7th Inning Stretch

My husband’s illness took a grave turn on February 24. Going into renal failure was the cancer’s way of letting us know that it was winning this game, and it had just hit one out of the park. My husband has been more or less bedridden ever since and it has been one day after another of fighting the pain, the nausea, the depression, the sadness — the routine that we were beginning to realize was not going to go away.

Yesterday, the pattern changed. After sleeping most the day, my husband woke up with an appetite. He mustered his way to the kitchen table and actually ate a few bites. The term is “sips and bites”. That’s how the Hospice nurses refer to it. As one’s condition declines, eating becomes sips and bites, and then just sips, and so on. But today, there were a few more bites than usual, and it lifted my spirit to see this.

After dinner, I asked my husband if he felt like sitting outside and watching the sunset. Yesterday was a glorious day, weather-wise, and I knew that the sunset was going to be beautiful. For the first time in weeks, he nodded in the affirmative. We sat on our old, ratty rattan loveseat and held hands. We really didn’t talk. He examined every inch of the yard from where he was sitting and mumbled, “It looks pretty good.” We watched our dog run around with her squeaky toy — in total bliss that we had joined her outside.

We watched the sky turn bright as the sun slipped below the horizon, and then beautifully pink, and then ice blue and grey as the sun disappeared. My husband sat for a good thirty minutes this way. I could feel my breathing relax, as I took in this welcome time. I tried with all my might to just “be in the moment” and not wonder when the pain would return. I whispered, “I love you, honey.”  My husband squeezed my hand and said, “I love you very much, honey.”

And that was it. That was our 7th inning stretch. A true gift from God — a moment to stand and stretch, breath the air, and know that win or lose, we are a team and we’ll do it together.

God’s Peace.

About susansplace

Widowed in 2012, I am a mother and grandmother. Born in San Francisco, I now live in the town I grew up in: Mill Valley, California. I love nature photography. Just an amateur but that's OK! My goal: world peace. Got any ideas?
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7 Responses to 7th Inning Stretch

  1. Susan, I’ve been reading for a while but I think this is my first comment. Your posts break my heart, your love for your husband is so pure and your pain is so palpable. My husband and I are at the beginning of our marriage (2nd anniversary tomorrow) and the thought of losing him some day terrifies me. Thank you for sharing your brave journey with your husband. He is lucky to have you. I can’t imagine what you’re feeling but your posts are so moving. I wish you peace and strength.

    • susansplace says:

      Dear Heidi, Thank you for your beautiful comment. Happy Anniversary! It is our faith that keeps us strong and 25 years of terrific memories. So keep making them! And by the way, isn’t it incredible that we get to “chat” from across the world, as if we were sitting in the kitchen together! Amazing stuff!

  2. Jan says:

    Beautiful moment in time and beautifully stated.

  3. Marina Smith says:

    What a great picture…….keep close to you the loving words you spoke to each other…….the moments you shared watching God’s sky paintings unfold……..the simple bliss of sitting next to each other holding hands on a warm April evening…….this is a memory that will sustain you later on…..and YES, it was most certainly a GIFT and God was smiling when he saw you recognize it!!

  4. Charlotte Morse says:

    I can’t say any more than Marina in all her eloquence, except to say that this blog really touched me. Couldn’t help but wonder how I would react given the same circumstances and how the love you feel for each other is magnified a hundredfold when you wonder how many more “sunsets” there will be.

    God bless you both!

  5. carol says:

    What a beautiful sunset, I am so glad you had that time together, you will always remember that
    moment, Walt loves you so much, he knows how heard this is on you.

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