as we were leaving costco, husband had gone to get car ready for the year supply of paper goods and such, robert ( the exit man) asked if I was ok. I was walking very slowly which is the speed I do just about everything at now. when I said, I had not been injured he looked at me as though waiting for the answer to his unspoken question.
being regulars at costco we have gotten on a first name basis with many of the staff there. one woman even advised us on the ring for valentine day. she was right by the way and it was his first choice too so it had to be right. robert’s wife was laid up for a period of time with surgery. we would ask about her and got regular reports on her progress.
so it seemed natural for him to ask about my own status. with little ado i told him i have congestive heart failure. it was so simple to say the words and yet it has taken me some years to share this with anyone other than family and close friends. it can change how people relate to you once they know. some just don’t know what to say so they avoid you, some think you are not really that ill and make remarks to let you know that is what they think, so i avoid them:) robert looked sad when i told him and in my attempt to make things better i added that i have a defib to start me back up if i stop ticking. meaning it as a bit of reassurance. with a clear look right in my eyes he said “yes they can do almost anything now. the question is do you want it to be started?” yes he said it. inside i wanted to thank him. he said the one thing that no one else wants to say or maybe they just don’t get that part of this. he is a kind man and it came from his heart.
i had to go to costco, to hear what i thought no one understood. for the past several days i have been so sick i couldn’t have told you what day it is. the whole weekend i ran fever and my back hurt from my kidneys. the pain from my liver was almost unbearable. do i want it to be started if it stops? that is a great question. it is one that i think i know the answer to but wonder if we ever really know the truth until the time comes. we often think we know who we are and how we would handle something. then we are tested and either find we were right or we come up short. some of the hardest words i ever spoke were when my grandmother was dying and as i left the room she looked at me and seemed to be asking even pleading with me, so i said the words ” it’s okay mama. you can go and i will be ok. i love you always.” there is not one day that goes by that i do not remember her or the way she nodded and closed her eyes for the last time.
it is my hope that you can do that for me when the time comes.