I had plans.
I had finally finished my book, The Therapist Writer, and it was now up on Amazon.com, Kindle and BN.com. My plan was to start marketing it like mad right after Thanksgiving. My husband (Lance) and I also planned to move into a new house after 23 years in our current place. In addition, my plans included (probably wishful thinking) making enough money in 2013 from my writing to allow Lance to work part-time so he could spend more time on his passions — computers, music and soccer. He has allowed me to enjoy my passion (writing) for years, so fair’s fair.
It seemed like a good plan.
Then, right after Thanksgiving, Lance got a cold, then the flu, then pneumonia, then the hospital, then a staggering stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis (it must have been lurking there quite a while; he’d never go to a doctor), then back to the hospital and 18 hours in ER with a major heart attack, then ICU, then some strokes, then kidney failure. We spent Christmas Eve, our 28th wedding anniversary, and New Year’s Eve in ICU. By then he couldn’t speak. We all (his three sons, my two daughters and our many friends) said our goodbyes in Lance’s good ear. Then he died in the wee hours of the morning on January 2nd, 2013.
It all happened in the space of three weeks.
I am reeling. I am blind-sided. I am devastated over the loss of this good man. We had such a splendid, comfortable marriage, and for that I am deeply grateful.
Looking back on 2012, I realize that Lance really had a “bucket list” year. He was born in Denmark (he became a U.S. citizen some years ago) and last August he took a trip back home for a school reunion. He got to see his Danish brothers, step-mother and his huge, extended family.
He came back home and in October he had his 70th birthday. His cousin Jorgen flew to L.A. with his granddaughter, Victoria, age 11, to help Lance celebrate the occasion. We had a big family party at a local restaurant and Lance stood up and gave a speech expressing his gratitude and love for his family and for his life, saying he got to do so many of the things he loved — he played soccer and music professionally, then worked with computers. One of my daughters gave him tickets to see the LA Galaxy, so Lance and I went to the game– new stadium, perfect night and the LA Galaxy won.
My plans have now changed. We are planning a memorial service. I am planning to move into an apartment to be nearer my grandchildren, 5 and 8. As I pack, every item in the house reminds me of Lance, and our cat still looks for him and sniffs at the garage door in case he’s on the other side, coming home.
The memories of my husband are all good — except for that last part in the hospital in ICU which was hell.
Lance, I hope they have computers, jazz and soccer in heaven so you’re having the good time you deserve. I love you and thank you for giving your family such a wonderful life. Goal!
copyright Sylvia Cary, LMFT