Sunday, May 18, 2014

Five months

I've written about time before, but I've never experienced it like this. It expands and contracts unexpectedly.

Five months is at once an eternity and a moment.

Five months ago today I woke up next to Kevin. It was a cold winter day. Kevin and I were planning to look at some houses, since we had decided it was time to buy. We didn't move quickly, he wasn't feeling well with back and stomach pain which had been troubling him for months. I made breakfast. He didn't eat much, but had what he could.

We looked at listings, compiled a set to drive by and yet we just couldn't get moving. He was in pain.

We spent most of the day at home, but I didn't mind. I loved spending time with him, pretty much anywhere. At home. In the supermarket. Running errands. It didn't matter. When I was with him I was happy just to be there. On that day I was also concerned, but we were together.

I don't remember exactly what we did all day. In my journal I wrote about how worried I was about his health, that I didn't trust his diagnosis of back strain and gastritis. I wrote about feeling helpless and frustrated. I didn't name my fears.

We went to bed early since he wasn't feeling well, but by ten p.m. he was writhing with pain. I massaged his back, he took medicine, but nothing helped. I finally began to cry and told him I was afraid I couldn't keep him safe, could we please go to the emergency room. I'd asked before and he always said no. This time he said yes.

It was a long night.

Sometime late they took him for a CT scan, the next of a set of progressively intrusive tests. When he came back, I put my head on his gurney, his hand on my shoulder and I thought, "Remember this moment. This is the last moment of not knowing."

His hand. The dim room. Fatigue. His breath. The nurse, bringing pain medicine. The doctor walking into the room and sitting down.

Half an hour later we had a diagnosis.

Five months isn't long at all. Five months is a geologic era.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. 15 years together then five months then the bottom drops out. The world swirled by in a blur. Now it swirls by in pain and longing. No magic words, nor potions can I offer. Would that I could. Hugs I send, and remembering and love.

  2. You have said it so eloquently Laura; the world we know changes in the blink of an eye. I have been there, I know your pain and I grieve with you. I was just talking about Kevin yesterday, how fast he was taken from you, and from all of us, but also about the impact he left in our lives and in the world. Tony is right, there are no magic words...Sending love across the miles.

  3. Yes, the world can change in the blink of an eye. Live in the moment. Love the moment. This moment is all we can know for sure, that we will have.


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