April 11, 2019

Physical death is the enemy of physical life, but this death has superior forces, it always wins in the end.  The body invariable wears out.  In this battle we didn’t want a General Custer, we wanted a Robert E Lee, a commander who knew to fight the battles we could win and surrender the ones we could not.  The biggest harm would have been to fight on every front to the bitter end.  It took us time, but we surrounded ourselves with doctors who worked with us to our end not theirs.  We surrendered certain aspects of our lives to focus on being together until the gentle end.  Deb and I consciously made these decisions together.  It was worth it to see her happy, that’s all I ever wanted anyway.

We gave up some pride, to ask for help.

We gave up some comfort in the future, to spend time traveling together while we were able.

We gave up nicer cars, to take longer and more meaningful vacations.

We gave up a fancier house in town, to build a cabin in the woods, together.

We gave up a longer life together with no children, for the joy of Hayden and Quinn.

We gave up days of relative safety at home watching tv, for a bookstore and a job she did well.

We gave up hell here, for our gift of eternity together.

Deb talked to me several times about going gently, without pain and suffering.  She never wanted to spend her last days in a hospital or nursing home.  We had discussed both of us moving to an assisted living apartment when the time came.  We really wanted to buy a duplex and give an aide free room and board in the other half, for help in our own home.  Looking back now, I couldn’t have asked for an easier way for her.  It was the worst thing I could even imagine for me, but I believe she went as she wished.  We had the time to plan because we knew it would happen eventually, physical death always wins.  I feel God gave me warnings about the way it could go.  The week in the ICU when Ds kidneys shut down, the breathing difficulties the past two winters.  If I look at it objectively, He told me time was limited, I just didn’t see what he was trying to show me.  God gave us thirty years to set things up and then allowed her to come home early.  It was not in our plan, but He knows so much more than we do.  I never felt that He took her, He just allowed her wish to go easy.  I do struggle with the feeling of unfairness that I should have got to go too.  I always thought my mission was to take care of her, so what is my mission now.  I have always been a little slow on seeing things clearly, so God will have to show me in small words.

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