My Kentucky Home

Thursday, June 29, 2006

When Hearts are stretched....

In the last 2 days, I have talked with two different people who have lost loved ones after long battles with ill health. It stretches my heart, because I have now been both the caregiver and the patient. I know the emotional roll a coaster that both people go through. But I particularly ache for the caregivers. It is so very hard to feel helpless, especially to those of us who are used to being "take charge" kind of people. We want to attack the disease and win. Go to the doctor, find out what is wrong, take the cure and go on with life as before. But chronic illness isn't like that. It doesn't respond to "taking two aspirin, rest and you'll feel better in the morning". This leaves the caregiver frightened because things are "out of control".

When my Mother died, my Dad started a journal. It was his way of working through the heartache of losing the woman he had loved for over 50 years. When my daughters were little, their Daddy had his legs crushed from the knees down. I wrote poetry. Funny. I only write poetry under stress. Otherwise, I like editorial type writing like this. This morning, a new friend shared a poem that he wrote, after a dear friend died. It touched me so much, that I cried right along with him, even though I had never met the woman.
What we need to concentrate on, it eems to me, if we are people of faith, is that in the end....the good guys win! I know that every day I'm given is a gift. I try to keep in mind that tomorrow is not promised to any of us; and those of us with chronic illnesses, or in the case of MM...incurable illnesses, must strive to live in wonder. We need to celebrate each day with the wide eyed wonder of a child. To live life as fully as we can, to put away the little things, to love fiercely, to embrace new adventures, to mend old fences and reassure those around us that death is NOT the end of our story. But rather, death is a new beginning where there is no more pain, no more hospitals, no more "pokes".... A place where love engulfs you and your heart is at peace.

Tonight let's all light a candle for those we have loved and lost, to celebrate the magical light that they brought into our world. And tomorrow, let's keep our eyes open for God's special gifts, sent to delight us like this butterfly I spotted when I was out on another photo shoot yesterday. I was able to capture him as he danced on the flower just for me....


At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos and beautiful post.

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Vogt Family said...

Beautiful. I saved it. Thank you.

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for saying what I can't. I have a hard time saying what I really feel when it comes to such emotional issues.

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, Susan. This really hits home as a close friend has recently decided to give up her 8 year battle with lymphoma, and enjoy what little time she has left with her beautiful loving family. I respect her decision to stop treatment at this time but it is hard to feel so helpless. She was very helpful to me when I was first diagnosed with MM.


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