TINKERBELL

You know that place between sleep and awake,

that place where you still remember dreaming?

That’s where I’ll always love you.

That’s where I’ll be waiting.

~

Tinkerbell

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My beautiful, beautiful wife – Once upon a time. . .

My friend, Mary, wrote to me tonight and she started off with the quote from Tinkerbell that opens this entry. I immediately felt as though Laureen was getting a message to me. And once again, she communicated in a way that she knew I would recognize.

Laureen and I first encountered Tinkerbell just a few days after Laureen’s surgery to remove about two-thirds of her liver, along with the tumor that had decided to call her liver home. It actually took Laureen about two days to come back to any sort of awareness after the surgery. The anesthesia had really knocked her out but that was a blessing because she was also not aware of any pain.

As she started to become aware again, we spent countless hours watching television – or watching bits of television as she was often in and out of consciousness, or going off for tests. I never left her side for that entire time but I found it difficult to concentrate on anything either.

Anyhow, our television service included a fairly small selection of “On-Demand” movies, including the first two Tinkerbell movies – and I should qualify that by saying it was not the older, Peter Pan & Tinkerbell movie, but the newer movies that feature just Tinkerbell and are really geared for children.

Somehow Laureen and I got hooked on them. The funny thing was, we never completely watched the movie while we were in the hospital and we were in there for like two months. There were simply too many interruptions by doctors and nurses and cleaning people. So when we finally came home I ordered the first three Tinkerbell movies from Amazon and they became our go-to movies during that last summer and fall of her life. In fact, in the last few weeks of Laureen’s life, when she was once again in and out of consciousness, those movies were almost on a continual loop. There was something about them – a gentleness and an innocence  – that seemed appropriate to our circumstances. I shall forever connect Laureen with Tinkerbell as a result and indeed, two of the DVDs have become a part of the altar that I created even as she was dying, and which I completed shortly after her death.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to watch those movies again. There are a lot of things that I still struggle with doing. Like I met with a nutritionist yesterday in the hopes that I can start to bring some focus into taking better care of my physical self. And so last night I had to do some grocery shopping so that I could begin to implement some of her recommendations. And I experienced, once again, that feeling of complete alone-ness. The shopping for one, instead of shopping for two. I remember so clearly that first time I went back out into the world after Laureen had died. And I went to a grocery store and I was walking down the aisles, crying. Because I was so alone. And we had shared such a strong déjà vu moment together one day during one of our last little shopping / browsing trips – something that we had always enjoyed doing together. Except we stopped, and just stared at each other and cried in the complete awareness and knowledge that we would never be able to share that experience again with each other. I cannot begin to explain the feeling – that loss even while we were together for we knew that there was nothing that we could do to stop what was coming right at us.  Maybe Laureen said it better than I did –

Sent 12/22/13 11:11 AM

Thanx Debbie , guess it’s cleared out . J & I have been hugging & crying since 4:00 am . Just can’t do anything else . I had 2 go lie down again so back in bed 4 now . J has been trying 2 wrap Xmas gifts since 8:00 am. & hasn’t wrapped 1 yet . He is so heartsick , my poor sweet gentle John 😦

Sent 12/22/13 11:45 AM

Good don’t want u 2 take it 4 granted , the little things r the big things . J. & I had 2 get paper plates @ home goods yesterday , when we parked I couldn’t get out of the car cuz I was crying so hard . J & I would just pop down there once in a while & it hit me that soon we won’t ever do it again & I could c J walking around heartsick not knowing what 2 do w/ himself , he saw it 2 & we just sat in the car & cried our eyes out . It’s a nightmare we can’t get out of

Those were two texts that Laureen sent to our dear friend, Debbie on the morning of December 22nd – three days after we had been told by the doctor that Laureen’s cancer had returned and that there was nothing they could do. Reading it now brings me so back into that moment – I have spent the past fifteen minutes just letting it all out again. The grief, the loss, the heartsick loneliness, just as she described it so perfectly. . .

I think that’s it for now.

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