Five years

December 8, 2018 in Lymphoma by Reta Reed

Five years. I’m amazed at human resiliency, at how we protect ourselves and become numb to or forget painful moments. No, I haven’t forgotten Jeff or become numb, but the happy memories surface much more often than the painful ones, thankfully. I still miss him, but I’m not so sad anymore. There’s still a part of my heart that is reserved for Jeff. I recently watched a video clip of a comedian comparing men’s and women’s brains. He said men’s brains are made up of boxes – one for the kids, one for the job, one for the wife, one for the mother-in-law (somewhere in the basement of the brain), etc. – and the boxes must NEVER touch. A man will go to one box, discuss that one thing then close it back up, being sure not to touch any other boxes. A woman’s brain is one ball of wire where everything is connected to everything – the job is connected to the house which is connected to the dishwasher which is connected to the kids, etc. I don’t think my brain is like that at all. I think mine is more compartmentalized. I have a lousy memory so I don’t drum up old arguments. Isn’t my husband lucky? 

When it comes to Jeff, I feel like I have a box in my brain or my heart just for him. I visit the box occasionally, when I can handle it. I just looked back at Jeff’s last post here (page 158) and can practically hear his voice again. Oh, that red-neck accent of his. Then I read my post about him going to hospice. I can see that day like a movie playing in my head. We had spoken to the oncologist who had nothing good to say, and to one of our company’s doctors who said he had maybe two weeks, then a chaplain, and then things moved so fast. Jeff got a nice dose of Dilaudid so the EMS guys could bundle him up on a gurney to transport him. I can see the nurse’s face as she approached me while we were waiting for the elevator. She was almost protective, like “What do you think you’re doing with my patient?!” She hugged me so tight when I told her he was going to hospice. All the nurses on the floor adored Jeff and were sad to see him go. …Now I can close that box for a while.

Travis is a constant reminder, too, and I know how proud Jeff would be of him. He’s still such a happy kid in spite of everything. One of Jeff’s buddies (now my buddy) was over Thursday and was shocked at how much Travis has grown in the last few months and at how much he looks like “Jeffry”. He’s got Jeff’s curls, just on the top of his head. He’s not the greatest student, but is such a good kid. He does his chores without being asked. He can’t remember to apply deodorant to save his life but I guess that comes with being a 13-year-old boy. He has a blast with his sisters, enjoys The Amazing World of Gumball, video games, Pokemon, spaghetti/mac’n’cheese/pizza/chicken nuggets/fish sticks, movies, Lego, and anything that makes him laugh. He and the “last” husband (there won’t be another one) get along like a house on fire and that makes me one happy momma.