You'd think that when someone close to you receives a death sentence it would inspire amazing insights and lessons about life. I know that's what I thought. But after his diagnosis, and after I started to recover from feeling I was trapped in a perpetual nightmare, I looked around and couldn't see a damn lesson in sight. Yet slowly, as I've been dealing with getting past the initial grief and fear, living each day that comes and running around preparing for all the things one can't possibly prepare for, the lessons have started to ease out into the open. I couldn't force them out any sooner. They come in their own time when they, and you, are good and ready.
There's a lot of wisdom in the idea of living one day at a time. And when you might not have someone for long, that's what starts to happen.
I used to be afraid of time—that I'd run out of it, that I wouldn't have time to do all the things I wanted. Now I'm seeing each minute that passes as a victory. As something I'm proud of. It's like I can gather all these minutes into my arms as if they're an enormous mass of jewels. Look what I have—'another moment! A kiss, a stroke of the skin on my husband's arm, the light coming through the window just so...Each of these jewels gives me the confidence to stand up and look Death in the face and say, "No one's going anywhere today."
I can help Patrick—I can coach him, love him, track his medications and calories, be there to kick him in the pants or just hold his hand if he needs it. But I can't save him. And I try to remember that. But I've got the best possible thing on my side: Patrick himself. I love that he's such a fighter. He's so amazingly strong and beautiful. He's my best weapon against this terrible disease.