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Waiting, worrying and wondering... and always remembering


Cellar Door

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Emotional turmoil has pretty much ruled my life of late.

Lots of dates, lots of key times in my life,

I am blessed with a brain that has some nifty features that came with it. One such feature is a nearly photograpahic memory. I have a thing for numbers especially. Quick example: I fell out of a car when I was 3. I was not injured, I just rolled out onto the grass on the side of the road, we were not moving more than 15mph. It (the memory) starts with rolling on the ground with no effort, very odd sensation. I see grass and then sky and then the stop sign and corner of our street. There is a black car with a shiny silver hubcab, a black wheelwell. turning a corner, about 15 feet away. I see a red speck and black writing on the cap.

I was about 8 or so. just learning to read well, bigger words, etc and I was able to tell my mother that the word that was on the hubcap I saw so long ago was "Ambassador". She thought I was joking with her, being a kid. But... it's exactly how my mind works.

I digress.

September 7th of 2004: My husband was officially diagnosed with SCLC via mediastinoscopy.

October 4th, 2004: we started chemo. One day before his 53rd birthday.

October 5th, 2004: we missed chemo... we were home vomiting and in pain from the retching.

April 12th, 2005: my boyfriend (almost husband) of 6 years... Michael.. would have turned 37.

July 27th, 1981: my Uncle Jim died of SCLC on at age 63: but seven days short of his 64th. It was a Monday.. 11:27 PM. I was listening to the Beatles "Birthday" on the patio, out watching the stars and quietly remembering him. The call came as I was seated on the concrete we had poured 10 years prior while making his patio.

August 3rd, 2005: my uncle Jim would have been 88.

August 28th, 1998: my Michael died at age 30. Heart attack in his sleep (related to sleep apnea). News of his death came to me via a message left on my answering machine. The message came from 178 miles away, from our old hometown. Incredulous I was, at least for a bit. I was coming home to call him and tell him I had just enrolled into a BSN program. It was something he had nagged me to do from our first months together in 1990...

with these specific dates cycling... you see we arrive back at September 7th, 2004: diagnosis.

For me:

Events become memories.... memories become anniversaries.

Anniversaries become rituals,

RItuals often commemorate respect of some thing, or for someone. RItuals are by definition, repeated actions.

As such, out of *respect* for those I have lost... remembering them inadvertently causes me to relive the events surrounding their deaths every year: a by-product of such an exacting (and seemingly selective) memory.

Notice how these spontaneous recollections surrounding deaths are far more detailed than those of birthdays.

Now that the 'anniversary' of the diagnosis has passed, I would like to think I will be fine for a while.

Another date is imminent. Which one it will be is not up to me.

Will it be his 54th birthday on October 5th? Or... will it be the day we ultimately lose the fight against SCLC?

I am OK with the idea of his death. I have to be; it is inevitable.

In the end: I would have considered no other way of dealing with this, I am proud and so grateful to my boss for granting me the opportunity to do the right thing morally. Being here for my husband (and he for me) is a rare and beautiful gift, We both have grown as individuals, lived a lot in the months since September 7th, 2004.

More soon, just very tired.

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You have such a beautiful way with words. I am so sorry you have these bad memories that stick in your mind. I know how hard all of these dates can be to deal with. I have been thinking of both of you and keeping you in my prayers.

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