Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How the sky turns to fire against a telephone wire, Burns the last of the day down*

Last Labor Day Weekend, Husband and I drove J~ up to his cottage in northern Michigan.

I went back through my archives to see if I had blogged about it, and, to my frustration, I had not.

As I recall, we left on Thursday afternoon. We drove him up north that evening because my aunt could not leave until Friday afternoon, and J~ wanted to have an extra day at the cottage.

Along the way we stopped at Fuddrucker's for dinner.

J~ loves Fuddrucker's, he always has, and there are none anywhere near our city.

We all ordered cheeseburgers and milk shakes, and they were delicious and decadent. J~ made the kids laugh, he was always good at making my kids laugh.

We didn't arrive at J~'s cottage until late, but the next morning, we packed a cooler with drinks and Husband helped J~ get the cover off the boat.

We set off in the boat, gliding across the crystal blue water. J~ was driving the boat and we had a perfect ride.

We didn't have our camera with us.

At the time it seemed like an unfortunate thing to have forgotten, but now?
At this moment? I cannot believe we forgot our camera. It seems like a crime...

How could I not have known that we were running out of good days? How could I not have known that that was the last day I would ride around the lake with J~? How could I have left the camera at home and not captured any photos of that day?

When I was a very little girl, on a different lake, in a different boat, J~ would let me pretend to drive the boat...or he and I my grandfather would walk down to the dock and sit in the boat, dangling fishing poles over the edge.

J~ was happiest on the water, or near it. As I have mentioned repeatedly, he is a joyful person, and was capable of finding joy in all kinds of places.

But on the water, near the the beach or at the lake. Those were his places. I am grateful, that in the last few months he was able to return both the beach and the lake.

He will not see his places again.

Ten days ago they told us he had two days left.

I guess they didn't tell him.

Yesterday he awoke from his deep sleep and announced that a friend, long dead, was coming to pick him up and take him to a movie.

I have no doubt that is true.

The not knowing when that last moment will find's killing me a little bit. Almost as much as the knowledge that I left my camera behind on that beautiful end-of-summer day.


Patty Griffin, Useless Desires


Blogger thecurryseven said...

I'm so sorry. There is really nothing good about cancer and is incredibly painful to watch someone go through it. I wish there was something I could say to make it better in some way, but I no there isn't. My prayers are with you, your family, and J.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking of you all. I know how brutal and awful these last days can be, I really understand that feeling of how it is killing you a little bit. I hope they are able to keep him as comfortable as possible and that everyone who wants to say goodbye has a chance to do so.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Bonny said...

You're making me cry here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Bonny said...

This post made me cry. When a young friend of mine, Cameron, died from adrenalcortison cancer, he awoke from his sleep the day before and announced that a family friend, who had died a few years earlier, was coming on a train to pick him up. The friend, who had been paralyzed, could now walk and was very excited to see Cameron. I'm sure it was true.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Terynn said...

I wish you had had your camera, but instead, you lived and loved that day, all in the moment. A priceless memory. I absolutely love hearing that J will be meeting his long lost friend at the movies. What a wonderful confirmation of life, in its eternal sense.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 7:32:00 PM  
Blogger mam said...

This, though, this is a perfect picture of that day. I'm so sorry.

Saturday, May 22, 2010 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger j'lynn said...

Thinking of all of you...

Saturday, May 22, 2010 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the same way with pictures - I feel like if I didn't take a picture, the day didn't really happen. But the others are right, you still have that day with you, in your heart - along with all the other good days you had with J. I pray those memories will be a comfort to you as you say goodbye - for now - until you see him again one day, perhaps at a heavenly movie theater? (It's cheesy, but I imagine the two of you watching a film of those perfect days on the lake, laughing and reminiscing together.)
Sending you hugs and many prayers for peace and comfort.

Sunday, May 23, 2010 3:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know it is almost a week since you posted this, so I can't help but think J~'s friend has come and taken him to that movie. I am so sorry. I know how hard it is to watch and wait and wonder. And when the end finally comes there is a measure of relief, relief which causes guilt which then intensifies the grief. At least that was my experience. Thinking of you and your family. I am sorry you didn't have your camera with you, but obviously your heart took a picture.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:12:00 PM  

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