I wrote this late last night assuming it would go to the Recycle Bin. I read it again today and decided to share it with you. The words are off the top of my head; the thoughts from the bottom of my heart.
I love you babe and I miss you. They say it gets easier; I guess it is, a little bit.
Every day since November 20, 2008 I hear the Dr., in a very compassionate voice say “There is some cancer”. The good days I only hear it a few times; some days I hear it almost continually. Today was one of those.
As your illness progressed I told you on more than one occasion I would trade places with you if it were possible. I know that sounds a little phony because we all know that wasn’t an option, but I really believe I would have. Your lust for life was always greater than mine; I had slipped into the twilight years and was doing the things old retired guys do. You were still “on top of your game” enjoying a very successful career, and doing the things you always did in your spare time.
I always just took for granted that you would be here when I was gone. You ate the right things, exercised, got regular medical checkups; I did none of those things. I smoked for 25 years, dipped for about 10 and part of my career was in a less than desirable environment; the only bad habit you ever had was me.
I used to worry a little about you living alone, and because I have always been the do it yourself type, I was afraid you would be reluctant to hire someone to do the things that were beyond your capability. I saw you as this spry little 85 year old scurrying off to church or a ballgame and probably to the office at least a couple days a week.
I have spent a lot of time trying to make it OK that it played out differently than I envisioned. I have found a few positives.
Retirement was never in your vocabulary and it wasn’t necessary to add it. You didn’t have to spend those boring days at home when you weren’t really sick but you had some of the typical age related issues that prevented you from going and doing what you wanted. The way you approached life that would have been difficult.
You suffered much more than anyone should for three years but with the exception of a total of less than 15 nights in the hospital you were at home, constantly surrounded by those who loved you. It wasn’t necessary for you to go to an extended care facility, however having me as your primary caregiver, some days an extended care facility may have looked pretty good.
You didn’t have to suffer the loss of a grandchild, I have never hurt that bad. We could have helped each other through it, but with your illness I am so thankful it wasn’t necessary for you to experience that kind of pain. I guess in time some of that pain will also subside. I think you would have shared this opinion, the most painful thing about that loss is watching one of our children hurt that bad and know I can’t fix it, the only thing I can do is “be there”. I love you Con man and I miss you every day.
The positives don’t come close to offsetting the negatives, but we must look for the little things. I would love to have spent a few more years with you here, we certainly had unfinished plans. I really believe there is a place called heaven and I look forward to continuing the relationship there.
As I said at the top, I love you babe and I miss you.