Monday, January 24, 2011

No Regrets

If he dies, I will die.  God doesn’t give you more than you take.  God, I think I hit my limit.  Jane, this is life and with life is also death.  This is what I have dreaded all my life.  I can’t do this.  I don’t want to do this.
Heeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooo, Jane!  This is Ricky and you will do whatever you have to. You can do this.  You will do this; you will have no regrets. I didn’t want to watch my husband die.  I would care for him and never wonder if I could have done more.  I would be there for him.

My mother was that one who instilled the “no regrets” attitude in me and for this I am grateful. When I was little, my mother would get all eight of us up and movin’ as she used to call it.  We lived in a creaky old farm house in Upstate NY.  I could hear her coming up the stairs and would hide under the covers. “Good morning, Boils!” she would sing to my brothers, Jimmy and Tom, in the next room.  “Good morning, Goils!  Time to get up!” she would sing to Patty, my older sister and me.

It was a sin to botch up her schedule.  Everything worked like a well-oiled machine.  In the bathroom, down to eat, up to wash, uniforms on, down to grab a lunch and book bag but not out the door.  My mother always insisted that we say good-bye, get a kiss, and say I love you.  She would watch us from the front window, the curtains on either side of her face, blowing kisses.

“You never know which day will be your last. You never want to live with regrets,” she told me many times.  My mom was widowed at 29, the mother of four under six years old.  “There was a day that your dad didn’t come home. I always want you to know I love you.”

I did have some regrets.  As I sat in the hospital room, watching Rick sleep, I kept remembering the times I said, “I hate my life.” These were words I had spoken, not to Rick, not to anyone in particular.  These were the selfish words spoken like a teenager, thinking something was better than my world.  I would have given anything to go back in time and take those words from my mouth or my mind, wherever I spoke them. I knew how rich my life was and how I loved my life and how I didn’t want it to change. I love my life.  I love Rick and I want him here, God.  Please don’t take him from me.

Each day took a toll on Rick.  The chemo, the radiation and the drugs were beating him down… 


  1. Your mum is a brave woman, and you are no different.

  2. Thank heaven for mothers. They give us that inner voice that says "go on ya".

    It must have been so hard watching Rick fade away before your very eyes.