Because she is. Because. Just because.
But she does wonder – do people think she’s cold? She’s cruel? She’s unfeeling?
Truth is this: my husband, the man I loved, the man I married, left over two years ago. He became what his cancer made him – angry that he could no longer do the things he always did. Diminished, because he no longer did the things he always did. Frustrated, because he could not defy his disease. He could no longer ignore it. He fought – oh how he fought. And I anguished – oh how i anguished. Watching someone you love become less – become helpless – become a victim – I anguished. I could not change anything. He could not change anything. He hoped, he wished for a miracle cure. Someone would wave their wand and the world would go back to what it was. There was no wand to be waved. There was no miracle cure.
It was over five years since the diagnosis. It was over two years of living with a diminishing life – a fading of that life – the process of becoming less and wanting more. It was months of frustration, months of yearning for things to be different, months of praying to “fix it, or end it”. There is nothing I can think of – absolutely nothing – worse than watching someone you love fade away. Reluctantly, resisting, fighting, screaming – wanting to be no less than he had been – wanting to be more than he became.
So she can say she is doing fine. He is now in a place of peace. Of harmony. A place where the memories of family dysfunctions during growing up years, where inhuman behaviors, barbaric actions during his years in Vietnam, where battles to succeed, to find a life that worked, are all faded to a blissful grace and peace. Where, at last. he can relax and be what he is, without trying to be more than he was, without struggling, without recriminations – peace, no stress, no strife.
There were 20 years of good memories. Twenty years of love. Many do not have that many years. Many end up in a place not of their choosing, without support, without friends, without children whose love is unbounding, without the memories of those twenty good years. She can say she is doing fine. Because she is. Because he gave her the gift of the friends surrounding her, the beauty of the surroundings in which she lives, the quiet, the peace, the knowledge that she loved well and was loved well.
Because life goes on and because she knows he would want life to go on.
She is doing fine.