We don’t ask to become care givers, but when the diagnosis comes, we step into the task.
We do it willingly and yet, not realizing what’s ahead, and how hard the care giving will be, we take it on, one day at a time.
We work hard at being the best care giver we can be, because we’re watching over our loved one and what could be more important than that?
The days and nights are long, but we make it through…and more importantly so do they….until the cancer makes its move.
We don’t realize it at the time, but while all this care giving is going on, our lives have started to shrink. In the beginning, the “normal” was still there. Going out to dinner, having friends over, movies, mini-vacations; all the things that represented “life” were still on the calendar.
But as the disease progressed, the world began to shrink. Loneliness began to shade the days and life was changing. Did we even notice this was becoming the new normal?
And if cancer took your loved one, as it did in my case, grief rolled in and there wasn’t much room for any other emotion at the time.
But time has moved on. I still grieve for Leroy in many different ways.
Loneliness, a different version from what I felt in my care giving days, has taken on a new form, but one that is just as powerful.
I miss HIM. I miss the conversation. I miss the little, funny moments that were special to just us. When we laughed for just a second, but we laughed together. No one else would have gotten the joke. I miss him finishing my thoughts; almost like he could pull them out of my mind. It was scary sometimes. I miss him coming through the door late at night after another “Nightline” had come and gone. When he would sit on the couch and rewind through the day and fast forward to tomorrow.
That’s when loneliness calls…….