This excellent poem was written some years ago by a good friend, that also sailed in Central America when we were there. He penned it when he thought his diagnosis was very grim.
Happily for the Planet Earth and all of her occupants, the diagnosis was wrong and he is still among us and doing very well indeed.
I will change it to text when I have more time.
A recurring theme. “When I have more time.” Actually, spare time is improving. I have sorted through several large piles of papers that were thrown into heaps. “No time for that today.” I am organizing the cluttered motel room and while there is much yet to do, I have made a definite dent in the mess.
But, it is always triage. First things must always be first and I fit the rest in as I can. I am almost caught up on sleep, even though it is 355AM at this moment. I have been helping Janet for a couple of hours. She is clearly still in there, but it is hard to understand her voice and she has trouble finding some words. The dehydration, we assume. She assures me that it is quite OK and sort of an ethnic experience or a Science Experiment or a spectator sport.
We had a dear friend who got dementia, but was otherwise well. Once we saw him pick up a phone handset. It was HIS house phone. The old kind that was the ONLY kind from about 1930 to 1990. So, he was VERY familiar with the design. He was holding it upside down. The cord came out the top and he could not understand why he could only barely hear the person on the phone.
Today Janet did some very similar things and said, “OH! Now I know just exactly how (our Friend) felt. This is quite interesting.”
Just a minute ago, she was puzzled by the bed control. It has 4 buttons. The upper bed (1) UP, (2) DOWN and the lower bed (3) UP, (4) DOWN. She kept trying buttons, but was obviously not getting the result she wanted.
I offered to help, but she declined. Then, she said with a big grin, “It is amazing how complicated this thing is.” And we had a laugh.
I asked if it upset her or she wanted it to stop the decline with stronger drugs and she said, “No. It is OK. Let’s see how it develops. Perhaps the pain (before Hospice) was to make sure that I would really want to die.”
So, while, like the cancer, we never wanted to know anything about this Hospice stuff. It is not distressing for Janet. Just the rest of us.
Dave & Janet
Dave, no one could be a truer friend and companion than you are. Molly
Thanks Molly. Janet was far better than I ever will be, but she was called away. Her new task sure as heck better be important, cuz I am sure gonna miss her. A whole lot of folks are.
Your description made me smile and cry at the same time, Dave. You’re actually giving us a great gift by sharing this sacred time with us.
Eileen – I’m with you! I can just see Janet’s beautiful smile and hear her voice. I was laughing and crying all at the same time…..feeling so damn lucky to know both her and David.