Saturday, June 23, 2007

Time to remember

I am sitting here thinking. The house is quiet, and I had some amusing snippet to share, and then my brain started dwelling on the things filling my heart instead. I am writing this primarily for those of you who know me. In real life, and also my little band of dear blogging friends. And then I will let it go and resume normal random musings, but maybe not for a week or two. If you know me in real life, I don't want to talk about any of this. Not right now.

My days at the moment are all starting with "this time last year...". I keep pushing down the well of emotion and now and then it bubbles up like a geyser. Of Old Faithful-like proportions. I never intended this blog to be an emotional place. I never intended to write about anything other than day to day musings. But then life sort of happens when you are making other plans, doesn't it?

This time last year, today, Geoff was brought home from work because he couldn't breathe. 13 days later, I watched as his life slipped away in the early hours of the morning of the 7th July. As I write, the tears are trickling down my face, and it is not an attractive sight. I remember standing next to him, holding his hand, just watching the blood pressure machine readings dropping lower and lower, and the heart monitor getting slower and slower, and thinking that it was all a dream and that I would wake up soon. I remember looking up and whispering, it is okay. You have fought so hard. You can let go now. We will be okay. Just head towards the light and don't look back.

And then the machines stopped beeping and just made that one long sound. Exactly as they do in hospital TV shows. And it was over.

I remember walking out of the critical care unit at 4 in the morning, and sitting on the steps in the empty car park, wondering how I could phone my children and tell them that their Dad had died. David was at home with one of my friends. Andrew and Ann were in London, and Diana was so very far away in New Zealand. I remember worrying that my mobile phone would have enough battery life left to be able to talk to them all. That I wouldn't be there to hold them when I told them. The hospital was an hour and a half away from home. I remember watching the sun rising as I spoke to each of my children, and to my sister. I remember every single aching second. It is as though it was freeze framed in my mind.

And so, in the space of those 13 days, our lives changed forever. I have written before about how immeasurably different I am today to that woman who sat on those steps that morning, wondering what and how to say the words that no-one wants to have to say. We had never talked about death, or its possiblity. I asked him once if he was afraid, and he said so simply....what is the point of worrying...there is nothing I can do about anything except concentrate on breathing. He was a quiet, simple man, who never complained.

Battling with tidal waves of regrets and sadness, fear, shock and a loneliness that staggered me beyond belief...... I was so unprepared for it all, even though I knew right from that day a year ago today, that he was going to die. I don't know how I knew. I just knew.

But this little family, which is the focus of my life, has made it through the first year. There have been tears, of course. Many, I suspect. But there has also been laughter too. Memories made and shared. There is still a lot to do before we can "move on" (oh, how I hate that phrase). There is an inquest to deal with. It all takes so long. I so want to be at the stage where we can just remember the man, not the medical details or events surrounding his death.

Sometimes I, like all of us, just wish for a brief period when everything works, goes smoothly and there is no more tough stuff to deal with. Sometimes, I lie in bed and everything that is "pending" swamps my mind and overwhelms me. Maybe that is why I stay up so late at night.

But this is not about me. This post is about memories, and about looking, not at how far we have to go, but at how far we have come. I can't change the past. I may wish I had done and said things differently, but I can't turn back the clock, can I. I can't undo any of it.

So for now, I will remember him tossing my babies in the air. BBQing for the family. Watching football. Sailing away...........

20 comments:

Dawn said...

Linds, this is absolutely breathtaking in its simple beauty. I haven't had the chance yet to go back and read the posts from a year ago, as I have intended to do. I am so thankful that we have met this way. I am aching in my heart for you today. I am so thankful that you have made it this far. What you wrote today makes me want to cherish every moment and every memory that we are making today. Thank you for that.

Hungry Hippo said...

Big Hugs

His Singer said...

Ah Linds,

My heart hurts for you. Know we care and are here.

Many cyber-hugs, my friend.

Isabelle said...

Oh, oh, oh. You write so beautifully and so sadly. Big hugs indeed. Geoff was a lucky man to have you. But how sad that he died too early.

My husband's father died of a heart attack at 64 and my husband is now 59. I worry, feed him garlic capsules and aspirin and broccoli, but I still worry.

My heart goes out to you. Aren't children wonderful, though? Yours are obviously lovely and must be a great comfort. But still. It's very hard.

Susie said...

Dear Linds,
As I read these touching words, I could feel your pain and loss.
I can not (or will not) even think about that happening to my husband. I truly believe it is my greatest fear in life.
You're such an example of strength to those of us reading your posts.
Sending you love and (((hugs)))

TaunaLen said...

Oh, Linds. My heart breaks reading this. But at the same time, I am challenged again to find the things in every day that will become special memories, and enjoy those things to the fullest. I hope I never again entertain the idea that this is just another day. Be strengthened and encouraged, Linds.

~TaunaLen

meggie said...

Linds you write so beautifully of your emotions.
I hope writing about it helps.
Big Hugs. ((((((0))))))

Penless Thoughts said...

Linds, I did not know you a year ago. I am so thankful I know you today. You are a very remarkable woman and you write with such strength, courage and wit. You have made me laugh and laugh and today I am crying with you. I can only imagine what it might have been like. I have not experienced what you have so I cannot begin to say that I know how you must feel.....I do not.....I can not. But I know that I am glad to call you friend and that I wish for you many good things that I just know life holds for one such as you.
((hugs))
Susan

Crystal said...

Oh, my friend! I'm glad you took time to write these things and to share them. How heavy the load has been this past year and how encouraged I am when I see the memories you choose to remember instead. You are an amazing woman. God still holds you close as I do in my prayers too. ((( HUGS )))

Jan said...

My mother has said that the firsts were the hardest for her after Daddy died--first Christmas, first birthday, first anniversary. She says somehow after that first year things began to come back into focus for her. I hope you are able to keep the good memories, and let the others go.

Linda said...

I can hardly see for the tears swimming in my eyes. Linds - you have written so eloquently. I hear your sweet heart. There is nothing to be said that will suddenly make everything all right. What I want to say is I hold you in my heart and in my prayers. I weep with you and for you. I rejoice with you in a love that was so very precious. I wish life didn't have to hurt so much at times. It comes to all of us in one way or another. We do have a God who also weeps with us and who loves us with a breathtaking love. I really believe these things hurt His great heart too. Some day all things will come right. Until then please know that there are others who care deeply about the things that touch your heart and pray for you. That is what we can do for one another. And we can listen. I'm so glad you wrote this post. It is so poignantly beautiful.

Kimmie said...

Hi Linds ;-)

Sending you a hug, I can remember what it was like when I was pregnant with my oldest and I suddenly lost my dad- the sadness was huge and overwhelming at times.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us, can I pray for you? (I tried to post this once before-but as I don't see it posted...I will try again, because I want to encourage you ((((HUG)))))-please forgive me if you get it twice!

Father I thank you for Linds, I thank you that she has opened up and let us know the pain that she is going through-the pain that comes from such a huge loss of someone whom we love. Lord, I thank you for her marriage, her children, for all the wonderful memories she can cherish, but God I would ask that you bring her comfort, that she would find love and support around her, that she would let herself share her heartache and struggles, so that we can surround her with your love. I pray a deeper relationship with you begins , that you would guide her and deposit your joy into her heart, mind, soul and spirit. I pray that she finds you in a new and meaningful way, and that your love, peace and comfort bring her new hope and direction for her life. I pray that Linds finds encouragement today and the days to come, that you bless her with friendship and that you would draw near to her.
I thank you that you brought us together and that we can pray for each others needs. I know you hear us and answer us, my life is testimony to that. May my friend be blessed abundantly by your hand and may your touch bring refreshing to her.
Thank you in advance Father for what you are doing in her life, I pray that it moves her deeply and that she will never be the same again.
I ask this in the name of Jesus, amen.

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

At A Hen's Pace said...

Linds--

What an eloquent tribute to your family and, in a humble way, to yourself. You process your grief so honestly.

Praying for you at this difficult time of year...

Jeanne

His Singer said...

Linds, m'dear...

Please drop by hisunfinishedwork.blogspot.com when you get a chance. I've a little something for you there.

Again, many hugs.

Penless Thoughts said...

Just wanted to drop by and tell you the Lord has placed you in my heart and on my mind each and every day this week and that you are very much in my thoughts and in my prayers.
(((hugs)))
Susan

Penless Thoughts said...

Thanks for your comment back to me. Are you doing okay? I know this is a very hard time for you but just want you to know I am aware of that and care deeply.
((hug))
Susan

Barb said...

This moved me to tears, Linds. I can't imagine but I know for sure that you're one of the strongest people I know. These memories must be so difficult. I wish I had the right words.

A year has gone by and look at you now - getting through your days with strength and courage and recovering. My prayers are with you.

I also wanted to let you know that your name is in the hat for the wedding favor giveaway - and of course it doesn't matter that you don't exactly live next door. Although I wish you did. :-)

David said...

We all love you for what you've done. You've been a star this year and for the next you can relax...

...except for school!

Linds said...

Oh wow...... David is my youngest son.

Dee said...

What a beautiful tribute. Must be very difficult to go through. My dad died suddenly and it was a very difficult time for all of us (he drowned). It was a matter of a phone call, and our lives were changed. ((( hugs ))) D