Would someone come over and scrape me up off the floor? When I planned my trip to North Carolina to go see Beverly, all my concerns were centered around how weird it would be to actually meet her face to face. And I was concerned with how her husband would react to me, too. It turns out that all my worries were for naught. There was nothing weird about being there with her, and I got along great with her husband. The thing I never thought to worry about has snuck up on me and caught me by surprise...has basically trampled me into a steaming pile of mush on the floor. Rememeber that old joke:
Q: Where does a 2-ton gorilla sit when he goes to the movies?
A: Anywhere he wants to!
That 2-ton gorilla is sitting on me today and his name is Grief.
I lived life to the fullest every minute I spent with Beverly. We talked, looked at scrapbooks, and read children's books together We laughed a lot and cried a little. I took her to the doctor. I took her dogs to the vet. I cooked 8 meals to put in their freezer. We watched movies together, all cuddled up on the couch. I pushed her in her wheelchair around a beautiful park and we enjoyed the glorious fall colors. We went to the mall and to Lowe's Motor Speedway (where I got to walk on Pit Road!!!). We talked and laughed and talked. The time sped by, and before I knew it, I was on the plane flying home. The whole time I was there I lived in the moment.
This morning reality is sinking in, the reality that my Bevvy has cancer, and her odds of surviving are not good. For whatever reason, it all rolled off my back (I'm a duck, quack quack) while I was there. Now that I've taken off that cheerful caretaker hat, I've come crashing down. I'm flooded with memories of my mom's illness. And death. And the pain and lonliness of being without her. I'm looking down that path again and praying that God would allow Bev to walk down a brighter road. If I have to walk that dark road alongside her, I will. But I would rather not go that way. I hate the amount of suffering she's going through, and will continue to go through in the coming weeks. I pray her transplant will be successful so that the suffering is not without reward. Sure, I know Heaven will be the ultimate reward and a place where she will suffer no more. But I'm not ready for that, either. Neither is she.
I know in a few days the gorilla will move on and I'll bounce back. For today though, I'm allowing myself to grieve a bit. And I'm hanging on to God's promises and the knowledge that He sees the big picture and has Bev's best and my best in mind, whether it follows my desires or not.
Here are some pictures from my trip. I am looking forward to another 4 days with her in November.