Free as a Bird

On April 26, I posted, “Embrace the Plateau“. My husband was feeling much better, after weeks of no energy, no appetite. The miracle of modern drugs had improved his condition immeasurably. My pastor told me that day, “Embrace the plateau.” It is not unusual for a terminally ill person to have a temporary hiatus, with medicines prescribed by the Hospice doctor. But eventually, the illness catches up with the medications, and the patient returns, or succumbs once again, to the symptoms that brought him to this place.

Today, my husband came to me with tears in his eyes and asked me if I would please take him out to lunch. He asked if we could please go to a fast food restaurant and pick up lunch, and just eat it in the car. That way, he would not have to put shoes on. In fact, he could go just as he was, pajamas, a sweat shirt and slippers. The step backwards came about a week ago, with symptoms which have made it impossible for him to drive the car, or take a walk, or well, do anything. So his “plateau” has now returned to the rocky road of February and March, and we both wonder what comes next.

So, yes, we climbed into the car, my husband clad in his pajamas and slippers, and we went to a fast food restaurant, arguing all the way! “I prefer to stay in this lane, on this curve. It’s very dangerous in the other lane!!” “Really? Well, I prefer this lane. It works just fine for me!” We sat and ate our lunch; car windows open. We watched, as people came and went. We spoke in quiet voices, dripping taco sauce on our shirts, and I know that I must remember this day…

Again…. Again! I am reminded: Live in the Moment! I feel like an advertisement for Hallmark cards! But it is amazing…. No matter how many times you are reminded, it’s not enough. Your mind will not allow you to go there. You just keep stumbling along, trying as hard as you might to be “normal”. Do you realize all this implies? Do you realize all that will have to be done? It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? And so, you let it go. One more hour. One more day. One more week. Who knows? I dunno. Everybody sing:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

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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8 Responses to Free as a Bird

  1. Jan says:

    A day to be remembered; a taco to be remembered; a moment in time. Keep on enjoying these special times together.

  2. Yes, we were on the same wavelength (and apologies to Cat Stevens, we weren’t thinking of the military blackbird). I’m sorry you guys are going through this. May you make a collection in your mind and journal / blog of these precious times. I have an old friend, who was actually a pal of one of my sons, and they are going through this now, too. Tough stuff. He is dying of cancer, as well, and they have a toddler son. Life is hard, but this is not all there is thankfully. Bless you today.

    • susansplace says:

      Thanks, Lilly. I’m so sorry for your friend. Can’t imagine dealing with this amidst caring for a toddler son, too. Good grief. You are right though. We must cherish all the good moments, and there are lots of them.

  3. Bev says:

    Another BEAUTIFUL blog, Sue!! Always heartfelt, and with YOUR own brand of humor throw in there!! Is that a pic of your house???

  4. nutsfortreasure says:


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