Saturday, June 27, 2009

What I least expected

I am beginning to reconcile and reflect over all the things which went down this time last year..and the entire thing is so terribly maddening to me.  This very day one year ago we received the BEST news we thought we would never get.  Throughout the course of Katie's illness we were told over and over again from many doctors that Katie would die from her illness..told that their goal in providing treatment to Katie was not to cure her but to prolong her life with some ounce of quality.  Everytime I was told this I would smile cordially and say that's fine (really wanting to honestly say fuck you, but I'm too nice) I share a different viewpoint, our goal in this is to restore Katie back to full health and you just don't know this person your treating...this is KATIE REIDER for pete's sake..she is no ordinary human is not her time...if you really knew her you would know if anyone could beat this tumor it is her.  ALL along I maintained this belief, to Katie I would say..well you're just getting this out of your system now, the boys are young, they'll never recall you being ill and when we're old we will already have done the life threatening illness thing so we'll have full health to look forward when I received the news from our doctor on Friday June 27th, 2008 that her MRI showed the tumor to be 97% gone.. I was not surprised...this was the hope I had been holding on to all was news I was told to never expect and it was finally here.  I hung up the phone (I was in my office at work), put my head on my desk and wept with pure and joy and exuberance.  SHE WAS BEATING THIS....the whole battle..this whole 2 years was finally turning around...we had made it...we were getting our lives back...these are all the things which rushed through my head and so much more....I immediately lifted my head and wrote (in a seconds time) the last email I would ever write to Katie (as a reference...we called each other beeb):

we're at a point where we're moving in the direction of getting you
restored..just imagine the good that will come from all of this...just
being able to talk sing's all possible Kate..and it
is all going to happen for you...our lives are going to be given back to
us..and you and I will grow old happily..w/o illness and we'll enjoy our
boys (and who knows maybe even more :D) ....and their children...

My hope in having you...was restored at the news today....and I will be
with you every step of the your full recovery....we will never
be the same...we are forever changed and altered..but when we emerge
from this fire...holy one...nothing will ever be able to stop

I love you now..I love you always!

What was even better was the VERY next morning we were leaving to go on a family vacation we had been SO excited for..and we had this amazing news to send us off.  Never could I expect or anticipate that we would only have 1 full day to live with this good news before we took the ride to total despair and sorrow...never could I have predicted what would unfold in the next 2 to 16 days...and I suppose this is the nonsense I've tried to make sense of this full year later...I've come to many realizations over this year...mostly that even though her tumor was 97% gone it was not 100% gone and in fact part of that 3% was this thing indeed was never going to go away just as the doctors maintained and while it seemed cruel and shocking at the time...Katie was certainly spared from more pain and agony with which she had suffered already for far too long.  I write this out..and the events of the coming days this one year later to make even more sense of it in my capture it forever shove in my face that we all truly are one phone call from our knees (Matt Kearney lyric which captures the way I feel so perfectly sometimes).  So this is why we live it up...pursue our passions...find what moves us and run with reckless abandon in that direction...because it could be over in 2 days in 10 20 years...we just don't know...and when my time comes I need to that moment...I've lived my best life possible.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June 7, 2009

Yesterday is what would have been my 6th wedding anniversary....yesterday and today I have found myself painfully missing my wife.  Oh this first year...this first year of life without Katie is tough to say the VERY least.  Of course there is the obvious..all the "firsts" you have to endure...Christmas, Mother's Day, children's birthdays, her birthday...and now I can add anniversary to the list of firsts which have come and gone.  I'm feeling quite fortunate my last "first" is soon approaching..this day...the darkest day in my history...will be a difficult first to difficult in fact I find the emotions already building up..but I will be so happy to have leaped this last hurdle..turning yet another new unexplored chapter in this business of grief and living...the chapter I think I call..after those first 365.  I don't know what to expect on 367 or 430, but something I've found to be so difficult with this first 365 is I often think about what it was I was doing last year at this time...and to know whether it was good or bad or the very minimum at this time last year I still knew what it felt like to have Katie's hand in mine...knowing any given point of the first such an unexpected emotional know...she was here and now she's's a painful reminder, salt in the wound (so to speak) I'm looking forward to the "after those first 365" because again the "first hurdles" will all have been jumped, never to be jumped again..but more importantly...or maybe most importantly I'll know that say on June 7, 2010 when I say "what was I doing this time last year"...the answer can be..I was living..I rose above..I drank all life had to offer..I saw and was changed by the unexpected... I met new people who taught be amazing lessons all of which I could have lost had I not been willing to take the risk..I raised my children, loved them endlessly, showed them many things I had never even seen.  I engaged life, I laughed so hard I cried...I cried so hard I laughed...I was not conquered by my greatest fear but looked fear directly in the eyes and chose hope.  
 I've said so many times before we can not choose the situations which will happen to us in has many plans for us we may not like..but the only logical choice regardless of the circumstance is hope..and living our best life I continue on...writing this chapter in my newest adventure.