We’ve switched to daylight saving time so at 5 am it is still dark but I woke up around 3 when I heard L’s breathing all the way from two rooms away and got up to check on him and be sure that the tubing for his oxygen wasn’t tangled or pinched. He was sleeping and the tubing was fine and I went back to bed but not to sleep. I lay there thinking about what lies ahead–the silence that will come once he’s gone and so is the constant hum of the oxygen compressor/condenser–whatever they call the thing that has become the background soundtrack of our lives. These days I liken our situation to that of sitting at a RR crossing–the gate is down, the warning lights are flashing, the warning bells are dinging and we can see the train–but it just sits there and so do we. We know that eventually it has to come but we can’t say when and in the meantime this waiting has become our routine. I was thinking back 2-3 years as I lay awake last night–remembering the almost imperceptible process of L’s decline. There was the time when I took over all the yard work–mowing the grass, shoveling the snow, raking the leaves, trimming the bushes–things he once did with me or for me. I thought then that this was a small price to pay for giving him more time (and energy reserves) to do the things he enjoyed–biking and walking with friends, fishing, going to basketball games and plays and art shows and movies and parks. It never occurred to me in those earlier days that eventually that slow process of letting go of all those things would lead us to this. But although our life has fallen into a routine now that I understand will become even more restricted as the days and weeks go by I am content. We are together with incredible support of a network of caring others and we talk and laugh together as we did when things were “normal” (whatever that is).
Yes, every day we get is like a gift–a feast of life to be savored–and I hope that train just keeps sitting there.