Well, I’ve been thinking about what to blog about since so much has been happening with me lately and as I was reflecting on all of it I realized that I’ve actually been living life. Maybe not “experiencing” life, but living it. Actually, just surviving it.
This past year to year and half have not been anything I want to remember. Not only did I survive my youngest child beating (so far) Stage 3 Melanoma, which that in and of itself was enough for me, but surviving my husbands struggle and death from cancer as well.
And I realized that just since Scott’s death alone, I’ve survived 7 major holidays, Memorial day, 4th of July, Labor Day weekend, my birthday, our 8th year anniversary of being together, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. And through this, my own health problems, surgery and recovery.
And to top that off, a trip to Project Mexico/Casa de Esperanza in tribute of and it memory of my late husband (I hate saying that because he was never “late” for anything). I only took photographs for him, and tried to see things through his eyes and the eyes of God.
With each holiday, I’ve missed the presence of Scott. His memory is always going to be with me and I’ve learned to embrace that rather than try to forget, because the pain of my loss is so great that I just want to forget it all, but I can’t. He was a “memorable character”. How could I possibly forget the man who taught me so much about how to live life and how to love life?
Simply, I cannot and will not ever forget that man.
So, while during my trip to Casa de Esperanza and Thanksgiving, the last major holiday, I embraced his memory and asked God to open my heart and mind to everything He wanted me to remember. And I found myself reliving how excited Scott was to be a part of Project Mexico and the day we got the diagnosis last year, the day after Thanksgiving.
I wondered what was going through Scott’s mind that day. He was angry with me after he told me about the phone call from the doctor. Well, not really angry with me, just angry period.
I wanted to tell my family and he wanted to keep it a secret. I didn’t understand that but I respected his wish. But he knew that I would need to “talk it out” with someone otherwise I would just implode emotionally, then he picked the perfect people for me to do that with – Sharon and Bobby Genton.
Then as I’m remembering this, I remembered a brief conversation (that I had forgotten all about till then), when he took me aside and held my face in his hands and got really close to me, looked me in the eyes and said, “I really need you to be strong with me through this.” All I could say was “I will”.
And dang it all, I think I was. I really believe that I was strong, not only with him and often times for him till his death and after.
I can only imagine the thoughts that ran through his mind from the day of his diagnosis to his death. He didn’t always share his feelings with anyone, but he did with me, most of the time.
But, not this time.
I knew he was scared. Heck, I was scared. There were moments of utter fear and I remember them well. Those memories haunt me.
But now, I find myself remembering the good times, the touching times, the loving times. I push out the bad memories and cover them with the good ones.
For me, it’s about forgiveness.
I’ve experienced every possible range of emotion from love to a great sense of loss, and from joy to completely huge anger and back again. But now, it’s time to get down to the heart of the matter –and again, that’s forgiveness. It reminds me of the Don Henley song. It really is for me, about forgiveness.
Not just forgiving Scott for being a jerk to me a lot of the time, but forgiving God for allowing Scott to leave this earth (and me and his kids) so soon. Forgiving the doctors who mishandled his health care, forgiving the health care system as we knew it. Forgiving the things of this world that cause cancer to begin with. And forgiving the people who spent so much time with us for leaving me alone now.
The ones who have remained in my life will always remain. The ones who choose not to, then they miss out. And I’m now finally okay with all of that.
And as I face yet more holidays, I will try to remember him and the memories of “us”. And I’ll embrace that and all the conversations we had this past year.
And this Christmas I will hold on tight to all of our memories together.
Even though I will miss him more this Christmas than all previous holidays, I will still hold on.