Evidence I’m Ok:
- I’ve laughed.
- I’ve cried openly.
- I’ve been spending time with friends and family.
- I’ve gone to two movies (Wolverine and Star Trek – both great!)
- I’ve cracked jokes, even inappropriate death jokes (which really are the funniest)
- I’ve drank a lot of beer.
- I haven’t killed <fill in the blank from the following list: myself, someone trying to cheer me up, someone not trying to cheer me up, the happy cashier at the local grocery, someone trying to ask me cancer/death advice, someone trying to give me death advice, my dogs, my spirit>
- I’ve been thinking about my future.
Evidence I’m Not Ok:
- I cry often.
- Sometimes I don’t cry and wonder why not.
- I drink a lot of beer.
- I sleep on Maggie’s side of the bed.
- I keep smelling Maggie’s old clothes.
- Nothing tastes as good as it used to.
- I wear her wedding ring.
- I carry her driver’s license in my pocket.
- I sometimes hear her voice.
- I keeping thinking she’ll call me.
Battles I’m Fighting:
- If only I/we would have….
- I hope she was happy with me and the way I treated her.
- I wish people would go away and let me rot alone.
- What do I do now? Where do I go from here?
As you can see, the number of items in the list of evidence that show I’m ok roughly equal the number of items in the list of evidence that show I’m not ok (purely by accident, I swear). Thus, if you throw in some good ol’ Maggie optimism to swing the vote, I’m ok. Really.
I’ve pretty much cleared out all the evidence of The Cancer out of the house, especially the stuff related to the last six months when crap really started getting bad. Her little pain pump was an odd one. It’s still here but I’m over it. The first few days I was very connected to it emotionally. While I suspected that I was supposed to return it immediately, I could not bare them coming to seize it. It was too important to me despite all the hate I had for it and what it represented. But by Thursday I was over it. My heart didn’t palpitate any more when I picked it up so I called them to give them the come-and-get-it. But it’s still here. And my feelings haven’t changed. I’m done with it. And it’s ok.
The oxygen concentrator, the oxygen bottles, the tubing, the bed side potty, the bed side table – all of that crap I got out of the house as fast as possible. I would have thrown that out last Monday if I would thought about it but I was too overcome with the loud buzzing in my head and the elephant sitting on my chest. Good riddance of that crap. I hope I never see that stuff again (although I took a picture of it all, just in case sometime far, far in the future I want to… uhm… dig.)
Many people have asked that I continue to write but I struggle with the question “about what?” This has always been about Maggie and my Great Cancer Adventure. Ah, yes, how great an adventure it was. But there are no more status updates to write, no crazy doctors visits, no MD Anderson sanity-busters. The party is over and I’m going to have to clean up the mess. Happily I have some friends to help but the maker of the stories, my muse, is gone. All I have to offer now is the miscellaneous meanderings of my own mind and, as fun as it might sound, multiple postings of me saying “I’m fine” will grow old quickly.
I’m not quite done yet. I want to write the story of our last few hours together. As you can imagine, that’s going to be difficult and I’m not ready yet. But I will. Eventually. I also want to write about the memorial. Wow, amazing. There’re a few more stories to come: the planting of Maggie’s tree, the burning of the Notes to Maggie from the memorial, and maybe other things. After that, I suspect my time here is done. Maggie’s light shined so brightly that it made this blog glow. Now, that light is gone. Or maybe it’s just shining somewhere else now and I can’t see it yet. My eyes are too filled with tears.