I am very grateful for my beans. I eat them cold so my wife, who is bed-ridden in the front room, cannot smell food being prepared and get nauseous again.
She has terminal cancer.
I have unending thanks.
I am thankful for every breath she takes. Some days, and many nights like them, I sit quietly and watch her breath, wondering if there will be another breath. I ask myself if I have the courage to leave her be if it is.
I am thankful for the smiles she gives me when I bring her breakfast; she seems continually amazed that I have mastered the toaster.
I am thankful for how she talks to our pets, as if they really understand what she is saying; deep down, I know they do.
I am thankful for the medications that dampen her pain, and for those that listen to her and prescribe them.
I am thankful for our support network that intuitively knows when we need them close, and when we need distance.
Above all, I am thankful I am here with her, doing the work only I can do. I interpret her silence and the implication in her words. I read the pain in her face and have confidence in the relief I bring. I know our time is measured, but value the meaning of every minute.
I am with her. I am exactly where I am supposed to be, where I need to be. These are difficult days and wonderful days. I have never been of more value for her, and ultimately, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
And that makes the beans taste pretty good.
Reprinted from my blog http://besidesthecancer.org.