Monthly Archives: May 2017


Oh there you are. You come every day don’t you?

Yes I come to see you every day, because I want to be with you.

Will you always come?

Yes I will always come (mentally crossing my fingers behind my back, since i don’t come every day, but usually 3 or 4 times a week).

It will be you and me together.  Forever, even after I…..?

Yes. Forever.

Good. That’s how it should be. That will be alright.

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Things are different

Often unnoticed i am doing things differently since Don “moved out. “

First of course, the wording. He didn’t exactly choose to move, but on the other hand it was his disease that caused this cataclysm. In any event, those are the words i have found myself using.

But here’s more of the things i notice. Not things i am doing from deliberation.

* Making my bed every morning. Where’d that come from? Never since i decided girl guides was not for me have i made my bed every morning. Now it just seems like a good thing. Huh?

* Buying original art – not going nuts -only 2 pieces – but just buying stuff i want in my life. Never ever would have thought of doing that. Just suddenly happened.

* Singing aloud little chants and tunes. Suddenly i am living alone and the neighbours can’t hear with the windows closed. Who knew i was a secret bluesy rappy poet?

* Accomplishing large amounts of work in publishing without even noticing. And saying No to much of the endless make-work — the pointless petitions, meetings without purpose, indignant junk news —  that seems to be a hallmark of our times and used to dominate mine.

And, of course, sleeping in until 9 or 10 in the morning, partly because i seem to still need a lot of sleep, but mostly just because, for the very first time in my life, I can.

I hope there is more to come, because surely the price of all this pain should be some great flowering, enlightenment or more! But for now I am feeling the sun come round again and watching for the green shoots to emerge from the thawing ground.

4 months after i first wrote this post, i notice i am now calling it, “since Don left,” which seems satisfyingly accurate … he left on his life journey. I still visit him most every day or two but it is clear this is only a shadow of my man. Still him. Still trying in his totally impaired way to look after me. But he left on his journey – the one trip  we can only do alone.

His care for me is still evident. Questions about money, about the car, about the men, “Are they grabbing at you?” Not jealous.

And today, out of nowhere, playing with the forks and spoons, not interested in the food, but momentarily intent, “Are you feeling stronger now?” to which i answer, honestly, a bit surprised, “Yes, yes I am.” “Oh good, i knew you would.”

And we go back to playing with the soup and sandwiches, me blinking at that same strange intercept we have always had, for 35 years,  where the words seem as if they were random but they speak to what matters. The feeling of being in the presence of something, of the universe shifting into focus for those brief moments, an enormous syncronicity, and gone as my mind, agape, wanders weakly back to lunch.

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I bounce down the hall and into the special care ward, practically with a song in my heart, feeling good. The place is pretty quiet, and I spy my love sitting firmly in a chair.

This is good because for far too long he has lurched along on aching feet. I approach, as he sits motionless. Not agitated, not sleeping, not talking to himself as he often does. Just sitting, thinking, I guess.

“Oh look at that beautiful face,” he greets me. “Who are you?”

We get through the preliminaries and i don’t know if he really remembers who i am, but he is happy to hold hands as we talk. “I guess we’ll being heading to Ontario soon,” he suddenly says clearly.

“Yes,” I reply. “But not right now.” I feel my heart begin to tear apart but try to ignore it.

“Do you have enough money?” he asks.

“Yes, there’s lots of money.”

“Oh good, I was thinking and thinking to see if we had money. I love you all the time. ”

By then I am shattered and tossed helplessly in grief again. “I’m sorry I’m crying.”

“Yes,” he says calmly, “I see that.”

And, with much deliberation, some apparently aimless fussing, and a lot of confusion about the tea, the spoon, the food, we eat lunch and I come home until the next time.

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Who are you?

Don today pretty calm. Very interested in hanging around the nurse and the med cart. Pretty good for 4 pm when he has been usually sundowning. Happy to sit down and rest. Asked me who i was and where delores was. Having trouble pronouncing my name. Asked me at one point, “You’re Jim aren’t you?”

But overall he seems to be a bit more content, more bemused than frightened, and that has lifted my own spirits too.

A tiny tiny tiny touch of anti-anxiety med might be helping him. Time will tell but it has been 3 weeks since any paranoid expressions. Just hoping, because to lose him,  have him confused and ill AND in fear is more than i can bear.

As for me, some heavy duty absorbing work, spring, and the tiny pea shoots in my small garden, along with knowing don is comfortable, have lifted my spirits.

Despite the odd diversion into regret and a more accepting grief,  I wake calm and happy, eager for the day. I have no grandiose plans or ambitions, but i am content with daily life. This is one of those periods when i count our blessings, and include our public health system among them.


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