Off late I have been thinking about MH, mostly about his feelings being a caregiver. I try to swim deep into his thoughts whenever he looks at me with his worry in his eyes. Whoever has had experience looking after someone sick would understand that the job and duties as a caregiver is very much stressful. Many times an occassion, I can't help feeling like a burden to him even though he keeps on telling me that he has never had that crossing his mind.
I have read and re-read this one particular book written by Dr Bernie Siegel MD: Living, Loving and Healing. In the book there are components that talk about the caregiver, and being the exceptional and extraordinary caregiver. As I read it, I imagine MH fitting the shoes of every character mentioned.
Dr Bernie mentioned about Maggie Strong, an exceptional caregiver who wrote her story in a book titled Mainstay. She wrote facts that touched my heart:
To become chronically ill is to lose yourself as a healthy person: you grieve. To be married to someone ill and to watch a man or a woman you love suffer means you mourn. You mourn the lost marriage, the lost family, the suffering of the mate, and your lost self - the one who could feel dependent, who could ask to be indulged, the lighthearted you. And often with chronic illness you mourn a lost or reduced sexuality.
The last line is a hit straight home. Many times I feel so sorry for being unable to provide my life partner the needed need. And I always thought how selfish I am for thinking only about me... about not in the mood, about being in pain, about feeling uncomfortable and about so many things that focus only on me...and that is selfish, isn't it? With this pain coming unannounced MH is always kept on guard and thus he puts his needs aside. He is a man who thinks of others before him and everytime I think of this, tears welled my eyes. This man, MH-the love of my life, sets an example how to love without making love. I now agree with my parents for accepting MH's proposal to wed me... This is a blessing that is realized later in my life. Yes, you got that correct, MH was my parent's choice and I have re-lived that arranged marriage still exists and can persist! Hahahaha...
MH is not in town. He is away these couple of days for a conference. It's not that I haven't experienced being left for his outstation and oversea business trip, but this time around, this longing feeling is terribly so hollow in my heart. Last night as I felt the loneliness deepened, I made myself busy washing the dirty clothes, feeding the cats, ironing the school uniforms for the boys, vacumming and mopping the floors. The boys helped me with folding the dried clothes and cleaning up their room. I thought I would feel okay as the body was getting so tired already... alas, the heart still wrenched with this empty feeling, the mind still dwindled in thinking about MH... I guess, the phrase: Absent makes the heart grow fonder is true to tell. And may I add, it makes the love grow stronger too.... Argghhh... Darling, I am feeling blue without you!
We do many heart-to-heart talk nowadays. I like that because it is the sharing that keeps my spirit to fight intact. I hear him saying his love in the many ways of the intonation and tone of voices. He is not a GQ (Gentleman Quality) kindda guy. He doesn't open the car door to let me in the car. Or pull my chair for me to sit at a restaurant. Or buy me a diamond ring for my birthdays or any special occassion. And I am very much fine with him being him - the sometimes rough and look like indifferent. He is a human being too. His caring and corncern ways added with the way he speaks his heart out have defined a new meaning of love to me. The fact that he has accepted the ugly side of me shows that his love have blossomed richer and fuller. This may be the truest meaning of love!
We talk to each other with the thought this could be our last chat. We talk to each other to remind each other that we both are okay to be the perfectly imperfect (we still tease each other with our snoring rythms or our farting sounds and decibels...hahaha). We talk to each other to learn to let go and forgive our wrongdoings. We talk to each other to feel the love for one another. This kind of talk boosts not only the bonding between us but also helps to heal the wounds as we battle this cancer. Isn't heartfelt love is the all time healer?
Last night I cuddled his pillows. This is the time in my life when the smelling sense is cheated by the feeling in the heart! The pungent smell of his sweat is suddenly the smell I adore....
'Dear God, I thank you for this marriage and for giving me a wonderful husband, a family and 2 lovely children. Let this love entwin us with Your Mawaddah and Rahmah. I thank you for giving me a deeper meaning of relationship. Let me have this love grow stronger in many years more to come. If it is otherwise, let this love stay even when I'm gone. Let this love fills his heart when I am not around.... Please grant a safe return for my husband and let us continue having this blessed life, again and again. Ameen.'
I am thanking Allah because my back is feeling alright these few days. I haven't gotten any news about the CT Scan from the hospital. Let us all pray that this no news means good news. Anyways, the doctor has reminded me that these back pain could be due to the side effect of consuming Femara (bone pain is noted as one of the side effects), or because of the radiotherapy to my ovary that was done on my back too, or because I am losing calcium at a fast rate due to the menopause. Whatever it is, I will not make this back pain something that will stop me from doing what I want to do...
What is it that I hear? Carpe Diem...sieze the day? Yeahh!