are you ok?

December 15, 2016 – A lifetime ago.

We have been chatting on Facebook messenger, as we do.

We talk about the weather. It’s -1 degree where he is. It’s 68 and sunny here.

He says “Hey. I love you.”

I say “I love you too, baby.”

I send him a photo of my kitten. And the dog doing something cute.

He sends me a photo of his cat nestled in his lap, the two of them snug in his big leather chair.

He asks “How many days?”

“12 days!” I type. I am going to see him in just 12 days. An eternity away.

He tells me that he’s feeling discouraged and his energy has been non-existent this week from the chemo that will buy him a few precious months.

And then he asks “You ok?”

IMG_3890I stare at the screen. Flummoxed.

I am a thousand miles away. I am by turns angry, sad and grateful that I am not there going through hell with him.

He is going and I am grieving already. Extremes with nothing in the middle.

Manic with unresolved energy, there are projects started all over the yard.  The only time I am not a raw nerve ending is when I am physically engaged in some kind of labor. So I dig. I haul bags of sand and rock. I hack at tree roots and viciously uproot invading brush and shrubs.

Other days. Other hours. I lay on the couch and stare at nothing. Time passes. The day fades. Eventually I realize that I’ve been in full darkness for god only knows how long and this is not in any way healthy and I get up and turn on a light and go in search of food for a dinner I have no appetite for.

Many nights I don’t sleep. I toss and turn. I check Facebook at 2 or 3 or 4 am and see that he is also up, posting inspirational memes or links to the crappy old movies he is watching in his wakefulness. At some point he will call or text and I will listen to his fear, to the monsters that feed on him at night.

There is no anticipating the sucker punch that can double me over in pain triggered by a song; the sight of a hawk gliding overhead; a random thought.

“Are you ok?”

He needs me to be. And so I am.

I type my reply.

“I’m ok.”


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