Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#SOL16: Dear Rob



Rob at 34.

A letter to my husband that I will read to him when the time feels right. Or perhaps this letter will find its way to a parallel universe where Rob will read it and recall.


Dear Rob,

It's March. I did not think you would see this new month begin. This morning I am oddly thinking about the end of my dissertation, recalling  the Edward Said quote I closed the work with. You know the one where he writes that we are well past the beginning before we recognize it as such. That feels important somehow, although I couldn't say why. One thing, of many, you taught me was to trust my tacit knowledge. I know more than I can say and these months supporting you as you battled cancer and now accepting death have taught me that again.

Me at 35
This morning, as I sit next to you I am sipping tea and watching you sleep. I hear the soft repetitive moans you make as you breathe and I know you are working through leaving--and it is so much harder than I had thought. But how could we know? We who have been so busy living fully, loving sweetly (and not), raising Devon. Is it any surprise that we did not stop to wonder about death; to speculate about endings save the one way off in the future when we were both very, very old? And perhaps that has been for the better.  Had we known that you had less than 2 decades to live when we adopted Devon, how might that terrible knowledge have colored us, shaped what we valued, loved, failed at? Would we have been the risk takers we are? The parents we are? The lovers and friends? I suspect not and it's hard anyway to think of you as conservative or cautious.

I want you to know that I plan to use images I make from your many notebooks in new art collages. I am hoping you would approve and think you would. Making, I was recently told is how I will survive your death.  That and being a mother.

These last two weeks where your hold on the earth has been less tethered have been difficult. And just when I think I have lost you for good--that you have truly forgotten me, forgotten us, forgotten where you are--you wake and motion me to you, take my hand, and tell me, "I love you so much. More than you can know." You tell me to protect Devon, love him for you and though I think I have loved you so greatly before, I find that my love for you grows even more.

These last few months watching you valiantly live and struggle to die have been the most significant of my life. You humble me.

Your wife,
Mary Ann


7 comments:

  1. I've spent some time this afternoon reading back through your posts. I am humbled by your grace and honesty in your writing. Your love for Rob shines through and I can see that the simple act of writing helps bring you peace. Hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you so much for taking time to read other posts. The writing helps me. It allows me ways to frame what is often difficult to understand,

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  2. Your gracious and generous sharing of this passage will be helpful to anyone who struggles through this special time of life, love and letting go. Thanks, again.

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    1. Thank you Gary. Just daily observations and thoughts.

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  3. Mary Anne, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Rob and Devon right now. Letting go is never easy, but your love and devotion shine through your words I hope that Rob can find comfort in that as well as your son. You have many who care for you here at Rta please don't hesitate to ask if there is anything we can do.

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  4. Mary Anne, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Rob and Devon right now. Letting go is never easy, but your love and devotion shine through your words I hope that Rob can find comfort in that as well as your son. You have many who care for you here at Rta please don't hesitate to ask if there is anything we can do.

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