after a long stretch of not so great days we were able to go to our favorite place to eat here locally, cracker barrel. getting out was nice, however, it made my “situation” even more evident to us both. after this short drive, about 15 minutes from our home, and the first solid food in 4 days i was so exhausted i could barely make it up the 2 short steps to our door.
regardless of how i feel physically the mental boost is intrinsically important to me. there are a few servers whom we have come to know and really care about over our years here. it may be an odd sort of relationship but i know they care about me and my lovely man. in return i feel they know we care about them and are genuine in our feelings for them as well. today was heartwarming and the holidays give me an excuse to be a little more open with my feelings for them. our server today was a very young woman named kacie. let’s just say she was not having a great day. usually our food is the standard fare that we can count on, today there were a few bumps in the road. not knowing us it is understandable that she would feel stressed. at the same time we were there she had a rather large table. i noticed she was gone off the floor for a bit and wondered if all was ok. just before we were ready to leave kacie came to our table and after i made an off-hand remark she shared that she had dropped a full tray and broken every plate.
i laughed and said good for you, if you are gonna break some plates break them all! she seemed a little unsure of my response but managed to smile and after a few more words thanked me for making her smile. as we were leaving i took a moment and said to her, “in life you are going to break some plates, don’t let it bring you down.” “when you reach my point in life you will look back and realize just how little this is in the scheme of your life.” she smiled but then said “your going to make me cry.” she then thanked me for taking the time to talk to her. as we were driving back home chris said “you gave her the bird bump.” now bird is that secret name that lovers keep for each other and not known by others. he went on to say that the world is a better place for having me and that he admired me for the way i tried to bring others up.
we have had some rough days this past week. he had oral surgery and i think it is difficult for him to realize that he doesn’t bounce back the way he did even a few short years ago. i had skipped my medication the day or two before so i would be able to get up and drive him. he had made a little fuss about he didn’t need me to drive him but now knows it was something he did need. this is the kind of thing that worries me about leaving. who will drive him to his dr appointments if he needs that?
one of our rentals is changing tenants and that can stressful. we were very fortunate that the current tenants are the kind of people who really have open hearts and have just been a blessing for us. they came along when we were having the most problems with another tenant and as a result one of the neighbors. greg just sort of took them on and has dealt with them during a time it would have been too much for us. i can usually handle this sort of thing but i have not had the energy to do much of anything. his wife karen works as a teacher and has a very busy life yet she finds the time to send me a text and ask if i am ok and do we need anything. i am hoping they know how much they mean to us and how much we appreciate them.
looking at this post i wonder if it is making any sense at all. the bottom line is we have been blessed with not only the love of family and friends, we have been blessed with people who have opened their hearts to us and make life just that much better. back at the restaurant we got hugs from a couple of our server friends and short conversations. rita was on her break so she sat down with us for a bit and it was just easy conversation. she told us if we needed her to feed our cats while in charleston she was not going anywhere and would be happy to do so. julia came by the table and chatted. a couple of years ago rita had a heart attack and julia stepped in to care for her, opening her home and it was never a big deal. i remember thinking how inspiring that was. while julia was trying to care for rita, rita was trying to care for someone else that was in need.
the friends that i have made here online with this blog have touched me deeply. these open hearts reaching out and offering words of kindness and support. some of you, you know who you are, have shared their own stories and inspired me in ways that keep me in awe of these open hearts.
it would seem that i may be coming closer to leaving this world. we are trying to do what we can while staying realistic regarding my illness. we have had more conversations that needed to happen. i want to thank al for that one. even writing this post is exhausting. i have to take pause and catch my breath. for now i am keeping the spirit hopeful and my heart open. at night i think if i don’t wake in the morning it’s ok. i am at peace within my heart, soul and mind. of course i would appreciate as much time as possible with my loves, i am grateful that i know it is ok to break a few dishes and that keeping an open heart means you are able to not only give but to receive the open hearts of others.
December 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm (Uncategorized) (angina, choice, congestive heart failure, death with dignity, disconnecting the defib, end stage congestive heart failure, giving caretakers a break, heart failure and exhaustion, how does it feel to die, implanted defibrillator, kidney failure, living will, living with dying, making memories, medical power of attorney, sisters, the conversation, waiting for the end)
last night we had a couple of friends over for dinner and one of the couples knows that i have stopped taking my meds, at least intermittently for now. just as we were getting ready to sit down greg asked if i was still not using my meds and how was that going. i quickly reminding him that was hush hush and he smiled with an apology. he believes this may be the best thing for me so that i can really enjoy these last days of my life.
as a result the first thing i thought of was this character. basically that is what i am doing. i am not getting a hamburger but i am getting something now and offering to pay for it later. of course he never had any intention of actually paying for his advance and i know that i can not avoid paying for my advance.
last night was a rare night for me and i want to give a lot of credit to my guests. they were two couples and just fun, low key people. they both brought us poinsettia plants which are my favorites and i was so grateful and excited. one couple brought actual how made cookies and they are delicious!! charlotte is definitely a great cook. her husband ken is one of the most kind men i have ever met and they are just interesting fun people to spend an evening with. everyone just stepped in and helped where needed. it was not a big deal although they all know that i am suffering from heart disease along with a few other organs going in to failure.
by the end of the dinner i could barely stand, walking, even sitting was shear torture but it was my choice and gladly chose this time with these particular people for a reason. in the end chris and i and will say how much fun we had and as they may be the last people we entertain there are no regrets.
at the end of the day i was so swollen and just in pain i could barely walk to bed. i couldn’t get my legs on the leg rest of the recliner. once everyone left broke down and started crying from the pain. by now i had taken 3 pain pills which is very rare for me. i tend to get a prescription for 30 oxycodon once a year. usually they last for the entire year and so it concerns me to take so many in one day. guess i will worry about this when the holidays are over.
i feel empowered knowing that i have friends who support my decision and will spend time with us without ever making me feel like i am dying. make no mistake i am getting closer. i feel it. the visits from those that have gone before have become more frequent. the bear is sometimes so close i can feel her breath on my face. she whispers of what it to come and how she just wants to be with me when the time comes.
the questions now are do i let him know and give him the option of being there or do i protect him and let him simply come to me when it is all over. can i wait until angie is here? if so how long after she arrives do i give it? if i get “better” how much “better; do i have to get to make it worth the continued suffering?
for now i am just concentrated on my sister getting here on saturday and going to charleston for christmas with all the family. now that is a great way to end your life. i am grateful that i have had all these conversations with my family and so they all understand my choice and what i am asking of them. i have the best family and friends. wowow i am so blessed!!!
much love to you all and to all a merry christmas:)
December 9, 2014 at 2:02 am (Uncategorized)
nice to have it all explained and layed out for some of us who have not understood what these were all all about. thank you Michelle W
Originally posted on The Daily Post:
As you explore the blogging community, you’ve probably seen bloggers whose sidebars are filled with awards. Maybe you’ve even gotten one of these yourself:
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There are vote-based programs like the Bloggies, but most of the awards that you get directly from other bloggers, like the “Sunshine Award” or “Versatile Blogger Award,” are created, maintained, and handed out by bloggers. That is, bloggers began them as a way to recognize other bloggers, and the community perpetuates them by continuing to hand them out.
Unlike the automated notifications and trophies you may sometimes receive when you see a spike in traffic or get a certain number of likes, these awards don’t come from WordPress.com —…
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December 1, 2014 at 2:52 am (Uncategorized) (congestive heart failure, end stage congestive heart failure, heart failure and exhaustion, how does it feel to die, living with dying, making memories, the dr. says, waiting for the end)
before getting to the big decisions that we are trying to make i want to take this time to tell you how special this thanksgiving was for me. it was difficult to have the conversation and tell him that i had stopped taking my medication. you’ve been there i’m sure, there’s this very important issue to talk about and you want to wait for the perfect time. in truth there is no perfect time for some conversations. how to say i want to do this so i can be a better partner and not have him feel guilty. i had just reached a point where i felt my life was not my life. to explain that this is about quality of life to the person who loves you and wants you to be here as long as possible is difficult to say the least.
for a few weeks before thanksgiving i decided to try cutting back on my meds to see if it would make a difference. cutting back did not seem to make enough of a change, i was still sleeping for 12 hours then taking a nap after being awake for a couple of hours. it was a struggle to stay awake or engage for more than a couple of hours at a time. the upside of that is when i am sleeping i am not in pain. the level of pain i experience on a daily basis is not something i talk about in general. one reason is because i don’t think my pain is worse than anyone else’s. the other reason would be i just don’t think talking about it is productive. so the down side of not taking my medication would be that i may be losing time from my future.
now that we are back i will be back on my meds for now. a week before my sister comes for her visit and we go to charleston for christmas. what happens after that i can’t really say for sure. no one really knows what lies ahead do they? oh, some things we know are going to happen. people will live and people will die. unless there is some disaster the sun will rise and set each day. the question is how you spend those hours each day and what is living to us as an individual?
there is not one day that i take for granted. each is a precious gift we are given. there is a pull to be comfortable even if that means sleeping most of the day. there is an equal or greater pull to be alert and spending as much time as possible with my love, family and friends. tonight we had a brief conversation about the defib and the question of turning it off. so far we have just left it on and will have to face this decision along with other’s for now. it’s one of those decisions that you hope to get right. if we turn it off too soon i may leave before i am meant to, if we leave it on too long then i will not go gently in to that good night.
this is where i leave you tonight. i welcome any advice or information you think i should consider. this thanksgiving could be the last one and i don’t regret my decision to stop the meds so i was able to have quality time with my loved ones. let’s hope it was the best decision medically. it was psychologically and emotionally.
November 24, 2014 at 12:33 am (Uncategorized) (choice, congestive heart failure, death with dignity, end stage congestive heart failure, heart failure and exhaustion, how does it feel to die, kidney failure, living will, making memories, the dr. says, waiting for the end)
one of the things i hate the most about this disease is the time it steals from us. it has been about 10 days since you said that you get lonely when i am sleeping. hearing that made my heart ache for you and the love i have for you just grew a little bit deeper. i wanted to hold you and tell you that you would never be lonely again. not being able to do that with honesty i made a decision to give you all i had.
to do this i not only have to push myself beyond what i have ever done before. the other decision i made was to stop my medication for a period of time to give you as many waking hours as possible. what good is it to live longer if i am sleeping through our life.
yesterday i had to go to urgent care, it should have been the e.r. . the dr was young and very kind. he gave me a shot for pain and a prescription for antibiotics along with a prescription for a non-narcotic pain medication. he also recommended that i go to the hospital. what went unsaid was i will not go to the hospital. aside from the pain and effects of not taking my meds i noticed my blood pressure was high and looking back it has been high for a few months.
i recognize that the high blood pressure along with the blinding headaches are my body telling me it is time to go back on my medication. part of my dilemma is we are going to charleston for thanksgiving and i want to be immersed in that experience. so do i continue to go without the meds and risk….
November 8, 2014 at 4:38 am (Uncategorized) (britanny maynard, congestive heart failure, death with dignity, end stage congestive heart failure, how does it feel to die, kidney failure, living with dying, our story, the dr. says, waiting for the end)
today i read an article by a woman with chronic fatigue syndrome. she has written three books about being a buddhist and having this chronic illness. she has done a lot of research and is outraged that after 14 years of being ill no doctor has been able to really give her what she considers an accurate diagnosis.
another blog i like to read was focused on new laws regarding hydrocodone. apparently she has been taking this medication for years and now is going to need to start all over with trials of pain medication.
last week a brave young woman with a brain tumor moved to oregon so she could qualify for the death with dignity law.
after reading these blogs i went on the internet to look for more information. it is my nature to be curious and care about the suffering of others. my entire adult life i have been in the medical and mental health field. in the army there wasn’t the kind of pressure to label everyone we saw.
when i read about diabetes or congestive heart failure it is amazing how many symptoms can be cross referenced.
for the past few days i have had stabbing, agonizing pain due to my kidneys. both diabetes and chf can cause this problem. like the woman with chronic fatigue syndrome i know that others may be compassionate, and though i appreciate that more each day , unless you have a similar disease or have a love one with this disease it is not possible to internalize the depth of another persons suffering.
tersia wrote about her daughter vic and though i felt her pain i would never say i know what she is going through. vic has passed on but her story, her face, her courage live on in my heart. tersia herself is so inspirational. she has built a hospice in vic’s memory. time has helped her, or at least that is what i believe. it hurts to know she carries that pain of losing her child.
there is an old saying, “i know just enough to be dangerous.” over the years i have seen this proven many times over. someone takes a few classes and suddenly they are experts. it would be funny except there were times it truly could have cost someone their life or their sanity and freedom.
they wonder of all these people and their stories gives me hope just when i need it most. it doesn’t matter to me why my kidneys are failing. i can read a hundred journals and blogs but the journey is different and yet the same for us all. i hope that i can be as strong as the women and men who have become my friends. even my dear man prenin inspires me with each comment. he suffers not from a medical condition but a serious mental health condition. for too many years anyone with a mental health disease were treated like malingerers. same thing, even today for those with chronic fatigue syndrome.
please forgive me for rambling. there are so many that are not mentioned here yet mean the world to me. i just wanted to share what is on my mind before i go back to sleep. i have little memory of the past few days with the exception of laying in bed and trying not to move. my hope was that if i stayed very still the pain would sleep with me. it is 4 a.m. and i am going to bed. i have been fighting the fog that wants to carry me away. last time it took me i lost 3 days.
make the most of every moment and every day of your life. when i am awake as i was tonight i called my sister. she is moving and still packing. the movers are coming at 9 a.m. in the morning. just a few minutes on the phone with her gives me hope that i will wake tomorrow and be a good partner to my loving husband.
earlier today he asked if i would be up to our “date night” and sadly i wasn’t. tomorrow i am going to do whatever i have to in order to spend quality time with him. these may be our last days together. i am hoping not but with my condition/disease i carry that knowledge in my soul. i have one brief memory from yesterday. thursdays are his bridge day so he leaves around 12:30 and comes home or calls me around 4 to ask about going out to eat with the bridge friends. i remember looking at the clock and it was nearly 3, then in my fog i heard a voice and saw a shadow near me. in this haze i thought he was home and asking me about going out. i said i can’t get up i’m worried i might fall. then this comforting voice says ” i just wanted to take a closer look at you.” later i realized it couldn’t have been him and for some reason i believe it was the bear. he has walked with me for long time, always keeping his distance but from time to time he let’s me get a glimpse of him. just a little reminder that my time grows closer.
all this information now seems to tie together. things come to us when we are ready or need it. brittany maynard spoke to me in a way few will understand. i know we must talk about her and keep her brave choice alive. we all have a story and in the end that is what remains, our story.
November 4, 2014 at 4:48 am (Uncategorized) (brain tumors, britanny maynard, congestive heart failure, death with dignity, end of life care, end stage congestive heart failure, heart failure and exhaustion, how does it feel to die, living with dying, other states with death with dignity laws, sisters, the dr. says, waiting for the end)
it has not been more than 2 days since britanny maynard left this journey. tonight i checked on the top stories and there was not one word about britanny, however, there was an article regarding the neighbors of khloe and kourtney kardashian in the hamptons. seems they are not pleased to see these famous for being famous young women living in their neighborhood.
there have been times i have asked myself, has the world gone crazy or is it me? this brave young woman put a face on an important issue. “How It Feels To Die In Oregon.” was a great documentary and i remember feeling so inspired and hopeful that in time georgia would also have a similar law.
over time though what i noticed were how quickly people lost interest. now i sit here wondering how this brave young woman could be so easily moved off the front lines to the back pages. if you watch her video it is heartbreaking. so much of what she said resonated with me and i would imagine with so many others like me. she said she knew that her husband would grieve her loss, in time she wanted him to find love again, even have the children that they had planned for their future.
for myself i accept what is coming and feel no bitterness or fear. as i have said many times my departure is no tragedy. of course my family will grieve and feel the loss. however, in time they will move on and i will become an occasional story to tell.
this afternoon we were out running a couple of errands and having our usual chatter. chris often forgets to tell me important information from conversations with family, friends and business related calls. today he tells me while talking to kristen, the youngest daughter,he started planning a trip for spring break with the grandsons. it goes without saying i am part of this plan he says. i mention that realistically this is not a trip i can take, so he says his first priority is me and so he just won’t go.
although my heart melts at his love and consideration i feel it is up to me to now make him understand that he has to take this time for the grandkids now before they are too old to build a relationship with him. luckily we have a wonderful relationship with kristen’s children but it has not been so easy with our other two who have been living in the bahamas.
they are always on our mind but their parents made the decision to live in maggie’s native home in the bahamas. once a year they have come up to visit and so we have a relationship but not the one we would like. the problem was i knew it was going to be a difficult thing to change his mind.
we went back and forth with the same stance. he saying he can’t leave me alone, what if something happened and he wasn’t here? me reminding him that children grow and we never get that time back. plus! it is not like i do not have friends i can call to stay with me if i need them. i watched this look go over his face, it is the face that realizes i am right. so we put it on hold for a couple of days.
it isn’t that i want to leave while he is gone but i wouldn’t mind if it worked out that way. so tonight or rather the wee hours i am thinking of britanny and how quickly her story left the front page. i am also thinking i do not want chris to give up on living life to the fullest and being the grandfather he can be if he will let nature take it’s course and remember that staying home is not some magic spell that will keep me safe and alive.
being alive is experiencing all this adventure has to offer and not being afraid to take them. recently our young friend liz bought a house and we are so proud of her. this is a huge step for her. it is a huge commitment to where she is going to spend a large part of her life. it is part of her adventure and she has had to overcome some fear.
my youngest sister is making a huge change in her life in just a few months. she is going to take one of the biggest risks of her life to go for her dream. i just feel so grateful to be a part of these huge life events.
one of my friends has struggled for years with an abusive relationship and then not being able to find a job. she has found a place to live and two-part time jobs. life is not easy but she is finding her way.
there are so many stories like these, events and changes that i am blessed to be a part of. just as i think my world is growing smaller, i look around and realize that i have not been left behind. i still have family and friends who care very much about me and make the effort to be a part of my life even though it is difficult when i have 0 energy spend crazy long hours sleeping. some days even though i am technically awake i struggle to walk without falling.
please don’t forget britanny or any of the others who have lived bravely and die bravely. don’t forget about the masses who live with terminal or even chronic illness but push on to live the best life they can. we will not forget you my loves….
November 1, 2014 at 11:09 pm (Uncategorized) (congestive heart failure, death with dignity, death with dignity laws, end stage congestive heart failure, heart failure and exhaustion, how does it feel to die, living with dying, oregon state laws, other states with death with dignity laws, residency law for death with dignity, the dr. says, waiting for the end)
i am going to share the laws that i looked up on the internet a few days ago.. with the news of the young woman who has moved to oregon in order to qualify for the death with dignity law my curiosity was peaked. off and on for the past few months i have begun to wonder just how difficult it would be for me to qualify without actually up-rooting everything.
one of the biggest arguments against death with dignity laws seems to be that people who are depressed or chronically ill and just want to end the suffering will be able to use this law. in reality the law is very strict and there are only a couple of doctors who may handle all the paperwork involved. there are forms that the drs. must file along with gathering information from a persons primary care doctor. in addition the person must meet the all the residency laws.
so here are some of the steps that would have to be met if a person decided to use one of these states death with dignity laws.
The Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death with Dignity laws allow mentally competent, terminally-ill adult state residents to voluntarily request and receive a prescription medication to hasten their death. This is one of many end-of-life care options available in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont.
Oregon voters approved of their law in 1994 and confirmed their support in 1997. The Oregon Death with Dignity Act went into effect in 1997. The voters of Washington passed their law in 2008 and it was implemented in 2009 after no credible legal challenges. In 2013, Vermont lawmakers enacted their assisted death law—the first passed through legislation.
It’s up to qualified patients and licensed physicians to implement these laws on an individual basis. There isn’t a state program for participation in these laws. People don’t apply to the health departments of any of the states to make a request for medication.
Please read the information below to learn more about eligibility and the application process, the application form, as well as the statutes in Oregon and Washington. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us.
Terminally-ill patients who wish to obtain a prescription under the Oregon, Washington, or Vermont law must be a resident of one of the three states and follow a series of steps in order to be certified.
Among other requirements, a patient must be:
18 years of age or older,
a resident of Oregon, Washington, or Vermont;
capable of making and communicating health care decisions for him/herself;
and diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months.
Two physicians must determine whether these criteria have been met.
How does a patient establish residency?
A patient must provide the attending physician proof of residency according to the states’ laws. There isn’t a timetable associated with establishing residency. Proof can include a state issued ID such as a driver’s license, documents showing the patient rents or owns property in the state, state voter registration, or a recent state tax return. The attending physician must decide whether the patient has adequately established residency.
How long does it take to establish residency?
There is no minimum residency requirement. A patient must simply be able to prove he or she is a current, bona fide resident of Oregon, Washington, or Vermont.
Can a non-resident move to Oregon, Washington, or Vermont to use the law?
The law doesn’t prevent anyone from moving to Oregon, Washington, or Vermont. However, reports show few—if any—patients have moved to Oregon, Washington, or Vermont to use the law.
First oral request to your physician
15 day waiting period
Second oral request to your physician
Written request to your physician
48 hour waiting period before you can pick up your prescribed medications
Patient may pick up prescribed medications from the pharmacy
How do Death with Dignity laws protect all citizens?
Several safeguards in Death with Dignity laws ensure all patients are protected, and if they wish to use the law, they’re in full control of the process. These safeguards and the request process ensure there’s no chance patients are coerced to hasten their deaths. The terminally-ill patient:
verbally requests the medication from the physician twice; each request is separated by 15 days.
make a written request to the attending physician; the request is witnessed by two individuals who are not primary care givers or family members.
can rescind the verbal and written requests at any time.
must be able to self-administer and ingest the prescribed medication.
The law further requires…
The attending physician must be licensed in the same state as the patient.
The physician’s diagnosis must include a terminal illness, with six months or less to live.
The diagnosis must be certified by a consulting physician, who must also certify that the patient is mentally competent to make and communicate health care decisions.
If either physician determines that the patient’s judgment is impaired, the patient must be referred for a psychological examination.
The attending physician must inform the patient of alternatives, including palliative care, hospice and pain management options.
The attending physician must request that the patient notify their next-of-kin of the prescription request.
Use of the law cannot affect the status of a patient’s health or life insurance policies.
The states’ departments of health enforce compliance with the law. Compliance requires physicians to report all prescriptions to the state. Physicians and patients who comply with the law are protected from criminal prosecution. Physicians and health care systems are not obligated to participate in the Death with Dignity laws.
doesn’t look like i will be taking advantage of these states who have implemented the laws which will allow a person to die with dignity. unfortunately this leaves so many who are suffering and want to have that same privilege and must take things into their own hands and i can only hope for them they have done their homework and don’t cause more suffering to themselves and others that they love and are trying to spare.
October 20, 2014 at 8:37 am (Uncategorized) (death with dignity, end stage congestive heart failure, heart failure and exhaustion, how does it feel to die, living will, living with dying, the dr. says, waiting for the end)
once again a mainstream program, 60 minutes, has approached the subject of death with dignity all too briefly.
the following is a brief conversation between the reporter anderson cooper and barbera mancini. the conversation started with the discussion about brittany maynard, a young woman with a brain tumor that moved to oregon in order to end her life with dignity:
A young woman with brain cancer named Brittany Maynard made news recently when she spoke about her decision to end her life rather than succumb to the last ravages of her disease. Maynard moved to Oregon because it has a law that enables terminally ill people to obtain a lethal dose of barbiturates.
Whether doctors and caregivers should be allowed to help someone like Maynard hasten her own death is the subject of a long-running, state-by-state battle. Our story tonight is about a woman who was prosecuted for allegedly helping her 93-year-old father kill himself. Barbara Mancini lives in Pennsylvania, a state that does not have a law like Oregon’s. Her father was terminally ill and in pain and had repeatedly said he wanted to die. One morning while she was caring for him, Mancini says he asked her to hand him his bottle of morphine.
after she did so he drank what was in the bottle then said he wanted to go to sleep. if possible, take the time to read this touching story that led barbara to a possible 10 year sentence and sent her dad to the hospital where he was “revived” and lasted another four days. those four days were some of the worst of his life. all the things he had wanted to avoid were done to him in that time.
cut from ms. mancini being vindicated to a dr. who opposes such laws and sited the “death squads in europe.” this has been proven to be erroneous information time and again yet it is still used.
what i took away from this is do what you think is right for you and don’t involve you family. they may know but unless you drag them in to your plans no one knows for sure other than you.
this is a real hot button for many, including myself. so what do you think? do we have the right to end our life with dignity or do we lose those rights as we become more infirm? that is the question. Read the rest of this entry »
October 12, 2014 at 11:33 pm (Uncategorized) (developmental stages, gratitude when dying, heart failure and exhaustion, how does it feel to die, in my eyes, living with dying, sisters, the dr. says, waiting for the end)
though i do not presume who else will read this i am hoping my dear husband, sister and a few other very special people will read this and know that it is for you and yes you too.
there is something written, i can’t quite remember who or what, that has the phrase “if you could see through my eyes.” although i am sure it is much used it comes to me now and then over the years. whether with family, friends, patients or just casual acquaintances, i find myself thinking if only you could see yourself through my eyes.
tonight at dinner we were chatting about this and that at our favorite comfort food restaurant, it was then i wished you could see you through my eyes. when i asked how you see yourself it made me sad when you answered. for when i look at you i see who you are in your heart and soul. i see the man of my dreams, the man whom i dare not dream of at one time in my life. i see sparkling eyes that gleam with mischief, the kind seen in the eyes of a young boy who has grown into this man i am blessed with loving today.
i see a caring, loving man who has chosen to stay with and care for a woman who is taking too long to leave. those are my words, i can hear you saying you never wanted me to go at all, and i love you for that more than you can know. through difficult times you have never said or even made me wonder if you would leave me, some would you know? you have taken such good care of me over the years and i dearly want you to recognize what a gift that has been not only to me but others. you don’t have it in you to turn your back on another human bean that needs sunlight.
you are the man who casually said to my sister, you can come and live with us. the man who wanted to be there for his kids even when they had kids of their own or were old enough to be just slightly annoyed when advise was offered. in my eyes you are still the tall, handsome man i first saw walking rather jauntily toward me so many years ago now. if i step back it is there and i have an intellectual part of me that understands the various stages of life and what to expect. that doesn’t change the heart though does it? no, i see that in you too. the acceptance and the effort to push back time. reading about the aging process and experiencing it are all mixed up in my mind and heart.
i have seen you struggle with decisions made in the past, my heart sometimes breaks for you when i hear this. we have all made our mistakes, we all have our fears and demons that we must tame to have peace of mind. if we are fortunate we have others in our life to love us and hold us. someone who will hold that soul of us and keep it safe until we are ready to receive it for ourselves.
in my eyes you are all that i would want or need. to those of you reading this, i wish you could see you through my eyes. you would be proud of who you are, you would know what beauty you carry and bless others with. that you have blessed me with in this journey. in my eyes you will see the love i have for you now and always.