Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ready, Steady ...

It had been a long eighteen months, and absurd as it sounds, Tom’s death was sudden, and unexpected. I had read all the books, attended all the support groups, had the counseling, dragged my kids, quite literally kicking and screaming, into counseling. As prepared as I was, I wasn’t ready.

I would have told you I was ready, of course, and I would have believed it myself. I had a list of account numbers, and login id’s and passwords. I had a list of phone numbers, and email addresses. I had a wallet card of medications, and doctors names and addresses. I had a durable power of attorney and a medical proxy. We had talked about his wishes, and I was comfortable with his requests. I had a funeral home picked out: I wanted it nearby and convenient, but I didn’t want to drive by it every day and think to myself, “That was where Tom was …” It couldn’t be en route from our house to one of the kids’ friends’ houses, either, so they wouldn’t think, “That’s where Dad …” every time they visited that friend. So I very cleverly picked one on a side street in Medford. I was prepared. It was all under control.

I was not ready for the wheelchair, or the seizures, or the night nurse, or the falls, or the ambulance ride. I was not ready to sit in the living room until the kids were awake to tell them Daddy had died that Sunday morning.

I am not ready to make sauce, or lasagna, or meatballs. I am not ready to balance the checkbook, or pay the taxes, or fix the fence; but I do each one of these tasks as they come up, and it turns out some of them I do pretty well.

But I will never be ready for the silence I hear where his snore is supposed to be.


  1. Linda,
    Thank you for the post, I have been thinking of you and the boys.
    Has anyone ever told you that you are an amazing gifted writer? I can hear your voice in your words. I keep deleting sentences that I write to you because they sound trite, dumb, or awkward. So, I guess I will leave the post with:"I wish I could give you a hug."

  2. Thank you for your story. My husband of 18 years was just diagnosed with inoperable gallbladder cancer. We had our second chemo treatment today. It is all so surreal. We went to the ER expecting to have a diagnosis of gallstones and instead, we had an 8cm mass. It's insane that our whole world changed forever that instant that the doctor gave us the news. But, we are hopeful and have faith that this is going to work out exactly the way God has planned it. We are starting to enjoy more things together as a family and although it is never very far from our thoughts, we can laugh now and enjoy some things instead of our whole world revolving around cancer. We are only a small part of this universe and it is sometimes hard to understand that the world has not stopped because my husband got cancer. TODAY, I get this....tomorrow is a different story, but for today, we are ok. God Bless, Paula Woodall Mercer

  3. Hi Linda,
    Missed having you at the support meeting yesterday. You are a very strong and talented woman. I so enjoyed reading the blog. I am moving back to FL and wish you all the best. Tough road ahead ...
    Judy Z