Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Last Night Here...

Well. The day has finally come, and I am unbelievably sad believe it or not. So much has happened over these past 5 months and with every kind of emotion there is tied into it. Bottom line: Our leaving means that Gary is no longer here.

We came here to be with him and Martha during his last few months. Little did we know, we would only have 5 weeks with him once we arrived. And with all of the hard times we've had this past month, nothing will ever make me think that moving here wasn't the right thing to do. I know in my heart that he left us when he did because he knew we were here to take care of Martha, and he wouldn't go until he knew she was okay. From the day we arrived he got worse and worse- literally every day being harder and more awful than the one before. I cannot express what it was like to see that- to not know what kind of state he would be in the next day as we left their house each night. I know that everyday we were here though, especially with the kids around, we brought a little bit of joy to his nightmare of a life. I will always remember how he would wave at us and do a little clap when we walked in the door. How Luke would sit on the ottoman at his feet and just play for hours- just be close to him, and how he would just watch Luke. How he always gave us the Thumbs Up sign when we were having a conversation around him-whether or not he really knew what we were talking about is another thing- but he loved the social-ness of it, having people around him. Every time we left we would all hug and kiss him while he sat on his spot on the couch, and I alway told him how much I loved him: On the night he passed away he held my hand a second or two longer than usual and it made me stop and look in his eyes, and I think that was my good-bye from him. Everyone had their special moment with him that night, and little did we know what he was really saying to us. He had been through hell and was ready to go. And now its our turn to go. We have been through our own version of ALS hell, and it has changed us as a family. It has changed my relationship with Jason and with my kids. It has made us all realize that there is really nothing more important than family, that life is too short and illnesses are blind. Of all of the people in the world, I will never understand why Gary, but I will try my best to honor him by living the best life I can and continuing to take care of the many other people God has brought into my life for a reason. While my children may not remember him, they have been touched my his gentle, loving spirit, and I believe that even though he wasn't here when Morgan was born, she knows him. I see her laying in her crib or on our bed, smiling and coo-ing at the ceiling- I know he is over her saying, "Hey there, girl!" just like he always did to his "Miss O". She smiles like he does- with her whole face just lighting up.

So, yes, while we've had our ups and downs here, and we have made the decision to move on, this has been one of the most defining times in my life. God opened so many doors for us to get here as easily and quickly as we did, and now we will have to see what he has in store for us with his next chapter of our lives, having learned and experienced all that we have while we were here...


3 comments:

The Saras Family said...

Literally crying. You are a good daughter-in-law. He was very lucky to have you.

Heather said...

Anne,
You are by far the most beautiful spirit I have ever known. And I am proud to be your friend.
Heather :)
xo

The Saras Family said...

Come out, come out, where ever you are...???