Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hovering Again

Mike can't go into the bathroom for too long without me wondering if I'm going to find him laid out of the floor there, pants down, and gray from lack of oxygen.

I'm not sure you really need to know this, but I'm telling you - I hope and pray I'm not naked when I die. I don't know why that bothers me. I feel pity for Marilyn Monroe over that. She died in the nude. Her housekeeper also walked past her door, saw the light on, and decided not to disturb her near the time of her death. I wonder how this housekeeper felt after she'd found out the poor woman was lying naked on the floor, possibly still alive when she walked by. It makes you think, doesn't it?

I also worry that I'm going to wake up next to Mike, having slept through his struggle, and finding his cold body sucking the heat from me as I sleep. I wonder if we'll walk too far into the woods on our rambles and I won't be able to get Mike to help soon enough after he collapses. I worry I won't do a good job at CPR. I worry he'll drive into the back of a bus, killing children, as he clutches his chest while trying to drive home from work. Nightmares. Every one of these scenarios is a totally possible nightmare.

There are so many ways that death can come. Even though Mike had a heart attack, I can't really guess how it will come for him. I can't guess how long we have together. I can't control a thing, unless I happen to be very lucky and get into my CPR training class before an episode and I'm right there with Mike when something happens and can get him to help quickly enough. What are the odds?

It's just a reminder that, no matter how hard we try, the people we love may still die alone and untended.

The other day, I asked Mike if it bothered him that I was hovering. He smiled and told me it didn't. Still, I wonder if he knows just how many times I check to make sure he's still pink in the night, how often I look out onto the lawn when he's outside blowing the walkway, how often I wander innocently into a room where he's sequestered and watching TV, or how much I watch out the window for him to return when he's out running an errand. I hover. I wake up worried. I try to keep breathing in this beautiful world.

It's exhausting, you know.

Thank you for listening, jules

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