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Memories We Share - Part One

Updated on July 11, 2011


The thunder shakes the very foundation of our house and lightening strikes like a cobra, closer, more threatening with each flash. I watch as people hurry to their cars and struggle to see the roads they drive to their jobs, to their normal lives.

It is fitting that as we sit here discussing and planning his dying the skies proclaim that this is no ordinary day. If the skies were bright with sunshine and puffy white clouds floated serenely by I would surly scream out the agony that has consumed every ounce of me.

“Yes,” I acknowledge his requests. “You wish only to be cremated, no funeral, no urn, your ashes to be scattered. You do not desire any measure taken to prolong or revive life. You do not mind a celebration of your life if I keep it simple and I know you think no one will attend, but as we’ve discussed that is something for me, not you"

I will need a formal goodbye, a recounting of our many years together and a telling of your goodness and your response to a life that did not often deal you a winning hand. Even now, you push all of your chips to the middle of the table with a certainty etched on your face that only I can see through. The few others that bother to inquire see the bravado you have always projected and go on about their lives as if nothing has changed.

Before us, many knew you as the man obsessed with his work, often holding down three jobs at once. You would push yourself to the limit and just beyond and then disappear for days, not lost in a bottle of Jack Daniels, but having arrived home to your comforter, your love. There you would stay until some part of your soul would be quieted enough to begin the chase again and as long as the paychecks kept coming, your former wife accepted this, even welcomed your absence from your marriage bed and continued on with her life and that of the two children. If you provided enough, performed as expected, she might have a kind word or one not as harsh and your children grew understanding your place and your purpose. How very sad and what a loss that two such troubled people met and joined in a marriage as if combining years of pain and untold secrets would heal deep scars. How tragic that only as you told her you wanted a divorce that her past of being sexually abused by her drunken mother’s one night lovers would surface, far too late for you to have enough compassion left to undo the years she projected her hate onto you and made you the butt of her contempt for men. She had treated you as they had treated her, used you up, and left you lying in a place of shame and loneliness, wondering what you had done to deserve such a fate and having no one who could or would comfort you or teach you it was not your fault, as it was not hers.

Panic of a missing paycheck sent her into a fury that she openly shared with the children and try as you would to spend time with them, always providing above and beyond anything the courts would require, it was only when there was a large payoff that they chose to be with you for a few hours. I tried to show them who you are, how much you longed for a life different than what the four of you had experienced. I even felt there was progress for a time, until the mistrust and poison their minds had been filled with outweighed any monetary gain. Perhaps if you had left earlier, before they were teenagers with already formed opinions of what place you were supposed to fill, there could have developed a bond that could have grown into at least a mutual respect of feelings and maybe, eventually love. I tried for many years to believe they only felt pain, desertion and that the jealousy of our marriage, complete with my son and daughter is what fueled their feelings. It was the indifference that shocked me, that left me without the means to act as a catalyst of peace and caring. I wonder to this day if there was something you or I could have done but I saw no evidence of it and the years produced only a stronger estrangement.

But you, planted in love, grew out of your place of torment and into a husband and mentor to my children as fine as any family could desire. Oh, yes there were battles! My own children were teens when you came into our lives and my son in particular fought you for the place his father had left vacant. They witnessed just enough of our relationship that did not contain abuse, ugly names hurled at me, marks left on my body and my soul – just enough to give validity to what I had tried to tell them was not the way a family should function, not the way to treat another or to allow to happen to them. They kept watching for you to fail, for our love to be proven a lie, a façade. As another year was added to the one before and a decade added to those they had learned a new respect for me because that is what they saw demonstrated by you. It was a slow and often painful process and how you withstood the pressure of being between an over protective, inconsistent mother and two scarred children, I will never be able to comprehend. If the roles were reversed, I know I could not have survived that place. One thing that you can never claim though is indifference. We all had interaction with you and your place in the family was cemented in years of true labor from all four of us. Blessedly, the four of us came together not haven given up on finding a place called family.

Source

What will we do without you?

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  • Lola1929 profile image

    Lola1929 

    6 years ago from Oregon

    Dear Pooh... I can't but feel sad for your upcoming loss. That you have each other now and can talk about the future is a wonderful thing. How often we have those we love lost to us so quickly there was no time to say what we felt. So, I will tell you now, Pooh... I love you. You are very precious to me. Thank you for teaching me.

    Love from Lola

  • Poohgranma profile imageAUTHOR

    Poohgranma 

    7 years ago from On the edge

    My dear sweet friend, a visit from you is like sunshine on an otherwise dreary day! You don't have to say a word, just knowing you are my friend brings me happiness and I am honored by our friendship!

  • epigramman profile image

    epigramman 

    7 years ago

    ....I think of you often my friend from here at lake erie - you have been a big part of my life at the Hub online and I believe that it was a grand day we met - normally the epi-man has plenty to say but today I am speechless so I am just sending you good energy and positive thoughts your way and to your family too

    lake erie time 10:47am

    You are such a wonderful writer - it is a gift in which you possess and it has become a gift to all of us here.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 

    7 years ago from Minnesota

    Dear Pooh-You are such a kind and loving human being that has been through so much in this life but that is what makes you, you. You are a wounded healer that helps and touches so many. I pray for peace for you and your husband during this difficult time. In times like this, I can imagine it is all about cherishing every day together now. God Bless

  • Poohgranma profile imageAUTHOR

    Poohgranma 

    7 years ago from On the edge

    Sharyn - I hope there are lessons here. When I write, whether it is Fiction or Memoirs I always have the hope that it will touch lives and help in some small way whether it be a laugh, a smile, encouragement or a few minutes of escape into another world. Thank- you so much.

    SOH - Yes, Duchess really touched my heart with her comment!

    Movie Master - So very happy to meet you and I love having a new friend. I see we have more than a couple of things in common and I'll be watching for your articles. Thank you for coming here and for your lovely expressions of friendship.

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    7 years ago from United Kingdom

    Poohgranma, your writing is beautiful, my heart goes out to you both, you have a new friend x

  • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

    SomewayOuttaHere 

    7 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

    ..you've been busy...beautiful addition of words by Duchess...

  • Sharyn's Slant profile image

    Sharon Smith 

    7 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

    Dear Pooh,

    May I first say that your writing is awesome! I see that there are five parts already written to this story and I'm just catching up with the first part. My thoughts are with you as my heart feels somewhat heavy reading . . . I feel as I go along reading the additional segments, I will receive many life lessons from your journey. I appreciate this special gift from you.

    Sharyn

  • Poohgranma profile imageAUTHOR

    Poohgranma 

    7 years ago from On the edge

    Duchess, that is one of the kindest things any one has ever said to me. My sincere thanks.

    Not Wired and my dear friend, stars, your comments lift me up and make me feel as if I am not going to be alone in this. It eases a lot of stress and tension. Thanks to all, so very much.

  • DuchessDuCaffeine profile image

    DuchessDuCaffeine 

    7 years ago from United States of America

    Some believe that before making the journey to begin life with our parents, God gives each soul a task to be carried out in the world of man. Some will be explorers; others will be leaders, healers, teachers, artists, and so on. No matter what the Heavenly assignment may be, he turns our souls lose, telling us nothing.

    With free will as our rudder and faith as our compass rose, we take the first step in the journey of our lives. Quickly, it is followed by another and another, until the count has gone beyond counting and memories have taken their places.

    One of the harder Heavenly assignments is that of the Bridge Tender. These people are endowed with great compassion and an uncanny ability to sense and understand human behavior in all its great complexities. Still, these hardy souls give their love to others without reserve in spite of that knowledge. They are happy to help those who cannot see it, or perhaps are afraid to cross it.

    How many times in one life will a Bridge Tender make those crossings? It is unknown, especially to the Bridge Tenders themselves, who may be completely unaware of what they do for others. He or she simply knows, in their heart, who they are reaching out to, though they have no idea how long they may have to stand, waiting for the other to take their hand and begin the crossing.

    In that crossing, there might be heartache. There is almost always pain. In spite of these things, or perhaps because of them, the Bridge Tender takes firm hold of the other's hand and makes the journey whether the dangers are seen or unseen. In each undertaking, the trials and turbulence that shake the human spirit also bring the greatest insight and joy.

    You are a Bridge Tender, Poohgranma.

  • stars439 profile image

    stars439 

    7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

    Dear Phoenix : Everything in your hub is so very special, and you are both in our hearts, and prayers. God Bless You Precious hearts.

  • NotWiredThatWay profile image

    NotWiredThatWay 

    7 years ago from New York

    You're living the hard part. Don't worry about us.

  • Poohgranma profile imageAUTHOR

    Poohgranma 

    7 years ago from On the edge

    To each and everyone who has commented so far, first thank you for reading and for sharing this time with us. We do have joy, despite the situation we laugh and joke (the most outrageous sick kind sometimes) and we continue to adjust to whatever the new normal is for the day.

    He does not suffer, one thing I want all to understand. Emotionally he ponders the situation and may have some unspoken regrets and his spoken one is only that he feels like he is cutting out on me while I still need him. I will always need him, he is my other half. As far as physical suffering, Hospice has doubled one of his pain medications and we have been assured he will receive as much as he desires even if it takes so much that it will put him in a coma or semi-coma. We have discussed the end result if his heart or other organs do not give out first and he will not be allowed to go suffocated.

    As grim as the circumstances, we still have time and this has been a true blessing as many are taken so unexpectedly and never have the chance to say goodbye or make their last wishes known.

    I fluctuate in my moods throughout each day and cry when I need to though screaming is something I've held in. I may go for a drive now that my restrictions will soon be lifted on that since my heart attack on June 20th.

    Please feel free to read along if you wish. While the subject of dying is not comfortable for some to read, I feel we will all learn a lot from this journey. God's blessing to you all.

  • NotWiredThatWay profile image

    NotWiredThatWay 

    7 years ago from New York

    No words I convey can ease your pain Pooh, but my prayers and love are with you and your husband. You're a very special person. God blessed you with a precious gift, though not easy, you got to experience true love.

  • profile image

    baygirl33 

    7 years ago

    Pooh How can we keep from crying!?

    I see you tangled in a web with seemingly no way out.

    I see you watching him suffer ,watching him fade.

    My heart aches for you .

    God bless you both.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    I don't know what to say except I am sorry and love you a lot.

  • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

    DeBorrah K Ogans 

    7 years ago

    Dear Poohgranma, I am touched and inspired by your situation. My father passed away over fifteen years ago from Melanoma… I remember the attentiveness of the hospice caretakers to make him comfortable…. I PRAY knowing the presence of the Lord is with you through this journey you both share brings calmness and Peace! It is The LORD that gives us the breath of life. You have again touched me sharing the desire after many years to be together for as long as possible… You have certainly shared much together... GOD BLESS YOU!

    I pray that those who around you continue to encourage your heart. “If any among you suffering, Let him pray!” James 5. Father, I pray that you strengthen her as she goes through. Knowing Father that you are able to touch them both in a way that only you can. I ask in the Name of Jesus that your WILL is done in their lives! Let this be a time of reflection of the many good times and memories they have shared! Let them continue to CELEBRATE their lives together! We give you the Honor and Praise knowing that time belongs to you! Thank you for the continued Presence and may your Light shine throughout their home… FATHER, May YOUR LOVE cover them in the Name Of JESUS!

    I pray that you are encouraged In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace and Blessings! Healing comes on both sides of Heaven! GOD BLESS BOTH OF YOU!

  • Micky Dee profile image

    Micky Dee 

    7 years ago

    God bless you Pooh. My heart is down on the floor for you dear Pooh.

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 

    7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    My heart goes out to you both, little sister. May God watch over your home.

  • Enlydia Listener profile image

    Enlydia Listener 

    7 years ago from trailer in the country

    I wish you some little bit of joy even in this moment of sadness...life can be so heartbreaking at times.

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