It starts this time of year…every year. Every year since 2008, I begin to question my care giving skills. I go over the events of the final week in Leroy’s life and I wish for a “do over.”
I know in my head that will never happen but sometimes my heart over rules my head and I create a scenario where knowing the things I know now, my care-giving would have been a little different than it was those last days of his life. The result wouldn’t have been different; he would have taken that big, last breath at 11:15 pm on August 15th no matter what, but I wonder, did I ease his pain, did I tell him enough times, how much I loved him and how much I would miss him?
That was the part of care giving, his and mine, that we left to the end. THAT, of all things, is what I tell other care givers who are walking the same path; “Don’t wait until the end to express yourself.” Say the words “I love you.” Say the words “I’ll will miss you so much.”
Say it in the “living time.”
We all get so wrapped up in cancer world we forget our other world. There once was a world where our calendar wasn’t filled with doctor appointments, or treatments or scans. We made plans to see friends, go to parties, have a quiet dinner at home or point to a place on a map and just go there. And we would say “I love you.”
So when I say I second guess my care giving at the end, it’s because I don’t think I said those things enough.
What in the world was I thinking?