Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reading Electronic Love Letters

Dear John,
 
I did get to Rome City for heartworm pills. Jethro has been moping so much since he doesn't have his little human to play with, that I took him with me. So he played with Willie the Dog and growled at Athos the Cat, and came home tired and happy.
 
I'm feeling tired and happy, too. I spent most of the day continuing to transcribe our texts to each other. I'm in late March, three days from the point when you got septic and couldn't text any more. And it was a wonderful read. Do you realize that your texts were the closest you ever came to writing me love letters? It made me so happy to read them again. You never actually wrote me love letters - I don't believe any Hockman man has ever written love letters - and that was fine with me because I've always been distrustful of anything romantic, equating romance with manipulation. You Hockman men are as slow as cold molasses, as romantic as a tax form, and faithful for life. And that's just what I wanted.
 
But anyway, to undigress, as I read them I got the strong impression that both of us were afraid we didn't have much time left together, and wanted to be sure we said all the loving things we could to each other. We had long text conversations where both of us said "I love you" at the end of every single text. And for being a Hockman man, you did a beautiful job of expressing your love for me. Thank you so much for leaving me those words! I could hear you in every text - not your voice, but your heart and soul. I'm so thankful to have this written record.
 
There's some humor in it, too - of course there is: we're involved. There were times in the evening that you were texting after taking Benadryl, and I can see it slowly hitting you until you're texting gibberish. I'd ask if you'd had sleep or pain medicine, and you'd pull yourself together just enough to say yes. We always did say that, if we really needed to get to sleep, I took 100 mg of Benadryl, and then held the bottle up across the room for you to look at, and we'd both sleep a solid eight hours. You were funny after sedation.
 
There was another thing that made me feel good reading the texts. The doctors that wanted to stop treating you were saying that you weren't alert, that I was imagining that you understood things well enough to make your own decisions about care. Well, the texts prove I was right. You were commenting on the basketball tournament, my schedule, the dog, what drugs you were on, and making smart comments and jokes. Some days you were more mentally competent than I was. And seeing that from this distance reassures me that I was right, that I wasn't in denial. Until you got MRSA in your lungs and your blood, you were rehabbing and the vent wean was going well. God bless Dr. Dunnick and Dr. Patel - they saw that you were given every chance. And they had known you long enough to assess your mental state correctly, and to know what a hard fighter you were. I will always be grateful to them.
 
And tonight I'm grateful for you and to you. Thank you so much for leaving those texted words for me. They stand forever. I love you more than I ever knew a person could love. You love me the same way. A little thing like bodily death is just a bump in the road.
 
Thank you for loving me as I love you!
Joan.

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