Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#SOL16: When Words Fail

Rob


I was tired. So I lay down.
My lids grew heavy. So I slept.
Slender memory, stay with me. 
- Li-Young Lee, Mnemonic

I.

After greeting Rob yesterday morning, I realized that he no longer knew who I was. Just 12 hours earlier we were holding hands and singing I Want to Hold Your Hand. And though I know the progression of the disease, the mix of drugs, and of course, the dying process, all contribute to his confusion, words fail me as to how best to tell you what this feels like.

Each day I lose him in ways I don't expect, as does our son.


II.

When words fail there remains touch.  One of the startling things I have learned is that Rob recognizes me even though he cannot name me.  I'm stored in his brain in lots of ways.  He responds to the sound of my voice, the touch of my hands, and certain features that he has always liked (my eyes).  For now, I take solace in these ways of connecting.

Earlier this evening, the English Lord, a persona of Rob's that is fairly new showed up.  When I asked him if I was just some serving wench, he said in his crusty upperclass British accent, "More or less." My brother Jack and I were there and we both laughed and I leaned down to kiss me lord.

Even in this sorry state we find brief moments of delight. 

18 comments:

  1. Mary Ann I am amazed because words never seem to fail when you write. Thank you for sharing this very painful journey. We are learning from your powerful words.

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    1. Thanks Deb. There's so many stories to tell and hear.

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  2. Mary Ann, words fail at this time. Peace.

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  3. "Even in this sorry state we find brief moments of delight."
    That is love, isn't it?

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    1. Thank you Tara, I hadn't thought of that.

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  4. If there was ever a couple better matched than you and Rob, I don't know who it could be. I have to echo the others. Thank you for sharing this painful journey. You are teaching us all.

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  5. I love how you are stored in Rob's brain in so many ways... Your posts are so brave and beautiful. Prayers for all of you.

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    1. We have been together for 30 years. Imprinted. Thanks.

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  6. Mary Ann, this is the first I have read and so I need to read some of your other posts. This post was so powerful, full of pain and love. http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

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  7. Mary Ann, I just read through many of your posts. Your words brought me back to my sister caring for her husband, stage four lung cancer with tumors on his spine. You are a strong woman, and the love you express that you have for Rob and he for you is so real. I know you are cherishing every word he has said to you, and I know holding his hand is such a strong connection for both of you. I will keep you in my thoughts. Jackie

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  8. Words fail me as I read, "Each day I lose him in ways I don't expect."

    Though words fail me, know that my prayers are with you each day.
    Cathy

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  9. Mary Ann - words fail me too. But each post you write, I read. Thinking of you.

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