A week has passed and I haven't mailed that thank you letter to Dr. C. So I decided I needed to finish it today so I could get it in the mail in the morning and it will be there waiting for him on Monday. There were a few details I wanted to include that I needed to check on to refresh my memory, so I opened up my CaringBridge Journal link to get the info ... and now it's well after midnight and I have a pile of wet Kleenex next to me. Sigh.
I'm truly grateful I kept that journal. Each year, during the days leading up to Vern's passing, I find myself reading the whole thing - yeah, all 4+ years worth. Today I just searched for my entry on May 7, 2006 and then I remembered that Dr. C had also assisted during the abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery Vern had in September 2009. So I scrolled through the pages to get to that date. And I was surprised to see the date that surgery was held: September 22, 2009. One year to the day before Vern died. I don't think I've noticed that previously - or I had forgotten it if I had.
So tonight I read each of my entries from that final year. And I also remembered all of the things I didn't write down. Gosh those were hard, hard days. And worth the tears I shed tonight.
I was also reminded of other doctors I should have thanked. Were they perfect? Oh, gosh no. But each of them did what they thought was best to give Vern more time. More time with me. I am grateful for that time, regardless of how hard it was. And a couple of them really did show they cared about us as people, not just as a very ill patient and his caregiver/wife.
So I'm finishing my letter to Dr. C. And then I will write letters to Dr. G and Dr. L ... Vern's oncologist and infectious disease doc, who were with us from the beginning through to the end. They may never read them, but I will have sent them.
On what ended up being Vern's last birthday I asked those he taught or coached to share a special memory of him and received so many lovely notes. What a blessing it was to be able to share those words with him.
Do you have people in your life you need to thank? Maybe it's time to do just that.