Thursday, July 23, 2009


And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I want to hold you 'till I die
'Till we both break down and cry
I want to hold you 'till
The fear in me subsides.

When was the last time I heard that song?
And why was it played that day? Art must
have been listening to the radio too. As
he came through the door to me I was on
my way to him.

We clung to each other as if we were
giving the other our life. We did not
speak, we did not move. Our embrace
was so powerful and emotions so
strong that we burned a permanent
hole in time and space.

We said good bye that day.

We never again discussed the hope
that a new treatment would stop his
cancer. The first surgery three
years ago. A year later two more
surgeries. Then two rounds of
kemo and endless blood
transfusions. Finally two series
of external beam radiation.
No longer to kill the cancer but
just to ease the pain.

The last trip for scans to show
where the cancer was spreading
was the first time I saw Art visibly
upset. He could no longer walk
more than a few steps and needed
a wheel chair to get to and from
the car. Two days later he went
back to the hospital.

I stayed with him those five days.
The last two he was on such strong
pain killers he was unresponsive.

I had stepped out of the room for
a moment to ask the nurse a
question and I heard Art sigh
heavily. I ran back hoping he
was again conscious. Art's
breathing kept slowing and
then stopped. I called the nurse
to note the time of death. She
said not yet, his heart was still
beating. It was exactly 2:30pm.

I placed my fingers on his neck
to feel his pulse in the carotid artery.
It was strong and did not slow at
all for 15 minutes. Then gradually
slowed and then stopped at 3:10pm.
His heart kept beating for over a
half hour... as if he did not want
to take his heart away from me.

That moment will cast a shadow on
me forever.

Like I said.... this would be a difficult
blog to post.... because this is the way
it needed to be said.

The picture is Art and I at Bryce Canyon.
The sun was behind us casting our
shadows on the wall on the other side
of the canyon. You can't tell in the
picture but our shadows were at least
40 or 50 feet high. We were giants!

The song by Dan Hill.

1 comment:

  1. what a nice tribute :) and that is a cool picture!