If I could~

There isn’t much I would change about Handsome Husband’s time in hospice.  I certainly wouldn’t change the overall scope of how it all played out, because I was able to give him exactly what he deserved: he was surrounded by all the love that he’d given to so many over the years.  From the moment we checked him into the hospital and I started making those godawful phone calls, I had an idea in mind and everyone came on board to assist me in making that love felt by him.

Yes, there is one major, huge change, I’d make, in hindsight.   Oh, how I’d change this one thing!

The nights would belong to us.  To us, as husband and wife.  No matter who else wanted to be there with him, we’d have our nights together.  After dinner, after the kids or our friends and his buddies visited with him, we would say goodnight and I’d close the door to his hospice room, pull the chair up close to his bed, and the two of us would talk.  We’d talk about our wedding day, about raising the kids, about the difficulties, about our triumphs, about our decision to retire and go on the road, about our favorite travel stories, our favorite places, our favorite memories.

I think I would even move the other bed that was in the room over next to his, so that I could sleep next to him again, without fear of hurting him.  I’d put my bed in the up position, same as his, so that we could be level with each other.  As he tired, we’d whisper of our love for each other, how glad we were that he knocked on my door that long ago October day and found us.  We would say to one another all the words that two people who are in love with one another and saying a forever goodbye say to one another.  We’d say it in words, and we’d say it in the touching of our hands, and in the love that shone from his eyes to me and back again.

We’d be us again.  Yes, we both loved the kids so, so much, as parents do.  But we’d always guarded our marriage, the me and the him in it.  When the kids were small, our bedroom was ours.  They had the run of the rest of the house.  Out there we were parents.  In our bedroom, we were man/woman, husband/wife, lovers.  The kids had to knock if they wanted to enter, even if the door was open. They didn’t lounge on our marriage bed, and (how I can hear the screech of protests on this) we didn’t cuddle with them on weekend mornings.  He and I cuddled on weekend mornings, (I’m keeping this clean, folks), then went out to the kids and were their loving parents.  Once the kids grew up and left home, we didn’t have to try to find each other as lovers again-we never stopped.   All it did was get better, once we had the uninterrupted time.  We loved our time together then, and loved it more when we started our traveling life.   We were strongest when together, as us.

So, yes, if I could re-visit that nightmare-yet-filled-with-love, time, I’d take back our bedroom, even if it was in a hospice.  The door would be closed to the world, opened only to the necessary nurses, until the morning arrived and I opened it and we’d be parents again, he’d be a patient again, all the other roles would continue.

Hindsight.  It serves no purpose, really.  Though sometimes, I do think it can soothe the heart.  IMG_1142


7 thoughts on “If I could~

  1. Nicely thought out and well written, Alison. We can never do things perfectly at the time. Something tells me that Chuck accepted how things played out without a regret for the logistics.

  2. Every time I think about pop I miss him more. I didn’t think I could miss him anymore but every single day says otherwise. I wish we could go back and do just that for you and pop ma. Sincerely.

  3. I find the relationship and the connection you have with your husband very interesting. I wish I knew how to connect that way with my husband. You’re very lucky to have found that kind of love, to have lived the life you lived with Handsome Husband. I’m sure many are envious.
    Great post.

    • I know that I was incredibly blessed to have Handsome Husband in my life for the years that I did. We had so much that we dealt with over the years, but we knew, coming into our marriage with 4 kids between us, that we had to make a point of nurturing our marriage and hold it sacred, even before the kids because, if the kids didn’t have us as a strong unit, then who would they have?

  4. You have such sweet memories to hold onto. I had nothing like that when my husband died yet it was so very very painful. When the fog lifts a little more some things will be less important. ….especially the decisions he made. They came from his heart and his concern not from a bad place . You were so lucky to have known and felt what many can only dream about . I see those baby steps of you moving forward. ……love to you and how does your hair look and your car color …???

    • Hilary,
      My hair is actually growing in gray around my hairline, which is new but not surprising. I read somewhere years ago that stress, such as grief, can’t actually cause a person to go gray or white in their hair, yet I’ve seen numerous cases of such happening. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it-just letting it happen without actively thinking about it.

      My car-beautiful. It will help me so much being on the road surrounded by this creamy pink color.

      I’m striving each day to allow space for the love to at least be equal to the grief.

      Friends such as you make such attempts easier~

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