Those things that tear a heart apart~


I go up and down these several times daily.  These are the stairs to our rental here in southern California.  Going down these stairs isn’t so bad, really.  But each time I stand at their foot and contemplate climbing them, my pulse races, my breathing hitches, and I want to throw up.  I don’t, but I want to.

Each time I stand at their base, I remember our arrival.  I remember the high hopes we had that his fungal infection and pinched nerve would finally be resolved when he saw a doctor here.  Because we were here for 3 months and that would give him the time to be cured of both.  We’d started the conversation about having to settle down for a year while he regained his health.  Our settling down would more than likely be in Arizona, because he really couldn’t travel further than that.  Our attendance at a family wedding would be cancelled, as well as traveling to Indiana, back to Vermont to spend time with the grands, and any trips to New Jersey.  None of which we wanted to do, but he needed that time.

Traveling through this area, getting to here, we were excited.  Nice area, with lots of hiking opportunities.  As we turned in the drive to this place, our anticipation built-this looked perfect for us.  We took a look inside before unloading the car, and loved it.  Homey, cheery, cozy-life would be good for our time here.

Painful memory prevails.  Handsome Husband was unable to assist in unloading the car, and he apologized over and over to me for not being able to do any of it, never mind the heaviest parts.  I know he cringed as he watched me struggle with a 5 gallon water bottle.  Water that was metal-free, chemical-free and in a BPA free jug, all of which aided him with the fungal infection.  I know his heart broke as I lurched up these stairs with heavy suitcases.  He wanted to carry at least some of the smaller items but he couldn’t-the pain that radiated up his arm to his back just wouldn’t allow it.   He was the kind of man who liked to do such things for women.  He was the kind of husband who enjoyed doing these things for me.  He knew I was completely capable of doing for myself, as did I.  But if he wanted to do, then I was happy to step back.  Not being able to do this-it caused him so much heartache.  That’s why he insisted on doing all the driving.  He told me that if I had to do everything else, at least he could do that.

As I brought in the last of our supplies from the car, I stepped back and indicated that he should precede me up the stairs.  I wanted to be able to catch him if he stumbled.  Yes, we’d probably both go to the ground if he did, but I could at least cushion him a little.  It took him awhile to climb these stairs, holding on to the rail.  Every moment was painful to watch and stuck a blade in my heart, seeing this strong man falter.

He came down those stairs just a few times after the initial climb.  A couple of times we went to the hot tub that is on the property-it brought temporary relief to him.  A couple of times we came down these stairs so that we could make the 2 hour drive to the doctor of Chinese medicine, and just as many times, to the chiropractor.

The last time we descended these stairs, he was in excruciating pain, huddled over, with tears in his eyes, as I stayed close to his side, buckled him into the seat belt, and drove to the nearest hospital, whose name I had googled just minutes before.

He never climbed these stairs again.  And each time I climb them, I hate them.  I hate being here at this condo that held such hope for us.  I hate being in southern California, with the brightly blooming flowers and impossibly beautiful skies.  And yes,  I know that I will hate anywhere that I am, because he isn’t with me.

The very beat of my heart has changed with his death.


3 thoughts on “Those things that tear a heart apart~

  1. My hearth goes out to you. why such a horrible things do happen to nice people. How much happier life would be if our loved ones could stay with us as long as we stay with them.

    With love



  2. Thank you for continuing to allows us to join your journey. May you always carry Handsome Husband in your heart as he watches over you, as you travel on. Sadly we all must do this at some point.

  3. It isn’t fair that you both had no warning that this would happen, that you weren’t informed that it would be the last time dad walked those steps. It was too short a time from his check in to the hospital to the crematory. It’s bullshit, complete fucking bullshit. The feeling of such a massive injustice being done to you and pop, the beauty of Palm Springs seemingly mocking the seriousness of dad’s condition…..why?? It’s not right. It isn’t fair that he got cancer, he was so healthy! The slow build up to dad’s finale was not fair either. The hope that turned to grief…….incomprehensible and outrageous.

    Every day my heart breaks for you, mom. I want you out of California and in Arizona. The grief will not be replaced, but it will be contested with when Makayla is born, it will be a whole new dimension to your grief that arises when you see her. I promise you that dad will be there, he will watch over us for the rest of our lives and he is ok. We aren’t. And that is why we are here for you, for each other. I love you so much, ma.

Talk to me~

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