This is a repost from Healing Art A Wife's Journey Through Her Husband's Cancer and Into His Death, the blog I kept through both of Art's cancers and after he died.
I have made a few edits, but for the most part, it's still the same. This is where I was today, 11 years ago.
Photo: March 5th, 2009
“Where should I go?” Art asks. He’s standing in the living room, on his crutches. Chemo fog having lifted a bit this morning. He wants me to tell him where to sit, the front living room or the family room. I look at him and start to cry. This morning, I can’t figure that out for myself and now I need to do it for you? I slam my office door, him on one side me on the other. I slam my head against the wall. Great….I just hurt a sick man. Now I feel f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c! The guilt rises and as I open the door and see his face, my anger takes over. I have to choose between his needs and mine. Feels like I’ve been doing that for a really long time. His needs always come first. The duty-fucking-ful wife. And now, when I’d like to be able to choose, with love, to care for him, I find myself resentful and full of anger...again! I reach in, groping for the peace, the calm, the will to get through one more day, to get through this moment. And all I feel is dry, grainy sand. My well is empty. “You can’t give from the well if the well is empty.” I made up that saying to help new mothers. Now I have to listen to my own advice. My well is empty, bone dry. Been living on sludge and grime, scraping the residue from the walls, fooling myself into believing that it will be enough and I’ll find the water source tomorrow. Tomorrow. Now, I have no idea on how to get the waters to flow again. I don’t have the energy to figure it out. No idea what I need. No idea what will help. No idea. And I’m drowning. But I really, I won’t drown. I remember my ancestors, chained to the innards of a boat, lying in their own filth, not enough slack in their chains or room to sit up. They survived. They watched their spouses come near to death too. They watched their partners die too. From that image, I draw strength. The answer that echoes inside of me? The answer I imagine some of them had the courage to give?
“I don’t know. Just hold my hand. We'll find a place.” After I write this, I go to him and extend my hand. Thankfully, he takes it and together we end up in a place together.
P.S. I could use some comments tonight. Fill my well.
That was where I was 11 years and one day ago. I feel like that was someone else's life. Ha...it was.