Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Day After

If you want to read about sunshine, rainbows and happy times my suggestion to you is not to read any further on this posting. I'm writing today more as a means of therapy for myself and not to log or document my latest quilting achievements - there are none lately.

I'm deeply troubled by a conversation Michael and I had last night about his failing health. He insists that the only reason he hasn't stopped working is that I will make his life a living hell if he does. My focus needs to be on him enjoying his last days on earth. He claims I don't care about him the way I should. I repeatedly told him quit the stupid job then. But he won't because of the aforementioned perception. Oh, but he let it slip that there's a small life insurance policy that would be paid upon his death if he were still working at that time and he wants that to go to his kids. "I'll die at the dairy," he claimed.

For much of his tirade, I just stood there unable to respond to much of it. (I've never been one to verbalize quickly.)

"I worry about you," I calmly said, "Particularly about your soul."
"What?"
"Your soul - what's going to happen to you after you die."
He laughed at that, " My soul is going to float back to England and the mountains."

He then continued that to start believing in God at this point is hypocritical and he's not going to even entertain discussions about it.

We talked about "useless" medical tests, even more "useless" doctor visits and the worst of all - the upcoming appointment with Social Security. "It's a bloody waste of time," he ranted. "I'll be dead before I see bean one."

With that, I responded that it would possibly benefit me and help with our expenses. That was surely the worst thing I could have said. I was "reminded" that my concentration needs to be on him, not on anything else.

"Aren't you worried about what's going to happen to me after you die?" I asked.
"No," he claimed, "Not at all."

I didn't know what to say or do at that point other than retreat to the sewing room. Ever try pressing clothing when your eyes are full of tears? I wouldn't recommend it.

Now, I don't blame him for feeling so self-centered and having a "woe is me" attitude. But the things he said to me were so off-base/wrong it hurt. And he had the nerve to ask me for a kiss when I returned to the bedroom. How is it possible to expect affection when you've just told me you don't care?

I read blogs written by other women who have lost or are losing their spouses and I'm impressed by their husbands' dignity and grace in facing the final good-byes. Obviously I cannot expect dignity, grace or caring from Michael. The only thing I can count on is myself and my inner strength to get through all this.

6 comments:

jillquilts said...

Oh, that is just awful!! It sounds like we need to plan another dinner out after work to chat further. When is good for you?

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Bless your heart!!!

BitnByAQuiltingBug said...

And US! We're here to listen any time you need us, too. I know I speak for a lot of us when I say that! Hold tight to your faith in God and in yourself! I'm so sorry you have to go through any of this.

Jennifer said...

So sorry to read this story - you do not deserve to be treated that way and it is a shame you were/are. My thoughts are with you.

Piwacket said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Piwacket said...

Cathy, my dear friend, what a horrible situation to be in. I wonder if Michael's mental stability is being affected by the amount of oxygen getting to his brain. He sounds as though he's become temperamental lately. How much of that is personality and how much is affected by disease I don't know. In any case, you do need to take care of you because he certainly won't. Whatever you can do to help yourself get through these days, do it. Lean on those of us who love you, and He who loves you most of all.