Step Out of the Chair and Dance


Step Out of the Chair and Dance

ly?" The "that" was to talk about how their friend passed away in their arms only a year ago.  On my bookshelf is the start of my book, about all the things that occurred the first time I was a caregiver -- when I cared for my husband, Greg.  Until now, I've never been able to address the ending. After more then seven years, I decided, "If they can talk about 'that,' then so can I."

Here's my first piece.


Saturday morning I came into his hospital room to check on him and with the nursing staff. Char was playing in the corner. I was talking to him as he lost all ability to speak leaving only his eyes and left hand to speak with. Seeing he was sleepy I told him to rest and found myself just listening to the drone of the medical equipment around him. After some time had passed I heard a choking gurgle from his throat. I turned to Char and said, “Take what I say seriously. You have 5 seconds to gather your toys or you may never see them again. We have to leave the room now!” As we left the room I heard the voice overhead call, “Code Blue MICU. Code Blue MICU.”

No, I don’t know how I knew. I still can’t explain it.

He was revived and that evening he was transferred to another hospital for dialysis. They were sending him by helicopter. I asked the doctor if he [Greg] would survive the trip. The doctor asked if I knew something he didn’t.

At the new hospital at 11:30 p.m. that night Char and I were rushed back over there. She and I found ourselves walking down a very long corridor to get to his room that had one light on in the middle of it. Underneath that light, I stopped her and got down to my five year old’s height. I looked her straight in the eye. “Do you know why we are here?” “To see Daddy?” “Yes, but do you know why?” Tears welled up in both of us and she said, “Is Daddy going to Rainbow Bridge where Naomi (prior pet dog) is?” “Yes, and before he goes, he is waiting for us to say good-bye.”

At 11:55 p.m. that night Char and I were gloved and masked so we could safely say good-bye. Her words were direct as she touched his forehead, “Daddy, Mommy told me you were going to Rainbow Bridge to be with Naomi and Kisses. I know they’ll keep you company there, make you laugh and feel better. I love you, Daddy! Sleep well.”

I brought her out of the room and returned back in. I took his hand. “I know your hand hurts from me touching you, yet I know it’s what you want. I’ll be okay. I promise not to let my family get the best of me and will take care of Char with nothing less than my best effort. It hurts to let you go, but I’ll be happy you are no longer in pain. Go. Step out of the chair and dance. You’ll be forever in my heart.

He passed away at 12:01 am. The swallowtails that had been at our home all week were not there Sunday. But three days later three came back and stayed for a solid two weeks.


When I first wrote this I cried before, during and after finishing it.  As I post it now, (Yes @denise!) I am taking a big step towards my future.

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