I can not imagine a worse position to be in than to be the spouse or family member of a dying person.
I marvel at Vi. She is a tower of strength, well being she is 5′ 2″ she doesn’t qualify as a tower but her strength is amazing. How she does all that she does is beyond me. The emotional load she carries every day, I think would cripple most people. But not Vi, she just keeps that pretty smile on her face and carries on.
OK, what is it Vi has to deal with even besides me. Both of her parents are sadly, in what are likely, the end stages of life. Her mother, Nellie, is either 81 or 82. Nellie has had a very hard life and suffered a heart attack about 2 years ago. It seems she has never quite recovered from that, or its lingering effects. Nellie also suffers a lot of back pain, is very unsteady on her feet and is pretty much bed ridden. She has expressed the same feelings of uselessness I have felt and understand. Nellie has lost almost all of her eye sight and is considered legally blind. She seems to have reached the point where, life, as she has it just isn’t worth the effort, the pain.
Vi’s father is in the very advanced stages of alzheihimer’s disease. His mind has been completely destroyed. He recognizes no one and lives in his own little world. His health is rapidly declining and it is accepted his time is very limited.
Pending death seems to be all around Vi. She is also a volunteer with hospice and palliative care. She meets with and tries to help or comfort those at the end stages of life. Out side, independant comments I have heard about her in this area are that she is a blessing to all she meets. But that came as no surprise to me.
Wow, her mother, her father, the people with palliative care and then there is me, a dying spouse. She has literally saved my life, dragging me to the hospital on times when I know I wouldn’t have gone. She is forced to sit by unable to do anything but comfort on my bad days. Watching my, seemly endless rounds of throwing up or sitting gasping for breath. She patiently waits while I sometimes struggle to find a word or to remember something. She faithfully reminds me to take the pills I would have forgotten. She steadies me, the times I am uncertain of my balance and may fall.
I can’t really imagine the pain and feeling of helplessness she must deal with daily, coming at her from seemly every direction.
When I moved to Thompson, I was just getting over a painful divorce. I was not looking for a new relationship and not even sure if I wanted one. I even said a little prayer, with wording something to the effect, that I felt I did not need a woman in my life and really wasn’t sure if at that point I even wanted one. But that if it was intended to be, may I be please guided to the “right” one. It was the very next day I met Vi.
I consider her to be a special gift from God, a little Angel sent to be with me. To have Vi in my life I am a lucky man and I know it. I tell her this often and call her my little Angel.
Vi, thank you for being you, thank you for being in my life. The world is a better place because you are here.
Your wife sounds like a very special lady. 🙂
Kelsey, you are so correct, she is a very special lady. She has a great internal strenth and a very big and kind heart. She is much as I picture both you and your mother from your writings.
Kelsey, special thank you from Vi
Here ya go. A round of orange juice on me and a toast:
To Vi: Bill’s gift from God and a blessing to those around her.
Cheers. Vi says thank you.
Billie, thank you from both Vi and myself.
Here is to you and Shauna, my two wonderful daughters.