“The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The work of life is to develop it.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away. –David Viscott
One of the things I miss most about my husband is taking care of him. I lost my purpose when I lost him, one purpose anyway.
If I couldn’t take the cancer on myself, I could at least soothe Kent’s fear and pain. I tried in so many ways to comfort him, but what could I really do? All I wanted was to get rid of the cancer and see Kent healthy and happy again. If I couldn’t do that at least I could encourage him. Every single day after the ninety minute ride (one-way) to Memorial Sloane Kettering’s Sleepy Hollow Treatment Center I would say, “Thank you, my love, for getting in the car today.” They had to design a mask to keep his head still while they tried their best to kill what was killing him. Gamma rays, x-rays, charged particles, all forms of radiation aimed at my husband’s face. He was never a patient man to begin with, so lying there waiting during radiation treatments were horrific for him. Every day he would reply to me, “Just because I did it today doesn’t mean I’ll do it again tomorrow. We’ll just see.”
The part of me that was his caretaker was lost when he died. I was broken in so many ways, I had no idea how to Humpty-Dumpty myself back together. With the help of Hospice and my sisters and friends I am still here, but I wouldn’t say that I am whole. The broken bits sometimes feel like the dead palm fronds of a tree that just won’t fall off by themselves.
Other times they feel like holes–like no place things that don’t know they aren’t someplace.
But most often, my broken bits feel like sharp shards of beautiful pottery.
They used to be part of a whole, but now they are useless by themselves.
But who says beautiful things have to be useful? Do I go to an art museum to find out how to bake bread (a pretty useful task), or to bathe in the beauty of a Remedios Varo surrealistic world?
If death isn’t surreal, I do not know what is.
I keep many broken things. They remind me that even though I am broken, I am still beautiful too.