And every once in a while he is able to form a sentence. A full clear sentence. And each time it takes me by surprise and leaves me at a lost. On Saturday morning I sat there with him, holding his hand. I got up in the bed and laid next to him and held him tight. I told him that everything would be fine, that I loved him. He could whisper back each time, "I love you." But then he asked me if I believed in heaven. I stared at him wordlessly. The moment passed and I never answered him. I wasn't sure if I had heard him correctly. Had he really been able to ask me that, so clearly, when he can not even ask for a glass of water?!?!
I spent every minute I could with him. I ate very little, I was exhausted at night, but did not sleep well, restless and worried. I was wearing myself out, using reserves I need for myself to keep myself healthy. But it did not matter, I went there because I knew he needed me. There was no going back. Saturday as I tore myself away, crying, I drove back home.
I called Ms Moon and told her how things had gone. I remembered two of the three questions he had asked me on Saturday, but I could not remember the third question. After I hung up with her and continued my drive I forgot the other two questions, but it hit me hard that he had asked me did I believe in heaven.
What do you say? He obviously did not want a deep theological discussion. He wanted reassurance. I have strong feelings about my beliefs of the afterlife. He does not want to hear that, he wants reassurance that he is a good person. And I lost that opportunity to reassure him that he is a good person. And yes, I do think he has a good heart. The Larry I first met was one of the kindest, sweetest people I had ever met. His heart is good and kind. The drugs and alcohol affected that and pushed the sweet, kind, loving person back into a corner. But even at his worst in his addictions he would be taken of advantage of because of his kindness.
Don't get me wrong, if you had asked me any of this a year ago, I would have struggled to find anything kind to say about him, but a lot has happened in this past year. To both of us. Does he still have that addictive personality? Oh yes, if you leave drugs out that he can get his hands on, he is going to take them. I am sure that if you offered him a rock of crack, he would snatch it up immediately, well, emotionally, not physically, because he can not snatch anything right now. He is not perfect. I am not perfect. We are an accumulation of our entire lives. The good, the bad, the sweet, the kind, the awful, the mean, the bad choices, the smart choices.
When I got home I called Richard and asked him when he went up to visit Larry that afternoon, to call me so that I could talk to Larry on the phone. I laid down to take a nap and to rest before the long night of the play. No sleep or rest came to me.
Richard called and put the phone up to Larry's ear. I told him that I wasn't sure if he had asked me if I believed in heaven, but I was going to tell him what I thought anyway. I told him that I believe that everyone with a good heart goes to heaven. And that Larry has a good heart. I told him that I thought it was a place where everyone you loved and has gone before you is waiting for you, and all they want to do is love you. That I knew he would be waiting for me when my time comes. And that everything would be fine. Not to worry about anything, to relax and know that he was going to heaven and that everything was going to be OK. I told his cousin Bonnie about this discussion and she said that she would also talk to him and tell him that he was a good person and would be going to heaven to be with his Mother and Father, his grandparents, his friends that have died before him. That he would be surrounded by love, and that everything will be OK. I am so glad that I took the moment to tell him that. I am so relieved for him that Bonnie is going to talk to him about it. We all want to be reassured that we are good people. We all want to be loved. Basic needs. And at the end of his life, Larry has been reduced to his basic needs. He is not capable of much anything beyond basic needs. He is able to sleep. He needs help eating, cleaning himself, communicating, thinking. Basic needs.
I seriously had thought I had put myself aside to focus on Larry. To be there for him, for his needs. And yet, I have been given another wonderful gift. I have a new perspective on my life with Larry. I remember the good and the bad, and it all is part of who we are, and what our lives were. But the good is starting to outweigh the bad.
I was given the gift to feel needed, to be able to do for someone else. I rely on so many people now to help me in just about every aspect of my life. I need their support, their love. I am able to take this journey because of my friends and family. I wanted to give that to Larry.
And he gave back to me. A smile every time I walked into the room. A "I love you" every time I said it to him. I was able to lay next to him and feel that closeness we had once taken for granted, what a gift. To feel close, to feel an intimacy of closeness of love. Sex is not a part of this relationship. It has been a long time since the trust was there to have that part of our relationship. But what we have gotten back is so much more important, and will last so much longer.
And when I die, do I believe in what I told him? Not exactly, but in certain ways, it is exactly the same. I do believe that we are all made up of energy. I do believe that energy can not be created or destroyed. I do believe that strong emotions are strong energy, and if we all return to being pure energy, then really it is just semantics. Maybe that is why people see a "light" when they die. After all, light is a form of energy.
I know that I will go see Larry again if he is still alive after the play is over. I will not stay as long. I will make a run down one evening and probably come back home the next day. After all, I have a lot to do at work. And we still have one more weekend of Steele. And then we have the cast party at Marcy and Fred's on Sunday, and auditions for the Murder Mystery. Then the second weekend is the garden circle meeting. Yes, my plate is full. And yes, it does wear me out sometimes, but I love being a part of the Stage Company. And I love the garden circle. And I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to give someone the gift of caring and need and attention that one day I will need to ask from others.
I am learning more about myself, I am anxious to get started on this new drug I am supposed to take. I thought I would be on it by now. I called and left a message with the Bobbie, Dr. M's nurse asking about it. It will come. And I have had an email from a dear friend who is a doctor who gave me a little more insight on the drug and possible treatments for my cancer. Thank you Michael.
And as always, I am grateful for all these opportunities. To love and be needed, to have those who love me, and take care of me, so that I can take care of others. Our energy is connected and our love circles around and around capturing in the people around us. Giving us gifts that we never knew existed, that we never knew we would be grateful for. And I am grateful for this opportunity to go through this process of dying with Larry. Is this how it will be for me? I don't think so. I understand better each time I loose someone I love, that each death is unique, but I am learning. And I am so very grateful for all of these gifts.