Saturday, December 25, 2010

The sparkles are back!

Christmas Eve day was very difficult ... little memories kept flooding in and the tears just would not stop. Puffy eyes, still coughing and stuffed up, no decorations, no gifts or Christmas smells in the house ... I was a mess physically and emotionally. And I had absolutely no desire to do a thing to change it.

And then I received a surprise phone call from a fellow MM caregiver who lost his wife on December 8.  There's a special bond among caregivers, but especially MM caregivers, I think. It's a tough cancer, one that can affect everyone so differently. I'm amazed at how close I feel to people I've never met, who live in other states and countries. Our one connection is that we proudly care for and love our spouses as they battle myeloma ... and now some of us join in our sorrow as we mourn the loves of our life. My conversation with Craig helped me feel better and I hope it helped him, too. He has said I served as a "beacon" for him as he followed our story on CaringBridge and now here on this blog. That's why I decided to continue to write; if just one person is helped by reading my story then it's worth it. And I find it helpful to learn that others are having the same feelings, challenges, sorrows - it reassures me that I'm not going crazy, that this is as 'normal' as things are going to be for awhile. Thank you, Craig. I appreciate your kindness in reaching out.  I'm not very good at doing that.

I had planned to go to a Christmas Eve service but my emotions were still too close to the surface, so I decided it was best to stay home. My two favorite Christmas movies are "White Christmas" and "Miracle on 34th Street" and I just hadn't felt up to watching them yet this year. But after the phone call, I thought I'd give it a try since AMC was carrying them back-to-back.  (I also love "Elf" but that one doesn't pull at the heartstrings as much and I was able to laugh my way through that one the other night.)  I enjoyed "White Christmas", a few tears along the way but I cried in most of those same parts before losing Vern. I got through part of "Miracle" and then became really sleepy so decided to try watching it in bed (silly of me since I always fall asleep). Before heading to bed, however, I reminded Jeremy there was a garbage bag that needed to be taken out to the trash. He headed out the door and came running back in ... "The sparkles are back!"

I ran to the front door and there they were ... covering the front steps, the front porch, sidewalk, driveway, street. I fell apart - but in a glorious, good way.  I was overwhelmed that someone remembered, that someone took the time to do such a special thing for me on Christmas Eve. I got up several times during the night and opened the front door to look at them and I tried to take some photos of them early this morning, but this is the only one that turned out. Isn't it spectacular? A poem was also left and it reduced me to tears once again.  I had been feeling so sad because it felt that no one remembered Vern, his name was never mentioned by others. Even when I visited my family, no one brought him up. This poem reassures me that he is, indeed, remembered. Merry Christmas ... I received such a wonderful gift.

We Remember
In the rising of the sun and its going down,
We remember  him.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
We remember  him;
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring,
We remember him;
In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn,
We remember him.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
We remember him;
When we are weary and in need of strength,
We remember him;
When we are lost and sick at heart,
We remember him;
When we have joys we yearn to share,
We remember him.
So long as we live, he too shall live,
For he is now a part of us, as we remember him.


Darlene Duttlinger said...

So beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Lori Puente said...

Oh Dianne, how incredibly wonderful! It warms my heart. It is always incredible to me how people can do the sweetest things, the smallest of things, that can be so miraculous at times. Hallelujah and AMEN!

tim's wife said...

Even those of us who never met Vern in person, remember him. Wishing you strength and peace
as you find your way through all this. It's been such a hard holiday season for so many this year. You are not alone in that. Wishing you God's blessings in 2011.

betty obst said...

So happy for you to have such good neighbors and friends Diane. I have found (and sometimes have done it myself) that people often hesitate...especially at those "special" times, to mention a loved one's name because they don't want to make the "survivor" feel bad. I agree though, that knowing others also miss them does make you feel better. Hope the rest of the weekend turned out well for you. God bless!!

Susie Hemingway said...

I was pleased to read this post and know that you made it safely through Christmas. I was lucky to have my family around me but I am still not doing very well.Managed to feed my guests from France but had some very difficult overwhelming moments. No desire to write or do much talking at all right now. Energy level and spirits low, just missing my Man so very much.