Today I went to a funeral service. I actually was invited to 2 services this week but wasn’t able to do both. I had a funky week which I started to write about but I’ll share later. With this new month I decided to challenge myself to participate in postaday 2012. At least for the month of June. This will be my 50th post (on record here on WP) and would be neat to nearly double my postings in a month.
I’m in a healing season where it requires my full attention. It’s very important that I stay accountable to keep getting better and reflecting on each day will help. So no better time than now while I have lots of time. I have a goal to travel to Michigan at the end of July for the Transplant Games so I got to keep getting stronger.
Anyhow back to today. I wanted to make sure to be there for my youngest son’s 3rd grade teacher, Ellen whose husband passed away. I had already felt horrible missing another friend’s viewing from school. She had lost her baby in the 8th month of pregnancy. This could have attributed to why I wasn’t feeling all so great this week. It’s been very hard to be there for anything right now. I always just have to play it by ear and see how I feel.
I didn’t know Ellen’s husband Dan personally but since I was very active at my son’s school I would see him often, volunteering at the school especially in the D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students). Her husband was fighting stage 4 cancer and passed away at the young age of 47 also leaving 2 young children.
The part that was hard for me is that we were hospitalized during the same time and at the same hospital; but he never got to go back home. Ellen visited me during that time. Our conversation was a place of understanding that consisted of a tiredness of it all, what the doctors say, the wait and the faith that helped us get through.
This is what Ellen wrote about Dan’s last days:
It’s Saturday morning. Outside is bright and sunny. Inside, Dan still clings to life and to this mortal coil. The last two days, he’s been talking nonstop. Much of it, we do not understand. He’s clearly had some very pressing things on his mind and he has need of getting the message across.
His family has been here with us. We spent most of yesterday sitting at his bedside, reading to him, singing with him, playing music and hymns. He is very comforted at times by hearing old hymns and carols. At other times he seems to be trying to get out a certain story or scripture, and we are simply not good enough puzzle solvers to understand. When we do finally “get it”, he’s much relieved. Other times, he’s “teaching” and going through very important lessons. Again, we do not understand his words. When we try to speak and figure them out, he “shhhh”‘s us. A teacher to the end, quieting his final class.
The doctor tells us that this is, really, the end of his days. However, because he is so young and his heart and will are so strong, it will take time to go through this process. It’s so hard to see him this way.
I’ve known this man, he’s been the center of my life, for 29 years now. The man I’ve known, the strong man, the man of faith and love, he’s faded away in the face of this terrible debilitating disease. Cancer is the worst possible outcome to a life.
Once in a while this week he comes into focus, and for a few seconds he sees us and responds to us. Then the veil comes back down and he’s again fading away.
It will be over soon, I think.
There is no other way to describe this moment in time but to share what Ellen wrote a few days before her husband’s passing.
I brought my youngest son since it was his teacher. Unfortunately, funerals isn’t a new thing for us. It’s a reality I want both of my sons to understand early. I could see his quiet emotion. All he could say to me is that he feels sorry for their youngest son who is only in 2nd grade. We drove home both sad. It’s Friday and busy everywhere we turn but I’m still new behind the wheel so I basically go where the traffic takes me; in a direction heading home. It gave us time to talk and just enjoy each other’s company.
I always want to have open talks about the “D” word a.k.a. being called home to heaven. It’s just apart of having health issues (or reality period). You just never know. These 2 funerals wasn’t easy for me (or is it ever) but I’m glad I was able to at least attend one of them. They both will be in my thoughts and prayers these coming days.
The reality to life is it’s just not promised. Embrace it fully: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Focus on TODAY each day as if it was our last~