My Love

My Love

If my light starts to flicker, don’t make me stay.

If my heart can’t keep beating, then let it away.

A subtle smell or sound and my sorrow consumes me.

Memories flood of life changed, a soul now set free.

I am tired and lonely and my mind deceives me;

What I want is not, and what is not can’t be.

So I grieve, while I hope, for simple mercy my way;

And I rest, but not sleep, to pass yet one more day.

Kevin used to call me “my love.”  After work he’d say, “Come out on the deck and have a cup of tea with me, my love.”  Precious words made more precious with time.  I wrote the lines above a couple of weeks after he died, at a time when I didn’t care if I ever woke up.  I found them today as I looked through my journal.   Perhaps words can transcend time, they certainly can withstand it.  In a sense they can deliver immortality, a comforting thought for me anyway.

Tomorrow is two months since Kevin died; a measure in time of something that can’t be measured.  Try to put a value on a person’s life, then try to imagine how precious the memories are that you have created with that person.  This is my dilemma, I’ve lost the flesh and blood; all that is left is intangible.  Thoughts and memories are things that are but are not at the same time.

These are the types of things I worry about. What if I start to forget? I don’t ever want to forget.

Take A Moment

Just a brief blog at this point, not meant to be depressing or gloomy, rather meant to be honest.

Take a moment and look around you at the people you have in your life – and just appreciate them for who and what they are.   If you love them let them know.  Don’t assume that your actions are enough, say the words.

I was very fortunate to have the time to love and enjoy Kevin right up to his death.  For me and the kids there was nothing left unsaid.  We had the privilege of closure.  Others I know have not been so lucky.  I think of my friends and my workplace and I know several people who lost a spouse or a child way, way too suddenly.  Because it wasn’t supposed to happen.  There is a complacency that we tend to get when we are comfortable and happy.  Things happen to other people, not to us.  And this is the way it will continue to be, until it does happen to you.

For some they will coast through life to it’s end, but even then, at a ripe old age a partnership will be dissolved.  I hope that most of you are able to coast, but while you do, take the time to ensure that the people that are important to you know that they are.

The Endowment Fund

In recognition of Kevin’s love of music and art, we contacted our local Art Gallery to arrange for an endowment fund to be used to reward new and emerging artists through a juried competition.  The details have yet to be finalized but a general overview can be found at http://www.orilliamuseum.org/.  Scroll down and you will find a brief overview on this fund.  Receipts will be issued and are tax deductible.

Throughout Kevin’s journey with cancer over and over it struck me that the system was not being utilized properly.  Millions of dollars are raised through donations, fundraisers, government funding and yet the chemo suite is used Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.  Machinery, facilities, medicines are administered during regular business hours.  It frustrated me that in order to cut costs and save money on staffing, millions upon millions of dollars of equipment lays dormant.  It’s the bookkeeping you see.  The upfront costs don’t factor into the bottom line administration costs and so when the time comes to save a buck usually some program is cut, hours are shortened and a perceived costs savings is achieved.  But this is at a very human price.  Cancer does not take time off, it’s not a Monday to Friday type of thing.

So many people have the need for these services and yet, because the government won’t fund adequate staff to administer the technology, the machines are utilized less than 25% of the hours in a week (8 hrs x 5 days = 40 hours; 24 hrs x 7 days = 168 hours;  40 divided by 168 is 23.8%).  Increasing the use and administration of any machinery in the hospital, be it an MRI, CT, etc., would mean more jobs, would decrease the cost per use of the technology; it would result in increased billings to the health care system but potentially would reduce long term health costs through earlier detection/treatment.  There’s so many pros associated with responsible, expanded and enhanced use of existing services and technology.

Convoluted though my reasoning may be it was why we elected to direct any donations for Kevin elsewhere.  Donations are so routinely directed to the Cancer Society and with the best of intent – but somehow accountability for the usage of these monies is lacking.  Instead, we contacted our local Gallery to discuss an endowment that could be used to further and encourage artistic expression at any age.  Kevin would have loved it.