Thursday, January 16, 2014

Have I Loved You Well?

I am sitting in the waiting room right now as my beloved lies open a table getting a pretty big surgery today. I have been anticipating this day since we learned of his cancer. I just wanted to get this thing out and get the final staging and make a plan for the future.

The surgery itself has never worried me. if anything,  I have been mostly consumed with what I cannot control, which is "what if it comes back in three years?"

I learned last weekend that Mickey's mind has been mostly concerned with this surgery. What if something happens on the table? Etc. These thoughts are not unwarranted fears as I have had a cousin and uncle who went in for very routine elective procedures and had significant complications that nearly took their lives. Mickey has been nervous about this surgery getting complicated.

Really, I should not be surprised by the differences in where our worries lay, because Mickey tends to stay in the here and now while my mind is usually looking way far ahead.

The past month has been stressful. This cancer diagnosis has come as a big blow to us. There are already so many unknowns regarding our future and it's hard for me to feel so much confusion about what is the right thing for our lives and where is the right place etc. It's hard being so far from family through cancer and hydrops. There are many days that I have felt very alone and have thought of all the what ifs and truly not known what is the best thing for us to do in all of those different circumstances.
When we discussed Mickey's fears,  I suddenly started thinking about those things too and I also temporarily got concerned about the surgery and something going wrong.

 I started feeling even more emotional and wondering about all the things I could have done differently. Had I loved him well enough? Did he feel a full life with me? Had he done all he wanted to do? Was he satisfied with life with me and the kids?
I didn't know the best way to talk about these things with him without coming across as negative, but Monday night I decided it was a conversation that we needed to have.
I asked him those very questions. I know that in our [almost] eight years of marriage! we have seen and done and gone through more than many people do in a lifetime.....and with that comes a great deal of stress. I got my masters degree, he got his PhD, we have lived in three states and had four children and battled prematurity with one child and hydrops with another. I have felt like maybe all of this was more than Mickey ever expected would come his way when choosing to marry me. What if he had regrets? What if he felt unloved by me? Had I loved him well?
Mickey's answers were that he thinks he has a super cool life with four beautiful kids and a smart wife and he feels he has truly lived and loved more than he ever had expectations for in life. This of course, is what I needed to hear. It gives me peace now, as I wait in the waiting room. I just know things will be ok.
It also reminded me that I need to start living my life with the focus of loving my family well. Being present. Being kind. Being gentle. Listening. Nurturing. Loving.
Can eBe present. Don't always live three years ahead of present in today and make these moments count because the future is not guaranteed.
I write and tell you this today because not all are facing cancer, but we all face death at some point or another. It is imminent. It is the only sure thing that does await us all. I implore you not to wait until you have a face off with a life threatening illness to ask these questions. Don't wait because a time might come when it is too late.
Talk to your loved ones. Ask them how you can show them more love. Tell them you love them. Tell them how they have made a difference in your life. And spend time loving them well.


  1. Hi Lisa,

    I came across your blog as I spent yet another sleepless night researching/googling following our third child's diagnosis of hydrops 1 week ago at 29w4d. I wanted to let you know that your family's and Auggie's story has been a true inspiration to my husband and I in the course of these recent events. I too am a nurse practitioner and feel that we share many similarities. I spent two hours reading through your blog as I came across it in the middle of the night. I was devastated to learn of your husband's recent diagnosis and am sending prayers and love your way. Do you ever exchange emails? I was wondering if you would be willing to share your advice/experience in terms of your hydrops journey. I completely understand if you would rather not given that you are caring for your husband, four young children and dog :) but if you do have a second I would love to chat with you:

    Thank you for all the inspiration you provided us with!

    Caitlin Levesque

  2. very true....prayers for you all!