Today I chose a local nursing home for my husband and he was accepted and will be moving there on Monday. I was so happy, and turned to the empty seat next to me to let David know what had happened.
Then it hit me, that David wasn't there to share the news and that David was the one needing the home and hospice because of Alzheimer's.
This has been the weirdest time and my happiness over his departure from the hospital only makes sense in a movie I said I would write.
I do things like buy milk, fill the car with petrol, water the garden and all the time I'm screaming inside "I miss David." My left hand naturally reaches out for his. Before I do anything and everything now, I need to get myself mentally prepared. I never realized how much comfort and strength David gave to me on a daily basis. How much connection I would receive just from our feet touching when we slept or our arms lazing around one another watching television.
On Thursday morning I was sitting with David and the room had a classic dance number playing from the 40's. David was sleeping and I was trying not to cry. In my mind I could see us both dancing above the anxiety and confusion. I could see us moving in the space that exists from the simple things that make us feel happy and free.
These are the only thoughts that allow this new phase to be acceptable. That I feel his pain of Alzheimer's is over and that his spirit, heart and or soul are free to enjoy who he really is without the restrictions of what our brain instructs; and by that I mean a brain in sickness and in health.
David told me when we first met, that he only truly felt he could be at his best, when he was away from home. I disagreed with him, until this year, as I now recognize what a larger emotional heart he has and that was the home he was referring to. Through this illness, and in particular within this last month, it is as though I have met him again and have been privileged to experience a larger part of him that does not require language. It shines from his eyes and is in the strength and lightness of his touch.
So now I see him preparing to reach as far as he desires and I experience a mix of emotions that include sorrow and joy. Can I risk believing in this or is this just me coping?
I turn to my left and ask: "What do you think David?"