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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Memory

Six days ago, I stood in our old bedroom, so empty but for the bits and pieces strewn around, left after the removal of the furniture. I said 'thank you' to the house, to the room, for sheltering us. And then it came upon me, the waves and waves of memories; the sights, sounds, smells, words, touch, love, anger, laughter, desire. Longing tore at my soul.

I wept as I had not wept before, and memory held me hostage to my pain. I saw again every detail. I felt his touch, his voice. I heard my voice. I saw our dogs, I felt the air, the heat of summer, the cold of winter, the intimate touch of husband and wife, the caress to soothe pain and distress; his to me and mine to his. All this and much, much more cascaded from my memory, as clear as day and yet as distant as the fading moon that shone on our wedding night.

My blessing and my curse I name it, that so easily I can bring it all back, and it is very nearly real.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Compassion.

My son JD assembled his new bed today. I am happy to see him making progress and moving forward. We discussed some of the things we had been through. He said now when he sees old people on TV, he sees them so much differently.  He can see how frail or weak they are and he knows they have not much time left.

I said it was gaining more understanding of ageing than we ever wanted to have, and he agreed. He said one thing he learned, that someone getting slowly weaker and then dying like Arthur did was something he would not wish on his worst enemy.

JD was the only one of my children closely involved with helping Arthur and me, as the rest live away. I also did not burden them with my troubles, but JD and I have shared an intense life experience. It is even more remarkable because JD did not even very much like Arthur, differences in temperament being as they were.  That is what makes JD's effort so remarkable. It is one thing to do this for someone you love, it is another to do it for someone whom you do not.

JD wrote Arthur a letter and put it in his casket. I do not know what it said, but I know JD had great compassion for Arthur and I hope it helped JD.

JD also was a great comfort during the service. I know this all took an emotional toll,on him, but his character has shown through in all this and I am so very proud of him.