There is a Story
leaves with beauty in their death
carpet the forest floor
layer on layer each year
brilliant reds and oranges
fade to browns
return to the earth
ornament the needles
of a sapling in the woods
there is a story here
of death and new life
an old story retold
the trill of a bird
sweet and short
a soft reminder
of joy in the morning
there is a story here
“We were not standing, hands clasped, weathering the storm together. He was living the storm and I was standing by, desperately, unsuccessfully, trying to bat away individual rain clouds to get to him.
Somehow, the universe had succeeded in pulling our hands apart.
...And the truth was, whether I was wife or caretaker was never as important as whether I meant the words I’d said to him all those months before: we were in this together, no matter what. ” – Elaine Roth
My last post, Everything tells a story: Amazon , is like me trying to “bat away individual rain clouds”. When I was packing up before we left Birmingham he told our daughters I was “busier than a one-armed paper hanger”. One of his old, favorite expressions. And I was. And I wonder, should I have slowed down? Should I have spent more time just sitting quietly with him? But, I felt I had to keep going. I had to get it done because he couldn’t. Then the girls came as reinforcements, yet I still plowed ahead. We had to go. We had to get to Jacksonville. There was no magic cure there, but there was hope. And a longing to be home.
We made it there. He struggled on for a month, wrapped in prayers. He sat quiet for hours, unable to do much more than let us poke him with needles and try all the protein concoctions we used to tempt him to eat. I don’t know if he was lost in his thoughts, in prayer, or just zoned out. I do know he never lost his gentleness or his need for me. I just hope I was there enough.
Little reminders just keep popping up everywhere I turn. And I delve in, trying to remember what was such a blur. As I peruse my amazon back orders, a story emerges. A story of a fast downward spiral.
May 7: Roho Cushion. Chuck’s pressure ulcer developed from sitting in my little recliner for much of the day. And his body just could not heal. It bothered him as much or more than anything else he had to deal with those two months.
May 12: Men’s slippers. I ordered them because all he could wear were his slippers as his feet were swelling. His slippers were pretty ragged, so I though new ones were a good idea. They ended up being too tight and he didn’t wear them. But, Leah has them now and makes good use of them.
May 18: Shower chair. We only ended up using this twice. He just didn’t shower, but he didn’t really need to.
June 3: Compression socks. His legs and feet were so swollen. These helped a little.
June 4: 12 packs of cleansing cloth wipes. I still have about half of these packs. And I think of him, every time I use one.
The story here was of a desperate attempt to slow down something that just wouldn’t be abated. An attempt to ease the pain of someone I loved so dearly.