Last night I was scrolling through my hospital journal and I found this entry. Fresh tears fell once more.
How can lack of hair make such a difference? I kiss his bald head goodnight, crawl onto my cot and lay still, listening until I know he is asleep. Then the tears slide down my cheeks and drip onto my pillowcase.
There is something about the baldness that rips at my heart when he is in his hospital bed.
He looks smaller.
He looks older.
He looks more frail.
He looks scared.
His bright blue eyes seem to pierce my soul as if to say, "capture this memory, for the end is near". I lie awake in the wee hours of the morning after a mere nap during the long night. Listening to the whimpering in his sleep and his uneven breathing. Wanting to be here to reassure him when he briefly wakes up confused and restless.
Reality is a cold slap across my face. The past 13 days have been our closest to normal we have had in a long time....and I almost forgot.
Forgot that he has only been given months to live.
Forgot that this chemo is not a cure but a prolonging of life.
Forgot that he will not grow old beside me.
Forgot that I will be responsible to lead our children into adulthood without him.
My heart aches so deeply that I literally feel physical pain and struggle to catch my breath through the silent sobs.
I read that journal entry and a flood of memories burst forth. So many sleepless days and nights I have spent watching him sleep in a hospital bed. Oh so very many. This journal entry was from March of 2013. It is October now, and my man is still here beside me. With the chemotherapy treatments stopped, he is ever so slowly growing back in the hair on his head and face. We celebrate the baby eyelashes and new peach fuzz atop his head. But more than anything, we celebrate the gift of time.
I wouldn't trade the past 7 months of "extra time" with my Tim for all the sleep in the world. What a blessing it has been to be by his side during the treacherous journey through chemotherapy, living my wedding vows out loud to the love of my life.
It is the hardest of hards.
But I am grateful to my God for it......this gift of time. Even as it slips away.
"So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom." ~Psalm 90:12