It is with indescribable sadness

I am sorry that this post may seem brutal and upsetting to some, actually, I rewrote it to try to be less upsetting. But, we are very upset and I am not in the mood to explain at length our views on death and dying and ‘Life after Life’. Perhaps some day. There are some good books on these subjects.

A poem that we love is

*****************

A PARABLE OF IMMORTALITY

by Henry Van Dyke, Born 1852, Died 1933

I am standing upon the seashore. A tall sailing ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”

“Gone where?”

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here she comes!”

And that is dying.

*********************

It is with indescribable sadness that I tell you that Janet chose to go into Hospice on January 1 and to refuse any hydration or IV nutrition. The previous, so called palliative care, was terrible and she was too often in major pain. She cannot change her impending death, but she is very glad that the Hospice folks have her pain much better controlled. She is not expected to last long.

A CA 125 test result of 2539.0 where it was 599 in October and less than 35 is normal. So, that has since confirmed the surgeon’s finding that there is nothing that can be done. The only good news is that Hospice is doing a much better job of pain control and that very soon she will have no more pain. They estimate 4 to 14 days.

Janet’s main emotion is disappointment. Disappointment that we had so many plans, that we love each other so much, that there was so much more that we wanted to do, but it has been cut short way to soon.

She awaits the next adventure. We have had many long talks and we are as ready as anyone can be for this. She is still completely lucid and wishing that it would get it over with. We have been in similar situations with Janet’s dad and my dad and mom. Let me tell you that it sucks, but many of you have already seen much worse.

She is more adamant than ever, no visitors or phone calls. My position is, that even though I know that all of you would like to visit or call, her slightest whim is my command. I read her the emails. She enjoys them all, just as she enjoyed knowing every one of you.

I suggest that you do as I do, and keep bringing to the front the millions of wonderful memories and great times, the incalculable GIFT that having known her is, and I am working hard to not dwell of the though that those days are over.

She understands that Hospice is not allowed to shorten her time, but they are working hard to find the best combination of drugs to help her to be truly pain free. We are optimistic that the time left will much better, and it is already so much better than under the previous, so called palliative care. But, it still sucks.

The Hospice people gave me a big collection of info. I have not had time to read very much of it, but I suggest that everyone read the very short, 14 page book that they included. It is by Barbara Karnes, RN, a Hospice nurse of many years. Please buy it and support her, but a bootleg copy, so you can see if it is for you, seems to be at

http://www.charterhealthcaregroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Gone-from-my-sight.pdf

These are things that few ever want to know about or especially to deal with first hand. I will probably regret having been so frank here, today. But, I am in the front row seats on something that I dislike very much, even though we all know that it comes to all of us and Janet is not the first loved one that I have had to do this with. Just the most important by far.

I had no intention to hurt any of you, but I surely must have. But, we think that it is a subject that needs to be dealt with openly.

You all know that I love to joke and see the bright side of things. I hope that all of my other posts are very upbeat.

Thanks for all of the prayers, good vibes, positive images, and support. They are of immeasurable value to us both.

Janet used to teach High School Spanish. I really like Spanish, even though I am not good at it. And we enjoyed living in Latin America (when it was much safer). A Mexican phrase that I always loved is, when someone is departing, leaving you, is, instead of goodbye is to say:

Qué le vaya bien.

That your travels go well.

Qué le vaya bien Juanita.

Dave & Janet

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25 thoughts on “It is with indescribable sadness

  1. Dave and Janet,
    That is a great missive you sent , and we wish you well on your
    journey Janet wherever, you go. I too had to rewrite my initial tho’ts
    for fear of offending. I knew you well in highschool Dave, but except for the pleasant short visit, I know it is my loss not to have known you Janet. Hopefully our paths will cross in some other existence. I have shed a few tears, and now am speculating on
    infinite possibilities that you Janet will be facing. It is my wish, hope and belief, that you will get to have some choice in those possible paths. The force (whatever it is) be with you,
    John and Tina

  2. I’m sending all the love and peace you can handle … I’m sending you my angels as well … Love you both … smiles … XOXOXO … Jill … :)

  3. Dear Janet and Dave,
    I have been thinking of you both and planned to write soon. It was so wonderful to be able to visit with you both in Aug. I am praying for you both and am asking the Lord to put His arms around you & comfort you. I appreciate the cards that you have sent previously; you have been so thoughtful. With much love, hugs & prayers.
    Ruby

  4. Our thoughts are there with you as we recall many pleasant occasions with you both, always with Janet’s positive energy, sense of humor, engaging smile and contagious laughter. We’re so sorry to hear your news, but glad, at least, that Janet is more comfortable. Sending you lots of love, Hakan, Deb and Sparky

  5. The Oui Si crew sends a Bon Voyage to the Alegria crew. As part of the “Class of 88” we share a long-standing time of pleasent memories from the Pacific waters & the Carribean/Atlantic waters. Janey–We pray for your loving, peaceful journey; Vaya Con Dios!

    PS I will send a poem under separate cover. Randall

  6. “It sucks” is a perfect way to describe the whole situation. Life does not suck. Life is what we make of it. Anyone who says that life sucks, spends too much time watching the news, and doesn’t realize that happiness is a choice.

    But what some have to endure when leaving life certainly does suck, and David, you need not apologize for anything. I’m at work right now, reading this latest news, and my heart breaks for both of you..to the point of tears, and I’m not ashamed at all to share that with you.

    Every time Mom told me she heard from you, or got a letter, or I heard other family members talking about you two on your boat somewhere, I always thought about John Denver’s “Calypso.”

    “Calypso”

    to sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean, to ride on a crest of a wild raging storm, to work in the service of life and the living, in search of the answers of questions unknown, to be part of the movement and part of the growing, part of beginning to understand

    ..aye calypso the places you’ve been to, the things you have shown us, the stories you tell..aye calypso i sing to your spirit, the men who have served you so long and so well..hi dee ay-ee ooo doo-dle oh..oo do do do do doodle ay yee..doo-dle ay ee

    like the dolphin who guides you, you bring us beside you, to light up the darkness and show us the way, for though we are strangers in your silent world, to live on the land we must learn from the sea, to be true as the tide and free as the wind swell, joyful and loving in letting it be..

    (chorus ) aye calypso..and more hi dee ay-ee ooo doo-dles..

    Janet and David..I love both of you. I love your joined spirit. I love how you courageously sailed and flew in the face of conventional living. It’s a beautiful vision, and that vision is where both of you shall be together..forever. Peace n Blessings.. ~ Chuck

  7. Thank you for your news, Dave, sad though it is. I especially liked your Spanish good bye and will keep it in mind.

    Hospice is a wonderful organization. We have unfortunately had some experience with them and family members.

    Hugs to both of you from Trudy

  8. Dear David,

    We have never met, but I share your pain. I lost my sister to peritoneal cancer ten years ago. Very rare. Obstruction of her bowel was the first symptom, at which point it was already too late. Her CA 125 was off the scale. She was a very prominent infectious disease physician and even that didn’t help. My heart goes out to you and to Janet. I hope you both find comfort and peace.

    Thank you for posting A Parable of Immortality. I was with my sister at the very end. I will treasure that thought.

    Daria s/v Aleria, via OCC FB

  9. Dear Janet and Dave: Like so many, I would like to give you hugs and kisses, so much loving energy, and with my thoughts I do. You have been so much a part of my thoughts. I have worried, I have cried. What will come foremost to me is your wonderful smile and such encouraging ways and your ZEST for life embedded in your spirit that will always be with you and what will cause me to smile knowing and remembering. You have been and continue to be one of the most positive persons I have known and you are so high on the list as one of the most important players in my life and I know you shared that enthusiasm and your gifts with so many. The world is a better place. I have recently taken up oil painting (wanna be artist like Jeff and your mom). I have composed in my mind a painting of you at the bow of Alegria heading towards a blazeningly beautiful sunset into the awe of spirit and your next adventure. I love you. Sandy

    sandrafhamilton@aol.com

  10. Our thoughts are with you and Janet. I can’t imagine losing Marcia (nor her without me for that matter). But that day will surely come and we must settle for memories.
    Memories of life together. Shared adventures and life’s battles won.
    Your family and friends stand ready to help if only we know how. Let us know if you need us.
    Love, Bill

  11. My dearest and most beloved Janet. Beautiful, Joyous, Happy, Generous, Compassionate, Intelligent, Inquisitive, Peaceful, Fierce, Loyal, Courageous and Loving!

    From our first parties on the docks at Waterford Marina (heck, I didn’t even know what a “wiper” was), laughing and snorkeling in the Dry Tortugas, visiting you and David in Baltimore Harbour and in Houston, expanding my vegetarian horizons! LOL – I’ll bet you’ve still got those docker pants I gave you.

    I love you Janet, and see only your beautiful smile, your generous spirit, and your unending love for David. I see you forever girlfriend, wrapped in endless love.

    Glenna & Lily

    Only Love – Wyvonna Judd
    “I have sailed a boat or two
    Out on the wild blue
    Yonder to dreams that rarely come true
    As far as I can see
    From the island of green
    I can put my trust in just one thing

    And only love sails straight from the harbor
    And only love will lead us to the other shore
    Out of all the flags I’ve flown
    One flies high and stands alone
    Only love

    Peaceful waters, raging sea
    It’s all the same to me
    I can close my eyes and still be free
    When the waves come crashing down
    And the thunder rolls around
    I can feel my feet on solid ground

    And only love sails straight from the harbor
    And only love will lead us to the other shore
    Out of all the flags I’ve flown
    One flies high and stands alone
    Only love”

  12. Dear Dave

    I have never met you but I know you and Janet through Millie Auer who asked me to pray and put you and Janet on our prayer list which I have done.

    Millie shared your letter with me. I applaud your honesty and Janet’s bravery. And I cried for both of you.

    Losing one you love is never ever easy.

    I join with you in saying, “Que’ le vaya bien Juanita.”

    Love and prayers,
    Linda Murphy

  13. Dear Janet & Dave
    I am privileged to know quite a few voyagers such as you two. Many of which laid over in Baltimore for for a few months plus, in preparation for their dream voyages. You two in particular stood out. You planned your dreams, built a fine vessel as home and accomplished so much more than I could imagine. The whole staff of Harbor East Marina was sad to see you leave, but you worked so hard, it would have been a shame to not see you leave to pursue your worldly adventures.
    I believe I take your views that you Janet are closing out but one more chapter of life and I am confident that you will continue on in some fashion a successful voyage. May we all get together in whatever hereafter that is in our futures.Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers for and easier journey than you are experiencing now. I have full faith and confidence in most Hospice staffers and I believe they will assist you most kindly. Please know we all love you both. Capt. Bill, Millie, Helen and all the other dock staff.

  14. Dear Janet & Dave,

    The crew of the Alegria was such a positive influence on the voyages of Meridian and her crew.

    From our first meetings dumpster-diving in Kemah to the serendipitous rendezvous in the Dry Tortugas and then Baltimore, your friendship, advice, and companionship is greatly appreciated and fondly remembered.

    With all my love to you both,
    Ed
    Qué le vaya bien Juanita.

  15. This saddens me alot that this is happening and I wish that we could do more. I will say that you David, have been so caring and been there for Janet at every moment. She could not have asked for a better person in her life and she has been very lucky having you and vice versa. I wish I could be up there for you now. Please give Janet hugs for us and let her know that we are truly sorry it came down to this. Chloe sends her licks too and appreciated the belly rubs when Janet was down here. Who’s to say what is on the other side but I know at some point you and all of us will see her again in a different way and that in itself is something to look forward to.

    Love yall, Nancy, Bob & Chloe

    Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2013 00:21:14 +0000 To: nancyshafer@hotmail.com

  16. Janet and Dave,
    Your letter to those of us who have hoped and prayed for you was beautifully expressed and my voice broke anad stalled often as I read it to Gene. We feel blessed that we had the pleasure of meeting you and spending time with you in Italy. Janet, Fair Winds. There is a better place awaiting and I know you will be greeted with the same gentleness of spirit you have sent out during this life.
    Sue and Gene

  17. We’re glad to have had the chance to know you, Janet, just the tiniest bit, and to have witnessed the rock-solid love you two have for one another. May it be so that there are more adventures awaiting.

    Birth is a beginning and death a destination
    And life is a journey:
    From childhood to maturity and youth to age;
    From innocence to awareness and ignorance to knowing;
    From foolishness to discretion and then perhaps to wisdom.
    From weakness to strength or from strength to weakness
    and often back again;
    From health to sickness and we pray to health again.
    From offense to forgiveness from loneliness to love
    from joy to gratitude from pain to compassion
    from grief to understanding from fear to faith.
    From defeat to defeat to defeat until looking backwards or ahead
    We see that victory lies not at some high point along the way
    but in having made the journey step by step a sacred pilgrimage.
    (Rabbi Alvin Fine)

    Eileen and Ward

  18. Janet – I sure do wish I could be there with you! All curled up on your chest just purring away to let you know how much you are loved. I know it would make you happy just to look at me and pet me. After all, I am your favorite Kittie Diva!!

    My friend Sami had to travel across the Rainbow Bridge last year. She told me that it was so beautiful …. everyone was waiting for her, there were warm places to lay in the sunlight, all the treats she wanted, her kittie body didn’t hurt anymore, and her human was waiting for her! I see her in my kittie-dreams, and it makes me happy.

    I hope you’re not afraid, my purr mom read the other blog notes to me and WOW … you and David are so LOVED by everyone.
    Even kitties know that LOVE is the only true reality.
    You are purrrrfectly adored,
    Your favorite kittie
    Lily

  19. Janet and Dave, all our love to you both. Remember all the fun, the laughs, the incredible journeys you have shared. We are so glad and blessed that we know you as friends. Love, Molly and Jack

  20. Dear Dave,

    What a beautiful, profound, and sad post. My heart goes out to you and Janet. I am so glad that we were able to spend some time together when you guys came through San Antonio!

    Much love,

    Lorna & Dodge

  21. So very sad to hear of Janet’s losing battle. I am glad you two came last summer to the annual Cross/Hill reunion and am happy I got to spend some time talking to Janet. She will be missed.
    Lorena Denney

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