Monday, February 14, 2011

The Weight of the World

I had the weight of the world on my shoulders.  It was the dread of the transplant.  It was the right choice but it was also scary.  I drove home from work and went to Doreen’s to pickup Michael.  He was talking all the way home.  I drove down the hill toward our home and looked at our front yard.  It was a beautiful day; everything was beginning to bloom and there in front of me were Jack and Rick playing catch, each with a glove.  I arrived in the driveway and they waved to me.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Jack was jumping with excitement.  “Watch, Mom!” he smiled and threw Rick the ball. 

Rick was standing with his cane leaning on his hip and threw the ball back to Jack.  “That is awesome, guys!”  I walked over and gave Rick a kiss.  “Hi, sweetie!” he said.  Michael and I sat up on the bench in front of the house and watched them until it was time to go in.   

It was Friday night and Karen called and offered to take the boys for the night.  Jack and Matt had a baseball game the next morning.  We had four days before Rick would leave for NIH for the bone-marrow transplant. Karen picked them up and Rick and I had the house to ourselves.

We were very scared at the thought of what was to come.  Two of my friends from my masters program were bringing dinner. “Rick, they’re coming in a little while.  Why don’t we have them witness you signing the living will and that way it will be behind us?” I asked him.  “Janie, I just don’t want to be seen.  I look so awful.  I’m not up to it,” he replied.  I couldn’t argue with him; it was really his choice and I felt certain that NIH would probably encourage him to take that step next week.

My friends arrived to drop off the meal.  I thanked them and they were on the way.

Ah... a lost chance… Oh, I wish I had convinced him but onward, Jane.

I got the meal together and we ate in the den.  Rick sat in his chair and I was on the end of the hospital bed.  We chatted and finished eating.  I cleaned up and went back to join him.

I sat down on the floor between his feet and put my head in his lap.  He stroked my hair; I started to cry,  “I’m really afraid, Ricky.”  “I know,” he said, “I am too.”  “I don’t want you to go away from me.  Every time you have that chemo, you’re gone.  I’m afraid you won’t come back,” I sobbed.  He leaned over and kissed my head.  “I love you so much and I don’t want to lose you, Rick,” I sobbed.  “It will be okay, Jane. I love you too. We’ll get through it.”  We sat there for a very long time together.
That night we decided to skip the hospital bed and slept in our own bed. It had been months since Rick even walked in our room. It was possible that we wouldn’t be together for a very long time.  Rick was feeling pretty well and was walking with the cane.  I put lots of pillows around his head and under his legs so that he would feel supported.  We both fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.

I woke later and I put my hand out and touched the band of his pants.  Yes, he was there.  I turned over and went back to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Thank God for the power of love. The love between you and Rick was so strong even that mean old cancer couldn't separate.