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Thursday, January 5, 2012

The honor of royalty...

Today the world lost one of its special people.  She didn't invent anything or make lots of money.  She didn't  have the finest clothes or home or car or much of anything that was fine, to be honest.  She wore t-shirts and shorts, and was in bed alot by the time I met her.  There was no question that by the first visit, I knew I was taking care of royalty.

By royalty, I mean, the best of the best.  She had fought the cancer fight for alot of years and when I met her, the cancer was starting to win.  Despite that, she had a smile that lit up the room and was kind and gentle with every response.  She was hopeful but also realistic.  "Yeah" she said, "I have pain but I'm pretty lucky really, because I can take my pills and it takes care of it."
When I walked out of that house, I knew this wasn't going to be easy.

She had grown kids, they had kids and her family adored her.  They talked about how she is and now was,  the glue of the family...she held them all together.  I could see when we spent time alone talking that she adored the kids and her husband and there was a sadness about leaving them. 

Today, she finished the fight...with her family by her side and the constant talk of love, she slipped away.  She was tired, to be sure and can rest now.  No more pain, worry and exhaustion.  Done.

I watched from the outside of the family circle while her kids caressed her face and told her what a wonderful mother she was, how they are going to miss her but they will never forget her...then her husband looked down at her and said it was okay to let go, stop fighting and be at peace...how he loved her so much and thanked her for their life together...and I walked away and cried. 

You see, to the big world that we live in, sometimes folks that just care and love their spouses and kids no matter what, get brushed aside.  "What have they done that's special?" is a question that comes to mind.  But really, what they have done is more special than anything money can buy...to love a spouse deeply, be connected enough to weather a big storm such as sickness and death at home, to raise kids that are there and will keep the family as one when the glue melts away...that is what is special, and that is the kind of people the world needs alot of. 

So tonight as I sip my pink wine and remember the honor it was to care for this special lady, I think about how I am not like her and want to be...how a month of time with her has touched me so deeply and profoundly that I want the world to know how special she was.  I was given a gift to care for her and she knew she was giving that to me.  A person so special that when she was at the end of her life, she still gave gifts to strangers...

As I said to my friend when I said goodbye..."bless you sweetheart, I will see you soon...save me a seat..."

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,
Terry

1 comment:

Birdie said...

There is something so amazing and special about Palliative care. It is a time so precious, and being there is like being at a birth of a baby. Though the emotions are ying and yang, being with a person as they are in the last stages of living is an honour.
I know this woman would be grateful that she touched your life and that you touched hers.