Monthly Archives: January 2013


“If You Want to Make God Laugh, Make Plans”

My husband waiting for the hospital to have a bed for him. Our cat, Diamond, stared into his face for two hours.

My husband, Lance, waited two hours for the hospital to have a bed for him. Our cat, Diamond, stared into his face intently. She sensed something was wrong.

I had plans.

I had finally finished my book, The Therapist Writer, and it was now up on, Kindle and 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.

At his office, Lance is missed. He worked there for 30 years.

At his office, Lance is missed. He has worked there for thirty years.

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.

Lance in Hospital After Cancer Diagnosis But Before Heart Attack

Lance in the hospital the first time, right after his cancer diagnosis, but before the heart attack that did him in. His philosophy has always been positive: “It is what it is and I’ll do what it takes.”

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.

Lance's Cousin Jorgen Flies to LA from Denmark to Surprise Lance on his 70th Birthday

Lance’s cousin Jorgen (left) flew to L.A. from Denmark to surprise Lance on his 70th Birthday. Lance’s son Steven looks on, relieved we the surprise worked

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.

Part of Lance's Last Bucket List Year -- We Went to a Soccer Game and the Galaxy Won

Part of Lance’s last “Bucket List ” year — we went to a soccer game 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.

A Very Sad Cat After Lance's Death

A very sad cat after Lance’s death

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