Thursday, October 29, 2009

THE DUTIFUL HUSBAND

It takes a lot to shock me or surprise me these days. I think I have heard just about it all. However, the following true story I will share with you is an actual account of a woman dying from cancer...with only hours or possibly a day or two left to live.

The background information is something we have all heard before...a young woman in her 50's is diagnosed with uterine cancer and proceeds to do everything in her power to be cured of this disease to save her life. She is told of her battle two years ago and proceeds with the love of her life, her husband Harold, of 29 years to endure every treatment to save her life. Not only is Diane happily married to Harold for 29 years...they had also worked together in their employment for 20 years. Diane and Harold have no children.

Their former employer was a wealthy older man whom they cared for in an exclusive area of New York. Harold and Diane lived with the wealthy man full time...therefore did not need or have a home of their own. Now unable to work and care for his wife full time, Harold quits his job and takes Diane to a clean and basic residential hotel where studios are a few hundred dollars a week. This enabled them to have access to a kitchen, bed and bathroom.

All the long days and nights, the devoted husband Harold does everything to care for his beautiful ailing wife of 29 years. Every medical test and treatment he does his best to pay for ...and the rest, signs a promissory note to repay the hospital. Harold will have to work two lifetimes to repay the hospital for trying to keep his wife alive. Sadly, after all medical treatment has failed and the cancer has overtaken her body...Diane fights to stay alive to "go home" and die in Texas, where her family resides.

Diane's Birthday is on Monday...and how she wishes to make it till then to see her family. If only she could manage and hold on. With her organs shutting down, her inability to walk, fluid building up in her legs, fluid on her lungs, make it hard for her to breath and sometime speak. Diane is brave each day...in pain, however never complaining. Her doctor had given her husband that piece of paper...a prescription for a HOSPICE where Diane could go to die. However, Diane is holding on to see her family... for a trip to the airport, board a plane and then endure the 5 hour trip to "home".

Well, what is shocking about this story you might ask? You have heard perhaps similar accounts of others suffering from cancer. Well, I will share with you my shock and awe.

Remember the dutiful husband, who takes care of his wife 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the last 2 years? Alone. No family other than him here to care for her. Well, the sad realization set in that Diane would never be able to travel "home" to see her Mother, Father and family. She is too weak. No chance to make it home before her Birthday on Monday, November 2nd to die.

So what happens, you might ask? Her sister fly's in on Tuesday...who by the way is a nurse, to visit her dying sister. She had not seen her in two years. Her Mother and Father are arriving tomorrow. Diane's prayer is to stay alive till her parents arrive and to be strong, so as not to upset them. This story then takes a sickening, gut wrenching turn...the visiting sister, aka, the nurse is annoyed with the Dutiful Husband and begins to fight with him.
She yells at him, "why did you not bring my sister home? Do you not see how sick she is? Maybe she will not even be alive when my parents arrive here tomorrow? Why, why, why?"

The Dutiful Husband Harold responds, "because you never invited her. You or your parents never asked her to come home. Nobody invited her. Nobody said, "come home, so we can take care of you". Nobody said, come for even a visit. "

As I finish writing this, I just spoke with Diane. She asked me to pray for her for strength...that she could be strong for the others, to not upset them and cry. She asked for hope from God. She asked to sleep. I reminded her that the only one she should be concerned with is herself, her dutiful husband of 29 years and God. Everyone else will be fine.

I realize we should never judge others...or at least until we have walked in their shoes. I am glad that I am not walking in her sister's shoes, nor her parents who arrive tomorrow. To judge a loving husband and criticize someone who has done everything under the sun for his loving wife, is beyond nerve. To me it is unbelievable...

This is a perfect example of how people should look within themselves for their own acts of responsibility or lack of. Value your family, friends and others in the world. And then act upon it...especially if they are sick. Do not shun responsibility for caring for your own family and then cast a stone upon a lonely husband. May God give Harold peace one day in knowing that he did everything possible to care for his loving wife of 29 years. And may Diane's family...who are just flying in as their sister and daughter is dying, learn a lesson too. I think there are too many lessons here for me to mention.
God Bless You Diane. You are in my thoughts and prayers today.
And Harold...in the future, I will remind you that, "God sees everything".

7 comments:

ginny said...

K, that was so sad. I am sitting here dogged tired from the first night my husband being home from the hospital. So far, no one in his family has called to see how he is doing. I am so overwhelmed at all the meds he has to take, and I have to give him an injection in his stomach, walk with him, do exercises, literally be at his beck and call. I was so involved with making sure he is comfortable and getting what he needs that I forgot to take my own meds last night!
My prayers go up for your friend and her husband. He, especially needs a lot of support.
Thanks for visiting my blog. I have yet to catch up on yours and that special one you wrote as a guest writer, but I promise I will.
Take care, love, ginny

K. Frangeskos said...

Dear Ginny,
Please take care of yourself and your husband. I am sorry that you are left to care for him all by yourself. If others ask to help you, please reach out and accept. Whether it be to go to the supermarket for you or rent a nice movie for you at Blockbuster...

I will pray that your husband recovers quickly.
Please remember that God is with you...and HE is great at helping too!
Love,
Kath

Jewel Dee said...

Oh I hear what you are saying - but possibly the sister was in denial until she actually saw the condition of her sister.
I was in denial that my mother was dying right up to 17 days before her death when I very sadly and reluctantly said goodbye to her (in another city)even then, I thought she might defy the odds.
Looking back at a photograph of her at that time, it was ridiculous that I could not see how close her time was - even her skin was being held together with plasters. She had stomach cancer.
Also, with families in bereavement or struggling with the process of the death and dying of a loved one - one does go slightly off-kilter. The anger the sister showed towards the husband was probably misdirected and she is angry that her sister is in such a state. I do pray that she will live long enough to see her family as you are doing. My best.

Lori Laws said...

Thanks for sharing this. Unfortunately, this type of story is far from uncommon. But you gave the best answer...God sees. Yes, He is the God who sees it all. Blessings!

K. Frangeskos said...

Dear Jewel Dee,
Thanks for sharing your great insight...denial and anger can sometimes cloud our judgement and actions.
I am sorry about your Mother's passing.

I look forward to hearing more from you on another post.
Warm regards

K. Frangeskos said...

Dear Lori,
I am so glad that "God Sees All"...because sometimes there is so much injustice in the world.

Jesus can take care of everyone in HIS own loving way.

Thanks for sharing and I hope to see you again soon.
Warm regards

Anonymous said...

yes i have been reading up on stuff like this for a few weeks now.it seems alot of people are writing articles about this subject matter.keep up the great work..