Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Ungodly Hour

So here it is, 4:30-ish in the ante-meridian. Been awake since 3. Did the water trick again and dreamed about Sam, but not a really coherent dream, rather flashes and images. She's trying to show me something, trying to get a message across, but I don't know if I can grasp it with my conscious mind. Need to do some more dreaming. I haven't really dreamed industriously since my teens, so it's gonna take some work.

Had dinner and pints at the Celtic Swell on Alki last night with Ron. Both had shepherd's pie, which rocks heartily. When it came time to contemplate dessert, the Guinness ice cream on a fresh, warm brownie just looked too awesome. Yeah, Guinness ice cream. We probably should have split one, but after having ordered the same thing for dinner, we decided that we should retain some small amount of hetero male cred and each get our own (as opposed to getting one dessert with two spoons - "and did you want two straws with that black & tan, sir?"). Speaking of hetero male cred, the hostess was very cute. It kind of shocks me out of my grief stupor when I notice an attractive woman. I mean, I noticed attractive women all the time when I was with Sam. I'm a male of the species, wired to respond to what I perceive to be attractive. Sam never got bent out of shape when I did - quite the opposite. She and I both found it valuable to know what the other found attractive. In any case, it's normal to notice - not that I'm prepared to do anything but look. And that's just fine for now.

Ron is a great counselor/friend to have. He lost his mom as a preteen, and knows all about those issues. Fortunately never lost a spouse, but has been divorced (which includes its own unique sense of loss). Anyway, he had some good thoughts to share on my situation. I appreciate having the opportunity to go have a good meal and a couple pints with some great ambiance while looking out a huge open window at the ferries and sailboats criss-crossing the island sunset. It helps to remind me how wonderful it is to be alive. Not much else really inspires that kind of enthusiasm anymore.

Came home to a puppet show from Kayleigh. She's so talented it makes me all weepy. My kids remind me that it was a good call not to take the remainder of Sam's pain meds in the wee hours of April 12th, which would have left a very dramatically-appropriate Romeo & Juliet scene for the cops and hospice folks. I did consider it for a brief moment of grief-induced haze. She had stopped breathing and I was clutching her to me, not wanting to let her go. I flashed back to working on Romeo & Juliet at the Palo Alto Children's Theater, when I was on a ladder, helping hang a parachute awning for an outdoor show. This girl was assigned to hold my ladder, but I never got a good look at her. She'd disappeared by the time I'd come down. I found out after we were dating that the girl was her. She'd remembered my shoes. Talk about "star cross'd lovers". We both knew the show inside out - it was the Shakespeare we dissected most often, and in many ways was an analog for our life together. The immediate horror of losing my Juliet did a number on me. I'm not normally suicidal, but after having cared for Sam for almost 3 years of debilitating chemo and radiation (especially the last month of her fight), a good long sleep was looking pretty good. But then I thought of my kids. Our kids. And the desire to joining her in some grand, dramatic middle finger to the world gradually subsided as my sense of self-preservation took over and the shock set in.

Although I can't say I'm in a place where I can truly profess a love of life, I am glad I stayed. Not just because my kids need their daddy. There is much more for me to do. I need to keep going, keep fighting the good fight. Sam wanted that. She wanted me to be here, and be happy, and live on. She said as much. One of the things about cancer is it gives you time to ponder your future (or lack thereof). We talked about a lot of eventualities. I guess despite the outcome, I'm lucky to have had the time to talk to her about these important issues and get a really valuable take on mortality from my soulmate.

My stepmom Katherine had some numbers for private grief counselors in the area. Gonna do some phone calling today after the sun comes up. Wiley is recovering from his snippage yesterday and will be retrieved from the vet this morning. My non-related bro Steve is coming over this afternoon - first visit in weeks. It'll be good to see him. Caleb might come by as well. I'm blessed to have great friends.

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