On Tuesday night I knew I was dying.
I was frightened for the first time in a long time- Had I done enough for the people I love? Do they know how much I love them? Will they be alright?
Apparently, my ER nurse shared my concern.
After stabilizing me, she silenced the alarms, dropped everything, grabbed my hand and spoke in calming tones- I have no idea what was said, only that it was soothing.
For 45 minutes she gave me courage I couldn’t summon.
I have since come to realize she sensed a need in me and left the room in silence to afford me an opportunity I have been dreading.
Amid the pain and confusion, I had a “conversation” text or voice, I can’t recall, – with someone I love dearly to tell her “goodbye”- from my hospital bed 3900 miles away.
I didn’t keep it together- I was a mess.
So, yes, I have a precious little secret who has changed my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
On a beautiful October evening last fall in the Palm Court at the Plaza in NYC, I met a most exceptional British woman who has transformed my life. She has given me hope, stuck by my side and supported me with no expectation in return.
In other words, I met my soulmate.
It was the first evening of my “Hail Mary” clinical trial where I still maintained hope and chance of killing the cancer bastard that has stalked me for the last five years.
I was hopeful with tempered expectations.
Little did I know I was going to meet my match- she is very private, wicked smart, professionally successful, funny, kind, generous without an ounce of pretense.
Her American friends don’t understand the attraction to a sick old American redneck as they refer to me. I don’t either, but I’m not complaining.
Maybe this was the fight I was supposed to win. I have certainly craved the intimacy and love, proving that staying positive has its benefits.
Despite her living outside of London, we have been fortunate to spend some time together and we are in touch daily thanks to technology.
Not ideal but we have made it work for us.
My diagnosis scared away several potential female partners and I was resigned to living the rest of my life alone- not anymore.
I have fought for my life, fought to remain positive and find the silver lining in everything- Clare is my blessing.
Those who follow this blog know that Washington Irving’s quote on tears speaks volumes for me.
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.“
In the wee hours Wednesday I was blessed with a little clarity for reflection and time for real tears.
I have no adequate words for the importance of this woman in my life- unspeakable love is a close as I can get.
Oh yeah, in case you don’t believe in an almighty power, I went from bedridden Tuesday to a walker on Wednesday to a cane on Thursday to walking unassisted today.