a huge support to my wife but also to me when I needed a shoulder, a crutch or just an ear to listen to my cries for help or mercy.

Standing next to these two as they exchanged their vows through falling tears, was so beautiful and emotional all together. There were very few dry eyes in the crowd as there heart felt words were read. Their outlook on life and all around them has changed since starting this fight, which is a feeling I know all to well. Some things that were important before no longer carry the same weight, while other things that were not as important to you before carry much more value and meaning. I often wonder if we had insight to adversity or an oncoming storm in our lives how much would we change the way we live or rearrange our priorities. Would it prevent us from becoming complacent, comfortable with simply just being "OK" and would it push us striving to do good and truly live as if tomorrow was not promised.

Since losing you there have been moments that I have been so driven to push harder and do things I have always put off but also moments of crippling weakness that try to disrupt any progress made. One year and four months ago the thought of the future was so scary to me that I avoided it like the plague but standing here now looking back it is not the scary darkness that it used to be. I am still learning to deal with the waves of grief and emotion that roll in at unexpected times trying to knock you down time and time again.

This beach wedding was so good for my heart and I know that you were there with us at the ceremony as well as the reception where I busted out my dance moves you loved so much. I still have two left feet without a doubt, just ask Russ. Jesse's girl was requested by the beautiful bride as she asked me to dance. I was surely missing my beautiful plus one this weekend but I promise you that I was not the only one thinking of you. You are and will always be thought of as well as missed by many my love.