One month ago today my best friend, partner, hand holding, cheek snuggling, mischievous prankster, mom to our four children and all around goofy badass human being of a wife died.
That sounds so strange.
She is dead.
I waited all day to write about you Jacy, because I wasn’t sure how today would play out for me. I was a mess. I put on a good face, went and did something fun with dear friends, our son and horses. But the drive home was painful. I almost sobbed in Burger King as I recalled all the times you would mess with me over your order, hoping I would screw it up and you would get a good laugh at my expense. And for some reason every song on Pandora or the radio was either one of your favorites, one of our favorites or a correlation of both in conjunction with some special time or setting. I struggled to pull into the driveway and as soon as we unloaded horses found a reason to disappear again so no one would see me so damn sad. Please forgive me honey…..
I know I have said this before and I will say it again so bear with me.
I have never and I mean ever gone this long without talking to her. Listening to her take on things, accepting or rejecting advice given or received from each other. Hearing her say; I love you in one of a hundred different ways that always reaffirmed our commitment to each other regardless of time or place. The darkness, cold and emptiness is, well, I guess it is just empty.
I know for a fact Jacy would kick my ass for behaving this way. She made me promise I wouldn’t and yet it is so hard to keep that promise, I am failing miserably. Sobbing for no reason, pining for her love as if she is going to walk through the door at any moment! We always knew this was a possibility and over the last few months it became more of a reality. Of course how could it not become more of a reality when every doctor during the last two months would ask; Jacy how long do YOU think you have?
Being Jacy she would answer without hesitation she was living long enough to see Parker graduate high school. She would then proclaim her forgiveness to me as that meant she was willing to check out after that milestone. I would smile and say it was ok and then both of us would gaze upon her physician wondering what the real projection might be. Her twitching like a nervous cat and me staring stone faced.
Within the year.
That was the answer we were greeted with and it never set well with her. How could it! Someone just gave you your official life expectancy! It stung even more because, well because this was Jacy!!!! If you knew my ass kicking, never take no for an answer, spin instructor, teacher, YouTube sensation and cheerleader for all wife, you knew that if anyone could beat any doctors expectations it was her! Right??
Ladies and gentlemen that is where the rub lies for me.
I know I have mentioned this before as well, either in the blog or in person, not sure, things have been really weird for me mentally lately. But here goes. The rub for me is I bought into this bullshit!!! I was so secure in my knowledge of my wife, her strengths and weaknesses that I seriously ignored what the doctors said and felt like she could, no dam it! She would make it another four years!!! She conned me and she conned me good!!!!
She cried in the elevator that day after hearing this for the second time, this time from her Kaiser doctor. I couldn’t even muster a “there, there honey” or hold her because I was so in shock! I was in shock we were actually coming to this point, I was in shock my wife who would never, and I mean ever bow to any such flabbergasting, erroneous bullshit prediction was believing it must be true. I was in shock that a day might actually come where she wouldn’t be by my side. I just stood there, in shock, as my wife wept and as the elevator doors opened, she hid her face so others wouldn’t see. We moved slowly to the car, I helped her inside, hugging her on the way down. I put away her wheel chair, slid into the car and did what I always do, tried to crack a joke. It didn’t go over. Right there, right fucking there I should have seen it, but I didn’t! Jacy was giving up.
That was 38 days before she slipped away from us.
I had bought into the super human, wonder woman, I am stronger than anyone on this earth bullshit, that my eyes became covered with blinders. I no longer recognized the worsening distressed look upon her face, the increased swelling and lesions that covered all areas of her body. I no longer heard her struggling to breathe harder than before, I simply treated it more aggressively and moved on. I no longer noticed she was wetting the bed any more or any less and trying her hardest to focus on small tasks she previously handled fairly well with her limited vision. I no longer…. Not because of a lack of empathy, exhaustion or care, but because as I stated; I bought into the bullshit! This was Jacy and damn it, nothing and I mean nothing was going to happen to her!!!
Instead I became a quiet cheerleader, blinders on, hoping our tough as nails girl was actually doing better than she let on.
Don’t worry about the fact you wet the bed honey, I got it.
No I don’t mind cleaning the toilet chair, quit apologizing, I love you and this is what it means to love someone. Proud of you for making it here on your own.
I have all your pills figured out, no more overlapping, I think we can manage your increased pain without issue, you just need to trust me.
I know you don’t want to eat, but I made something really tasty and it has Marmite!!! Come on, just try a little, you can’t take your pills until you eat something good. She did love my cooking and that is one memory I will always love.
Are you cold, here is a comforter?
Are you warm? Here is a fan.
You want all the dogs on the bed, no problem.
I washed all your clothes, they are folded and placed on the couch; I will help you pick something later. Yes you can dress yourself but I am going to be here in case you need me.
And on and on and on..
With that, she kept going, and her effort every day made me feel like I was helping, like she had some form of independence which I felt she needed to keep mentally tough, to get stronger to win! But unfortunately the increased medications, increased antibiotics, the increased sleeping and loss of mental acuity all spoke volumes to just how wrong I was. My blinders were strong.
The reality is it didn’t matter what I did, GvHD was winning, the doctors knew it, those close to our family, including our immediate family knew it, I recognized it deep inside I suppose; I just chose to ignore it. To keep working hard, hoping she could just keep going a little longer.
Now here I am, alone.
It is such a dilemma of spirit.
Like I said, I know for a fact she would be mad at me for carrying on. But I can’t help it. I miss everything about her and now I am selfishly missing everything we lost before she got sick. I was on auto pilot for so long that it never occurred to me (even though I knew and thought about it all the time) how much I missed date nights, walks in the park or on the property, hiking in the woods, camping, boating, campfire ghost stories, taking in new dogs from the SPCA, cooking together, drinking wine and beer together, watching fucking survivor together, sitting in bed talking for hours, riding horses up Lagoon Valley together. I miss doing everything with her!!! I miss it all and on top of that I can’t even FUCKING TALK TO HER OR HEAR HER VOICE!!! ARRRRRGGGGGGGGG I’M SUCH A BROKEN RECORD!!!!
I miss it all, all of it, every single last messy bit of it!
Nobody ever deserves this but she really never deserved this! She never did anything wrong to anybody, she helped anyone who she felt needed it or asked. She did nothing her whole adult life but give, give, give. She radiated an energy that just can’t be explained and the minute you met her you felt it, you bathed in it and you knew instantly she was something, no, someone special.
Jacy you quite simply were the best human being I have ever known and I am so lucky you were mine for almost 17 years. My life will never, ever be the same.
I’m rambling, so I will wrap it up.
It’s been thirty days since we said goodbye, I feel you inside me, I feel you watching me; I have loved having you visit me in my dreams.
I just wish you could come home, wrap your arms around me, tell me it was all a dream and it will all be ok. Please? I’m scared.
Jacy I love you…….
3 thoughts on “30 Days….”
Damn it is so heart breaking. So sorry my friend but yes, I think she is right next to you yelling at you that she is ok. Day by day and step by step by step. Praying for you
Keep talking to her James………she is watching over us ,I can feel her.
Oh man…this really sucks. I am so proud of the man I know, even though it is just through your writing, but proud. Your ability to express your feelings and to share with “us” is a gift. Allow yourself the time to mourn, every day. I know you dust yourself off and then keep moving on in your life. My heart aches, my prayers continue for YOU, and my virtual hugs are always at the ready.