Another Gift Appears

Monday, August 29, 2011

I feel a need to check in with myself this morning. I’m not sure if I have much to say.

How am I doing?

My mind is on more on my health this very second rather than Dave’s. His has been determined, mine is still a guess as we sort through my balance issue. (Nature is funny in its poetry — a woman off-balance.) Yet, his is declining. I can feel it as much as see it. There are subtle changes. The nurse indicated there is less air flow in the right lung than in previous weeks. Changes.

I hear my writer’s voice trying to dictate this rather than my deep emotional voice that is the better writer. I am fighting myself here. The flow is much better when I let go.

What I’m I holding on to? The face of keeping it all together? Staying strong in the face of death?  The brand and message of Storybooks for Healing? All of the above?

I feel strong, but there is still a heart breaking below the surface. The further we travel this timeline the more I want to have control over destiny. I want this all to be perfect, whatever that means. I feel like crying when Dave doesn’t like his food, as if I could make it taste better, or as if I could have served it differently. I have that edge of tears that can spill out at any time, from feeling worn out, usually at the end of a day. It is difficult to revitalize. And at the same time I awaken to fresh thoughts and ideas.

I can see that everything is magnified for Dave. His is with his thoughts solely all day long. Or he is sleeping, and dreaming his thoughts. He is working through the truth that he is retired. No more need for his curriculum. He still loves an audience. But he can’t sustain the hours of talk any longer. Words and names have begun to elude him occasionally, clearly creating angst in the moment. His ties to being needed loosen.

Dawn and Richard have taken the task of sorting through Dave’s personal school papers with him. This is very important and a great relief to me that this is being completed.  But I wonder if I am supposed to be doing this. Not because I am better at it or more able, but because it is part of the puzzle of who Dave is, and his legacy. It fills in the years I wasn’t in his life.

But a life belongs to all of us who come in contact. I know that I am just one of his stories, as he is mine, albeit, a long chapter in each of our books. We are concentric drops in a pond that the ripples overlap. Some of his years belong to others. His kids need to uncover the man they call Dad. I can see that happening during this time on hospice. Another gift appears.

I have to stand out of the way.

I am immersed in my work as Dave sleeps. I am making progress on the projects I set into motion six months ago thinking I’d be finished in two. I try to be patient. I am living in my new normal of today. I am learning to share, not just in the stories told but in their gathering and discovery. Another gift appears.

2 replies
  1. Marty Tousley
    Marty Tousley says:

    My dear Joan, my heart hurts for you as you continue working your way through this impossibly challenging time. Please take good care of you, and remember to just breathe. You are in my thoughts and prayers . . .

  2. joan
    joan says:

    Good morning, Marty!
    I’ve only been awake a few moments but your kind words have started my day with gratitude. Thank you. You make a difference as you give such kindness to so many of us out here in blogosphere.


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