Our Families Help Us Get Though Many Tough Spots

Truly believing Clo had only weeks to live, I am grateful that she has rallied forth a bit and is home from the hospital. This morning she showered, dressed beautifully, watered the garden, and went shopping with her sisters. Tonight she is tired of course.

I am enormously grateful to her sisters Marie and Louise for being here and helping with some of the responsibility, to say nothing of all of the cooking. How marvellous it is to have family, hers and mine. Again, we are so fortunate.

I am learning huge lessons from being in a relationship with a partner who is dying of cancer. There are ups and downs, uncertainty, and oh so very much kindness. I think she is dying. She says not yet. I am glad! I get scared. I feel relieved. I carry exhaustion and uncertainty as a constant companion. I have learned to know the feeling of the sacred moments of honoring her as she transitions into whatever it is she has in mind for what comes next. I have learned to forgive myself when I feel overwhelmed and tired of it all. Did I REALLY sign up for this? Maybe. Probably. Even if I didn’t, sometimes life delivers things we don’t think we are prepared for. We gallop fast to learn how to do the job, hopefully with panache. When the unexpected and unwanted happens we can choose to shy away from the challenge and allow our fear to control us. Or, we can call ourselves to action and learn and grow and overcome even those things that feel insurmountable.

It sometimes feels like a gut clutching roller coaster ride to witness the swiftness with which Clo can go from total fatigue to amazing energy. I send out the word that she is languishing in bed, has not gotten up or even eaten. And the next think I see is she is in the garden and THEN goes shopping. Sometimes I think I am telling lies when I see her not doing well. Other times I have great respect for the effort I know it has taken her to come forth and join life again for a while. I find myself wanting to shout, “Stop. You are doing too much. You can’t do that.” But I pull back and realize it is about me not her. I am afraid she can never again do the gardening and the shopping and the cooking she so loves to do. When I see her doing just that, I weep again knowing it won’t last long enough.

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