Leroy would begin the last month of his life on this day, seven years ago.
He hadn’t moved to the hospital bed in the family room yet, but I’d finally been persuaded to accept the fact that I couldn’t take care of him alone anymore, so I had some health care aides visit during the daytime hours to help me. I hated it.
I’m not saying they weren’t helpful. I’m saying I hated it because it meant letting go of some of the control I had as his care giver. Cancer takes away so much of who you are and what you do, so I guess the health care aides represented another piece of that loss.
He didn’t like it either because it signaled his cancer had encroached on another basic part of his life: his daily care. Up until now, we had managed very well.
This was another mark on cancer’s side of the scorecard.
Leroy’s posse certainly noticed the beginning of the end, because we began to see visitors who hadn’t come to the house in a long time. They’d stayed in touch via email and phone calls, but now they were coming to say good-bye. They came from thousands of miles away and from across the street. They came to hear that big laugh one more time.
It was the best month and it was the worst month.