Posted by Danny
There are vivid images that are so very difficult. There was the January day in the hospital right after we learned that the cancer had spread to Lisa’s back. Her heart started racing that night and the physicians struggled to get it under control. She glanced up at me and said, “What if we don’t have much time?” I relive that moment over and over and over again.
I think this past month has probably been the worst since February – or maybe April. Not all are that bad.
I’m not 100% sure what’s going on – maybe it’s Capon. Lots of memories surrounding the discovery of Lisa’s illness there – actually just a lot of memories there. Her mother and I have a vivid image of Lisa pushing the baby stroller up the golf course with our new nephew napping inside. She started with stomach issues that week and reported that she made a doctor’s appointment for the minute she returned to Raleigh. Colon cancer grows for years before the symptoms; we were too late.
Two weeks later we were facing stage 4 colon cancer in the face – the Friday of Labor Day weekend. I sit here and look at the chair she was sitting in when I got home that Friday afternoon. I can see the tears in her beautiful eyes. I see the position of her body in that chair. I know exactly what her hair looked like that afternoon. I think she had a kleenex in her right hand.
At times I can see the entire last six months of her life in fast forward. The images dance around in my head like a YouTube video. Her girlfriends coming to give her a pedicure in her hospital bed in the cancer ward. Family taking turns sleeping on the most uncomfortable recliner in America. Her last words to me.
I think I’ve run away this summer. Being out of town for 12 out of 13 weekends allowed me to escape. I think that’s how I’ve fought this – staying on the run is my medicine. Go from 7 a.m until 1 a.m. Monday – Friday, get the heck out of town on Friday evening and don’t return until Sunday.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for tackling my fears, we will need to be in town this fall – lacrosse for Michelle, cheerleading for Stephanie and we all need to get back to church.
I’m finding that you can’t out run grief. It’ll catch you. It’s faster, more powerful, more cunning than you’ll ever be.
I’ll sit this weekend on the porch where Lisa and I read the Saturday paper. I’ll glance through my year-long journal and maybe look at some happy pictures. I’ll ache a bit. Maybe it will bring me closer to healing. And maybe September will be better.