It's been a while since I've posted. Life has taken me down, turned my voice into tears and I've not been able to do much but wake up (sometimes not easily) and then spend the day putting one foot in front of the other. Our daughter, Patty (same name as me, now there's something to ponder) was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer on December 13 and she died in our arms, here at home, on Feb. 5. Seven weeks. How can that be? I brought her to the ER on November 21 and it took 12 biopsies and surgery to diagnose her. That's how tricky and elusive the pancreas is.
Patty was actually my stepdaughter. But having loved and raised her from the age of 14, she was also my daughter. As one Hospice worker expressed, "She has her mother, and you're her mom." That's the truth of it. We both loved her. We both took care of her in the ways we could. She came home to our home, her home, to die. And I would wish that on nobody. Hospice can prepare you. But only so much. The rest is uncharted territory. The memories are haunting. It's one thing to bring a loved one home and nurse her to wellness; quite another to nurse her until her death. I will write about this more in the months to come. I kept a journal during that time. It was the only writing I could do. The only voice I had was one of despair, of trying to make sense of our new reality.
But I'm finding other voices now. Rediscovering myself even as my husband and I move forward in grief. Even as I watch other family members try and find their way. As Tom Hanks (as Sam Baldwin) said in Sleepless in Seattle over the death of his wife: "Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while."
And that's life isn't it? Perfect for a while. But only a while. Then the sands shift and we're seeking new balance. When you have that perfect moment in your life, embrace it with all you have. Soak it up. Express gratitude. Live in the light.
Welcome to Pat's Place
This is the kind of place I'm lucky enough to enjoy every day, a place to think and write and talk with friends. I hope you'll join me here often, posting on my posts, letting me know what you think, what you believe, what makes you laugh or smile or cry. What makes you angry. Let's share thoughts, rant at the world's randomness, explore issues like karma, destiny and past lives, and literary ones, like what we're reading and how in the world writers create conflict in fiction. It's all up for grabs. So, what's on your mind? Post comments.
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