Thursday, July 25, 2013

Caption Alert! Caption Alert!

Dear John,
This has been one of the most beautiful days I've ever seen - clear, 70s, crops thick and perfect, wonderful smells - lovely. I got off work early and I'm off tomorrow, since Kathy's leaving for Seminar and there's nothing left to do until next week. And my brain did go to work with me this morning. Very nice of it.
I found this a few days ago. And on the way home today I had the radio on, and heard Patty Smyth and Don Henley's Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough. So I've been thinking about you - that's a shocker - and the last nine or ten months of your life. If love had been enough, you would never have gone without me. But it wasn't just love that I brought to the table. I fought tooth and nail for you. You married a cardiac critical care nurse and very considerately had your emergencies in my specialty. I went toe-to-toe with whoever I had to, to get you treated aggressively and properly. The cancer was a red herring that everybody wanted to go haring off after, and understandably so. But you were beating the cancer. The crisis was cardiac. Getting that across took some work, as you remember.
Dean McKenna taught us to be assertive, to be patient advocates, and to be able to tell anybody in the world where to go and what to do with themselves when they got there. I have times when I lack assertiveness, but never when it comes to patient care. And certainly not when it was you we were talking about.
I fought as hard as I could.
I did butt heads with some people, didn't I? But after the preliminary head-butting, we always came to a mutual understanding. All your doctors ended up respecting me and, I think, liking me. And your history is so complex that it was a tremendous help to have somebody that knew it and spoke fluent Medical.
I believe I'm just now recovering from all of that - the emotional strain, the physical demands, and the intellectual and interpersonal energy spent fighting for you. I was in all-out Sympathetic Nervous System overload for months. Now I seem to be finding my rhythm again, physically and emotionally. It's not surprising, after so many months of living like that.
And so tonight I thought about this photo again. And I wondered if this new widow had the boxing gloves on, not to fend off suitors, but because she'd fought so hard for her husband that they became second-nature to her and she forgot to take them off. I know what that feels like, and know they'll come off when she's ready. In the meantime, she fought as hard as she could, fought a good fight, loved and honored her husband to the end. Whatever her reason for the gloves, I'm sure that we're sisters.
Love you more than life,

1 comment:

  1. He was so lucky to have you! were lucky to have each other!