Snippets of Life

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I have just a few minutes this morning before I get on a scheduled business call; a few minutes to dump into perspective all sorts of moments from the last couple of weeks.

Dave is changing. Until I could admit that the many little snippets of information coming to me equals change, I have just been gathering data bits for my brain file. There is nothing remarkable about his vital signs, or most recent nurse’s visit. Yet, there is a change.

And, there is not a change. Dave is still Dave: clarity, talking, thinking. Being here.

Since Thanksgiving, I can see more now with sudden hindsight: A couple of conversations that are not logical. Sleeping more. Fading out, with eyes not quite closed. Awakening with a startle.  Involuntary twitches emanate from his arms. His body is slowing down. We talk less, touch more. Lots of back rubs. And, well, last night his right foot became swollen. Change in his circulation.

My tears and anxiety are growing again. I am becoming restless with lack of control. I don’t get a choice. His death is inevitable, but not necessarily or immediately imminent. (How long is imminent?) I’ve prepared, but I’m not ready.

Like childbirth – prepared, but not ready. I remember standing in the hospital elevator on the way down to the birthing room, Dave by my side. A wave of contractions overtook my body. I reached out to steady myself against the moving wall clutching Dave’s arm. Breathe. No choice. This baby was on its way, ready or not! Even with all the preparations, I could feel that I was merely a spectator and a vehicle. Primal. Nature was in control. Leah arrived in this world less than an hour later.

His changes are accumulative. And this is the first tipping point away from us in recent months, I’m afraid. Nature is in control.

I’ve tried to keep the changes at arm’s length. How do you not be an alarmist but keep everyone informed? We don’t really know, or, do we?

When I take the time to listen to myself, I do know.

I remember a snippet of a dream overnight. There was lots of day residue, with many layers of content like “peeling an onion” I’m thinking this morning. Peeling an onion was I phrase I wrote yesterday. Obvious day residue! Whenever I dream of wandering through a building, as I did last night, I am addressing change in my life. There were image clues that extended through lifetimes –mine, Dave’s and ours – hidden like little treasures in a few moments of dreaming. The building was my elementary school. Lessons of life are before me.

When my dreams spill over into consciousness, it is important for me to listen.

Will you call me up on the phone (when you are on the other side)? Just let the phone ring so I know you are there? He reminded me about all the calls over the years just to say “I’m thinking of you.”  I’ve always loved his phone voice. His radio voice.  I’m so glad we have recorded his voice.

I’m not going to worry about being strong. No one should have to be strong right now. I think it is simply time to be. Bring on the tears, the laughter, the new and old memories. We’ll take this one day at a time for however many snippets remain; however long a snippet is.

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