Posted in Uncategorized

Hello. I Love You. Goodbye.

The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them. 
~Stephen King

“Hello Mary-Mary. How are you doing?”

“Fine,” I said very slowly, and somewhat quizzically. “Who is this?”  Only my brother John called me Mary-Mary, and the voice wasn’t his.

“Your brother.”

The voice didn’t sound like Bill or Lyle, either, but kind of a mix of Bill’s and John’s.

“Which one?’

“Your brother, Dave.”

No wonder I didn’t recognize the voice. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to Dave on the phone. Although he isn’t technically my brother, he feels like a brother to me. Dave is married to my sister Joan.

He’d called to ask if my daughter had enough suitcases for an upcoming trip, but I couldn’t help but feel there was more to the call than that.  Dave recently left the hospital after a serious problem with his lung. A spill from a motorcycle resulted in a cracked rib, which ended up a punctured lung with blood clots that had to be surgically removed. The scary truth was that Dave could have died, maybe even came close to dying, and that stark reality left all of us who cared about him a little shaken. I think it left him pretty shook-up too.

I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog posting, but I have always had a problem with expressing affection to anyone outside of my husband and children.  I’ve gotten a little better about it since my husband’s cancer and my mother’s death, but it doesn’t come natural to me to evoke words of love and affection.

Dave hesitated slightly at the end of our phone call. Was there something else he wanted to say? There was plenty I’d left unsaid.  I wanted Dave to know how worried we’d been, how we’d prayed for him every day while he was in the hospital, and how much we cared about him.

I wanted to say “I love you.”

Instead, I ended the phone call with a lame, “Take Care.”

And could have kicked myself. I almost picked up the phone and called him back.  Instead, I’ll take the easy route (for me), and write it, with a public declaration.

I love you Dave.

 

 

 

Author:

Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

2 thoughts on “Hello. I Love You. Goodbye.

  1. Mary, David knows how much you love him. He has been amazed since all this started, at the outpouring of love from our family that he has received. I know it has helped him through a really rough time. If you could have seen the struggle he had; first, in the ER, then facing surgery, chest tubes, a NG tube, being in the ICU, and the daily chest xrays to determine if the lung was healing. He had a setback a few days after surgery, when the lung started to collapse again, and he spent a couple of days tethered to the wall behind his bed with a suction tube hooked up to his chest tube container to help reinflate his lung. Twice I saw this big tough guy with tears in his eyes when the doctor told him, you can’t go home yet because you have an air leak in that lung.
    I know you understand because your husband has suffered too.
    I never knew until now how brave my husband is. He was joking with the nurses as they wheeled him into the surgical wing, and after he got back to 4th floor from the ICU, he entertained them with his antics. It was his way of coping with a very stressful experience.
    And love brought him through.

  2. Mary-
    Because of you, I am continuing to learn to brave my words and tell people how I feel. Anyone close to you can feel the love you have for others. You are such a special person! Thanks for sharing this blog.
    Jacki

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s