Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Times Three No. 12
Jacquie sometimes wishes she was dead. Really why wouldn’t she?
Jacquie came home the Wednesday after Sheldon died, two days before his funeral. She needed to grieve with her family and not in a hospital setting.
Camille has moved in with Jacquie to walk through the fire on a full-time basis with her. Camille has severe arthritis and will have to go back to her own home in the country in a short while.
Just about three weeks after being home, homecare is finally being set up.
Jacquie has lost her range of motion on the left side of her body and though she has regained some movement of her hand and can move the bottom of her leg, she is unable to stand are do the things that we all take for granted.
Angelique and Nadalene make dinners for them on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I made dinner the other day and was going to bring it over; we had a good laugh because everyone knows I cannot cook, so Jacquie told me it was alright, they didn’t plan on having dinner that particular night (Gilbert had already cooked). Jacquie told me she was nauseated enough as is.
They have knocked out walls, doors, and put tracking on the ceiling. The tracking is where the hoist is attached to move Jacquie from her bed to the wheelchair.
Mickey decorated Jacquie’s bedroom beautifully and it looks like a wonderful lounge area.
The night before Nathan taught his first class he gathered up a bunch of papers and on the very top of the pile was a graduation card. He opened it up ‘Congrats Nate!! All that time & work definitely paid off! Good luck molding all those punk kid’s minds! Proud of you cuz! Sheldon’ The name of the first student on his roster had the same last name as Sheldon. The first letter of that child’s name was S. So the initials were exactly like Sheldon’s; S.B. The card was written on May 27, 2009 and it was the only graduation card in the pile.
You are here Sheldon; we all know it and love to be reminded.
I tell Jacquie that there were many times I wished I was dead too, but I am glad now that I am not. I know what she is saying though and how her situation is way worse. She also knows what I am saying.
Jacquie knows that during the two years I was getting chemo on a weekly basis that everyday I would fantasize that a person would come into my house when I was having a nap and blow my brains out. I didn’t want to see the person because I didn’t want to be frightened, I just wanted them to come in the house, float up the stairs, and when I had my face turned to the wall pull the trigger. It was extremely important that they didn’t scare me.
Jacquie, Camille and I talk about these strong feelings and Jacquie said I was just thinking how Sheldon would say to me right now “Mom you can’t be like this, you have to live you life.” We talk about acceptance and how amazing Sheldon was and how he knew that he had to accept his fate or the time he had left would be a living hell.
Nathan goes to sit by Sheldon’s gravesite and it makes me think of a quote I had read long ago. “They’ll come back to sit when they’re suffering.” Most of us know these places along the path where pain and suffering reside, where the heart aches beyond measure. These places where we need to sit because we are bowed by grief.
Jacquie is looking through a different lens now. Not only does she have to face the loss of her beloved son Sheldon on a daily basis but she also has to face everyday her illness, weakness, and loss of independence. These concerns do not let us see any of the good that is in front of us at this very moment. When they say to live in the now, it is hard when the now is very difficult.
Ups and downs are hard enough to handle at the best of times, never mind when the downs outnumber the ups ten to one.
Life is desperately fragile. Jacquie and I have lived and loved and grown attached to each other for over 53 years. We are such an intimate part of each others lives that having learned how to love each other we do not know what to do without each other. I love Jacquie desperately now and I know that is not how people are meant to love; desperately.
We get Jacquie home, but we can’t get her well. Life is left to be lived and Jacquie will live it as well as she is able because that is Jacquie’s way. Yes she wishes she was dead sometimes, but that is not all the time.
Cancer and what it does to you takes some getting use to.
*artwork by Kelly Vivanco