10 August 2015

Live Well ~ Die Well





Yesterday was horrific. Russ refused to eat, drink, get out of bed or communicate.  I cried most of the day.

This morning as I turned over in our bed, my heart in my throat, I found him awake and alert.

I could sense today was not going to be an ordinary day. I was right.


'Babe I am so sorry about yesterday. I just checked out. 
I may be sinking into depression. I am just so tired. I don't know if I can do this.
I am so sorry.'


Instant tears leapt from my eyes as I saw my once strong man, now bedridden, crumble in agony at his admission. I took his hand, reminded him of our conversation three months ago, where we agreed that when he felt his fight was over that it would be OKAY.

The assurance fell from my lips as I promised that, until his last breath, I would fight on his behalf. The rest of us will fight but he does not have to live up to our expectations. He can rest in the freedom of knowing others have got his back.

He reached across and wiped the tears from my face and said the words that tore my heart in two.

'But I don't want to leave you.'

I reminded him, come what may, I will see him again soon. We will run those perfect trails in the New Earth. The ones where I won't get tired or be scared of snakes. We would be together again. No pain, no suffering and no running injuries!

And he smiled.

I promised him I would take care of our kids,  I would make sure his legacy was tangible every single day of our lives. I promised him that while we hold our faith firmly until the end we can still plan for a glorious exit.

There will be no defeat in this thing we call death but only unexpected victory.

08 August 2015

The Bottom Line

It has been four months.

Four months of unabated hardship.  (woe is me)
There have been silver linings;
moments of sweetness but only because we have truly sought them. If I look back, in wordly terms, we have had a pretty kak time.

At every turn worst case scenario has bitten us.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a doctor say these words in the last few months; in a variety of contexts :

"Unfortunately this can happen, it's unusual but it can happen. I am so sorry."

I have long ago given up asking the infuriating WHY question. All this did was make me angry, bitter, confused and ultimately completely unsatisfied. I have simply had to settle for the HOW.

How do I get up today?
How do I make it through this hour? 
How do I know if this pain will ever stop?
How do I make sure I survive and am enough to take care of the emotional needs of my kids?
How do I tackle the horrors of admin, banks, lawyers, home affairs and SARS in the face of death?
How do I care for myself, my man and my kids?
How do I reconcile my future to what I have known in the past?
How do I make it through the night listening to his laboured breathing without screaming in anguish?
How do I live another day with the knowledge that my person is leaving me? 
How do I deal with the fact that grieving is already a daily occurrence and yet there is still so much more to come?

I have seen so much in the last four months. Scripture, inspirational quotes, learned people, youtube clips, testimonies, books.... so much  has found its way into my orbit but ultimately the answer to life is not very complicated. In fact it is very, very simple.

Life is hard. Accept that you have no control. Surrender. Now go get on with it.