As I Lay in my Hospital Bed

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My fabulous babies!

Good evening! Salutations to you all! I am starting to feel a little better from surgery last Friday, but I know I have a very long way to go. There is so much work in the department of my health. Of course that can be a very daunting expectation to dwell on, especially if you are in my current state of altered consciousness! Pain medication is my friend!

I worry about going home tomorrow because there are always things to do! There are meals to plan for as well as pleasing everyone. Well, I have help and my help says as do i, like it or lump it! That will be my new mantra I’ve decided. I’m not catering to the masses after this surgery.

I love my family with all my heart. I’m so proud of the fact my oldest came home tonight to care for me me. She washed my face, hair and my back. She went into nurse mode. I’m so proud of her. My second daughter came up earlier and took care of me too with the baby girl of our house. I’m a happy mama knowing that I must be doing something right.

 

Blank Looks

Image result for blank looksShe stared at the plate set before her.  It was the weirdest conglomeration of food she’d ever seen.  The blank look on Kate’s face must have elicited the response of giggles from her husband.  He had done this on purpose, but she really would never know.  The kids were to have chosen the meal for Mother’s Day breakfast, but little did Kate know that her darling husband, Ryan had assisted them in the choosing. The girls were elated to have made mommy breakfast in bed.

As she choked down chocolate cake, scrambled eggs, some fruit salad consisting of strawberries and bananas, and some leftover pork chop from the night before with peach compote, Kate thought of how lucky she was to have such a beautiful family.  She relished the thought of this happening every year, but knew this may be the last year.  She had been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and had just undergone her bilateral mastectomy 2 weeks before.  She couldn’t think of her little girls growing up without her.  She had a will to live that was fiercely strong.

Her girls, Ella, aged 4 and Emma, aged 2, were her life.  She was so blessed to have them as well as having the most loving and supportive husband.  Ryan worked so hard so she could stay at home with the girls.  How had she not felt the lump? Why did she stop doing the stupid monthly self breast exams?

Tomorrow she would start the radiation and next week her chemo would begin.  She knew how sick she would be from both.  She didn’t like to think about it, but she did think about it.  Of course she thought about it.  She was normal, for God’s sake.  And she prayed every day.  She prayed for healing.  She wasn’t sure how her girls were going to handle all this change.  She looked up at her husband.  Now it was his face that was blank.

“Honey, what’s the matter?” she asked him gently reaching for his hand.

“It’s just that I could tell by looking at your lovely face what you were thinking about.  You are so beautiful.  I want you to know that I will always love you.  I will always be here for you and we will get through this.  I love you, honey.  I love you with all my heart.  I know that you are scared and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t, but honestly, you’re going to make it.”

“Thank you,” was all she could manage to say between the tears streaming down her face.  The blank look was gone between both of them.  There love had lasted through these last 20 years of high school, college and the rest.  Their’s was a love that would stand the test of time.  If time was what God and medicine would give them.

The Lavender Dress

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She loved storms and this was a beautiful one in her eyes.  The sky was dark, so dark almost as dark as if it were night.  The brilliant flashes of lightning shattered the sky every few minutes and the thrashing rain pelted the windows as if they were going to break it at any second, an invader into her house, yet not so much.  Yes, this was a beautiful storm for sure.  Karri was hoping this one would last for a good long while so she could use it as an excuse not to meet him.  She really didn’t have any good reason not to meet Claude, other than she agreed to, one last time.

She continued getting herself ready.  She put on the short, lavender dress.  The one that went with her auburn hair so well.  People always gave her compliments and told her it brought out the color of her eyes when she wore it.  “What did they know?” she thought. She was in the mood to tell him off.  How dare he call her after not even calling her for over a week.  She had texted him everyday to see if everything was alright.  She hadn’t heard one word.  She was done.  She would tell him it was over. Karri wasn’t someone who put up with excuses.  She had done it before, but that was the old Karri.

Claude had gone to Syracuse to see his ailing mother, or so he said.  Why would he not text back, unless he chose not to. Well, Karri had decided after the 3rd or 4th day that it was really quite simple.  Claude was seeing an old girlfriend.  She knew who it was.  It had to be that one. The one who broke his heart years ago.  Cheryl or Carol.  Whatever her name was.  It really didn’t matter.  Whatever the excuse was, Karri wasn’t going to hear it.  Not this time.  She really didn’t care what he said.  All she could think was, “Oh no, not again.”  It was like that with her in relationships.  This one was just like Ricky.

Ricky had been her previous boyfriend, but he cheated on her several times.  When she found out, she broke it off and never looked back.  But she really thought Claude was different.  Claude was sophisticated.  He was more complex than Ricky.  Maybe she was wrong.  Maybe something more happened at home in Syracuse.  Maybe his mom was seriously sick.  Ricky was carefree and in a band.  He was no businessman like Claude.  Claude usually called every day.  She started to rethink things.  Maybe she was wrong about him.  He was a good man.  She really had no reason to believe that he had done anything wrong.

When the phone rang, her heart stopped.  She picked it up slowly.  “Hello?”

“Hi, Babe.” Claude sounded soft and rather sensual.  He did melt her heart when he spoke in that deep, soft voice.

“Hi!” Karri could hear herself sounding a little more excitable than she meant to. “How are you?  When did you get back?  Are you okay?  I haven’t heard from you in a week.  I’ve been so worried.”

“Babe, my mom…” he trailed away.  “She.. she’s dead.  She had a massive stroke and there was nothing that they could do.” She heard the anguish in his voice.  She knew she had been wrong, but felt so bad in how she had been so quick to judge.

“Oh my God! Honey, I’m so, so sorry. Is there anything…” Now it was her voice trailing off.  “Are you even back from Syracuse?”

“Babe, I need you.  I’m back, but I just came back to get a few things.  I have to fly out tomorrow again for the funeral and to get mom’s affairs in order.  It’s going to take some time.  I wanted to know…  Well, I wanted to know if you would come with me.  She would have loved you.  Like I do.  I just wish she could have met you.”

Karri sat down at her kitchen table trying to keep her emotions from getting the best of her.  She took a deep breath.  Her heart was doing a happy dance because she did really love Claude.  She hadn’t really realized it until this moment.  They had been seeing each other for 5 months and yet, she had such a difficult time embracing love and being in love much less the man of her dreams declaring his love for her.  Yet, he just did.  Was it the fact that his mother just died or that he truly did love her?  What should she say?

“Karri? Are you still there?”

“Yes, Claude, I’m here.  I’m just a bit overwhelmed.  You’ve just told me  your mom died and that you love me in the same breath.  I, I…”

“It’s okay, Karri. If this is too soon, or too much, I understand.”

“No, Claude, I do love you.  I love you so much! I want to be with you and I just feel guilty for thinking you were ignoring me over the last week.  I just thought maybe you didn’t want me, or maybe you had found someone else.  Now, I find out it’s all this.   Are you sure you want me?”

“Yes, Babe, I want you for the rest of my life.  When mom died, I realized that I love you more than I love the air that I breathe.  If I don’t have you by my side, I have no purpose.”

“When can I see you?”

“I’m right outside your door, Karri. Open the door.”

As she opened the door, she found Claude on one knee, red roses in one hand, 1 carat diamond ring in the other.  On his shirt, a sign saying “will you spend the rest of your life with me?”

“Yes, Yes! Oh my darling man, yes.”

This has been a fictional story created for The Blog Propellant which is awesomeness at it’s best!  My number that I have chosen at random is 27! I chose to  use all 3 prompts, because it’s so much fun!  I hope you enjoy this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it.  It took me about 25 minutes to write.  The hardest part was finding a picture to go with it!

 

Graduation Day

My sweet girl graduated from high school today. It’s bittersweet for me. I am so proud of her and will miss her so much next year. She’s ready though. She is so smart and so beautiful. I love her so very much. Congratulations to my beautiful Bear in her very special day. And to her boyfriend, Piano Man, who luckily is feeling better after a terrible viral illness that lasted over a week, the last of his high school career, leaving him bed bound and significantly skinnier. I love them both!

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Catching Flies with Honey

Again I am plagued with insomnia so I have been thinking about my day a d about my Mom.Mom always said you could catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Of course she was right, as usual. In today’s world, wouldn’t it be nice if more people used more honey I’m their speech and general views? I sure think so. This thought occurred to me as I listened to some of the people I was surrounded by today.

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I wish I could tell you they weren’t a jovial bunch, but I’d be lying. This group was very jovial to be sure, but their joy also had an underlying tone of something which I find distressing. They were very judgemental of others. This always makes me feel uncomfortable and put of sorts. It’s difficult to deal with at any lack of compassion for me. I’m a natural born people pleaser. I like everyone to get along and I like people to like me.

This being said, I don’t think I was the issue today. I found myself sticking up for the “little people’, the ones without a voice. I found that there were those who let the comments go like a duck ruffles the water off its back. Others fed into the negativity and then there was me. I said a few things that hopefully made them think a little differently, more positively.

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There is no winner in negativity, only losers. Why clutter the world with anything but love for our fellow human beings. We are not placed here to judge but are called to spread love and joy. If I don’t take that opportunity as I did today, I allow the negativity to take control and I haven’t lived the way my mother taught me to love? I choose love and joy. It can grow just as easily and spread like wild fire. So, today I challenge you, in the face of adversity to spread love and joy to others. See what happens in your own life.

My Greatest Fears

Everyone has hopes and dreams, desires and fears.  I have dreams of becoming a great author and hopes to become a great mom, yes, even after 20 years in the trenches of motherhood, I’m still hoping! I desire to be a great wife above all and I fear losing those I love.  That’s the meat and potatoes version, the lite version of my thoughts for today.  I really have lots of hopes, dreams, desires and fears, but  that’s the very essence of who I am.  I really have lots of fears that are related to my hopes, dreams and desires.  I believe we all do though.

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In dreaming of becoming a great author, I also fear the process.  I fear the rejection of my work.  It’s as if I don’t believe it’s ever good enough.  I know that there are many people who would say otherwise, but then there is the niggling little voice in my head who repeatedly questions me and asks,”who is really going to read anything you write?” or “why would anyone waste their time reading what you write?”.  I have been writing for the majority of my life, but I will admit that for much of my adult life I thought I wasn’t good enough and that no one would want to read what I had written.  When my mom was sick, however, I found out I was mistaken in thinking this.  I found myself surrounded by many who encouraged me to write.  I was encouraged to pursue my passion.  I still haven’t written my book, which my dad asks about frequently, but perhaps I will, when I’m ready to.  Instead, for now, I am enjoying this blogging world. I still fear that I’m not good enough, but I’m getting better.

download (14)As far as hope goes, I have many hopes.  Who doesn’t? I have been a mom for nearly 20 years and I’m still hoping (and dreaming) of becoming the greatest mom ever!  I think as moms, we all hope for that one.  But it’s more than that.  I want to be the mom that my kids are proud to have.  I hope that they are proud to have me as a mom, but sometimes I wonder.  I don’t think that comes until they are much older, really, like about 25-30 years old.  They still aren’t there, but one day, maybe.  Until then, I’ll just keep doing the best I can. I always fear that I’m never going to be that mom though.  I fear that they’ll always see someone else’s mom as better than me, but hopefully they won’t.

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My husband and I have a wonderful relationship but it’s been fraught with it’s own issues along the way.  Every relationship has those ups and downs in them, but it’s those that can survive the bad times and learn from them that survive.  My mom always said that marriage was not a fairy tale and happily ever after.  It’s filled with hard work.  Boy was she ever right!  My husband and I have been through a great deal in our marriage, but we are survivors.  I will definitely tell you I love him more today than I did yesterday and I will love him more tomorrow than I do today.  I still fear that he won’t love me though.  I know I am a difficult person to live with for sure.  I always worry about that.  I fear that every single day I am going to be too much for him.  I fear I would fall apart without him.  Not to be too corny, but I do feel that he does truly complete me and me, him.

We are complex individuals, we humans, filled with emotions, filled with hopes, dreams, desires and fears.  We don’t just simply come when called, do things for food, respond for reward.  We have needs and sometimes we are irrational.  Sometimes, most times are fears are irrational, but they are ours.  They make us who we are.  They give us things to work towards and to work on.  I will always be working towards my hopes, dreams and desires.  I will also always be trying to alleviate my fears, especially the irrational ones.  Thankfully, I have Hubs to always be by my side.  He is always my beside me in my crazy endeavors, so I guess he must not be going anywhere.  Fear relieved… for the moment.


This has been a post for Finish the Sentence Friday.  This week’s sentence was “One of my biggest fears I ever had to face” or “One of my fears”.  Hosts are Kristi from http://www.findingninee.com) and sentence-thinker upper Michelle Grewe of http://crumpetsandbollocks.com/

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I Want My Mom Again

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There is always just something we all want in our life.  We may want more time, more money, more energy.  Maybe you want another chance to do something over again so you could do it just a little differently.  I am no different from anyone else in this world and I’ve thought about this quite a bit over the last few days.  It’s a hard thing to determine sometimes because all those things are very relevant in today’s society.  I believe that everyone will agree that more hours in the day to get things done, more energy to get those things accomplished and more money to accomplish said things would be greatly useful.  But did you ever stop to really think , how would those things really improve your life? I think we would still be in the same predicament we are now because we would just find more things to fill up the time with, spend the money on and the extra energy would be depleted because of it.

croagh patrick with sheepBecause of this, I think if I had anything, I  would choose something specific.  If only I had another year with my mom.  I miss her so much.  I know that perhaps other people may ask why another year, why not just a day or why not 10 more years. Well, to be honest, I would be happy to have my mom for any length of time, but another year knowing that she could be completely healthy would give us enough time to spend each and every day together doing things together.  We could travel to Ireland to see family.  We could spend those days laughing and walking and chatting.  I could be writing all of her stories down and taking pictures of all the places she knew and know the places from her perspective.

We could travel to France.  Neither of us have ever been there.  I would love to go there with my mom and my middle daughter, who actually speaks French really well.  I know my older daughter would enjoy going with us too.  What a joy for us to spend a couple weeks in France, all of us girls, eating our way through the French countryside!

loveHow much fun it would be to spend a week with mom’s brother and his family in New York. They are fabulous and so much fun.  I haven’t seen them in so many years and I miss them tremendously.  My uncle is the last of mom’s siblings still living and the two of them were always thick as thieves.  So many stories mom had of how my uncle would even do her chores so she could study.  Never was there a better brother she told me.

We would travel where mom wanted to go, to places we’ve been and places she wanted to see.  It would be a great adventure.  When we weren’t on a magical adventure, we would have many cups of tea and ham sandwiches.  Mom would insist on cooking some of her killer awesome dinners and I know we would have to go out to eat at some really good restaurants, too!   No matter what my mom ate, and she could eat, she always maintained her stylish, slim, athletic figure, unlike me.

Even if we didn’t have all those adventures like I imagine we would, I know I would spend my time with her, especially knowing that I only had her for one last year before having to say goodbye, again.  I would try to gather as much knowledge from her as my tiny mind could possibly hold.  I would relish every single moment and treasure each touch of the hand, each hug.  I just really, really miss her.  The pain isn’t as bad as it was in the beginning, but it’s still there, always present, just not as raw as before.  So if I had one wish for anything in the world, I would tell you this…if only I had another year with my mom, I would treasure each moment and write every memory down and take so many pictures.  I would make each day count. Most of all, I would tell her I love her every day and hold her in my embrace just to remember her more.

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This has been written as part of Finish the Sentence Friday.  This week I am co-hosting with the ever fabulous, Kristi of http://www.FindingNinee.com fame! Please check out the other writers as they finish the sentence this week which is “If I only had…” Thanks for reading!

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Just a Few Thoughts for Today

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The Headstone for my mom’s grave

This evening I reflect on my day before trying to head off to sleep, which I may actually be able to accomplish tonight. I’m so blessed by the happenings of this day.  I have had such a splendid day and I wanted to share some of it’s highlights.

First, morning came way too soon, since I got those 2 precious hours of sleep last night, but I was able to have a brief siesta later in the morning for about 45 minutes which helped immensely.  My dad and I went on another one of our magical adventures this morning.  It’s not that we ever do anything that is out of the ordinary that makes it a magical adventure, it’s just that we get to spend time together which is what makes it so enjoyable. Dad had an errand to run but when he went there, the person he wanted to see was in a meeting so we had to find something to occupy us for a little while so, we went to the cemetery to visit mom’s grave.  The grave site is now complete with a beautiful headstone which turned out perfectly.

I know exactly where to find my mom’s grave because I visit there quite frequently.  She hasn’t been gone very long and now to see the headstone in place makes it really complete.  I know Dad wanted me to see it with him.  He had the opportunity to go with my brother the other day but wanted to wait until I was able to go too.  He decided that my brother could go on his own.  I so love my daddy.  He will always be my daddy no matter how old I am.  He’s always been my protector.

I have to tell you that it’s very strange to see your parents’ names on a tombstone.  I reflected, only to myself, of course, that it must be even stranger to see your own name on one, as I watched my dad say a prayer at mom’s grave today.  Their love was one that could never be equaled.  My dad would never show that emotion.  He is the strongest person I know, but you know how difficult that must be for him to be there, see his love’s name there, know that her body is buried there and see his own name engraved so nicely on that beautiful piece of granite.  This was the first time he had been there since mom was buried December 1st.

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My nanan and I on my First Holy Communion Day. May 7, 1977

When he was finished there, he said, “well, let’s go see Mrs. Sharkey’s grave.” I told him, while pointing, “it’s just down this hill and across the road.” So, we trekked on over to her grave where we said another prayer before walking back to the van.  She was my babysitter for the first 13 years of my life, but she was far more than that.  She was like a grandma to me.  In the last couple years of her life, her health was not good.  She suffered terribly from emphysema and was on continuous oxygen.  We were her family since she had no children and her husband had died many, many years before. I called her Nanan. She was my everything for most of my young life, besides my immediate family.  I talked to her everyday, I visited her all the time, even at the nursing home.  I even put on shows at the nursing home.  I played piano, flute and guitar as well as sang for the residents there while she lived there, because she lived there and I could share my talents with them.  I would do anything for her.  Thirty-two years later, I still miss her.  I can’t believe she’s been gone for that long.

When dad and I were done with our galavanting, I had a lovely lunch with Hubs.  It’s so nice to spend an hour undisturbed with the one I love so much.  I told him of my escapades with Dad as we shared our lunchtime. We chatted and before we knew it, it was time for him to get back to the grind, as it were.  I am so blessed to have such a great husband.  He had texted me earlier to ask how I was feeling.  My response was, “like having lunch with the cutest boy I know.”  Apparently, he knew that I meant him.  Good deal!  He even paid for lunch! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

This evening was very busy.  I was invited to go to a birthday celebration with some of my old co-workers and I had a blast.  I so miss those friends.  I wish I could say I miss the job, but I don’t.  I do, however, miss my friends.  They are such a bunch of fabulous human beings.  We were mostly nurses, but there were also a couple of physical therapists and an occupational therapist there as well.  My goodness I miss there camaraderie. Just to sit down with so many of them at one time and enjoy a good meal and great conversation and not have to worry about getting out of the office to make visits made it most enjoyable indeed.

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My Parents and me and our mad selfie taking skills. Go St. Louis Blues. Hope mom is praying in heaven for my team!

The icing on the cake to my great day. you ask? My St. Louis Blues won Game 1 in the first playoff game against the Chicago Blackhawks  1-0!!!! My home is a house divided.  Hubs is the best man in the world, but has one flaw.  He’s a Hawks fan.  We watched on his Chicago channel so I didn’t even get to see who was tonight’s player of the game, but I’m thinking it had to be the goalie, Brian Elliott.  He was incredible.  But I say this and I should say they were all amazing and Backes made the only goal of the night! Hallelujah!  You know that I love my hockey!  Poor Hubs.  He has to live with me for this whole series.  Go Blues.  I saw something that describes me perfectly. We all Bleed Blue.  Well, I can speak for myself and the Boy and for certain, We both Bleed BLUE!!!! Go Blues!

The Grieving Nearly Nine Year Old

IMG_1053.JPGAnd so after all these months, it takes the death of a hamster and a baby squirrel to get my son to finally grieve and cry for his grandma.  November 25th, my mother passed away and heaven gained an incredibly bright and vivacious angel.  She had a stroke 5 weeks earlier and was doing better, initially beating the odds as she so often did, but then something happened and that changed the course of her life and ours irrevocably.Most of us have accepted this but my nearly 9 year old son, not so much.

Liam wouldn’t cry in front of anyone.  It’s not to say that he didn’t cry, but he wouldn’t cry in front of anyone.  It’s as though in that quick blink of an eye, my little boy was trying so hard to be strong for me.  He hated to see me sad and crying, and I was sad and crying a lot.  She was my mom and learning how to live life without my mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I’m still learning.  But for Liam, without anyone telling him, he wanted to be strong for me.

There were things he would suddenly not do.  He didn’t want me to look at the cemetery as we passed by every hockey day.  He said, “mom, don’t look over there, please.  I don’t want you to be sad or cry.” He knows exactly where mom is buried. Once he saw that I didn’t cry or make us trot over there, he felt more comfortable with me driving him to hockey. Thank God for the small miracles.

He didn’t want me to watch sad things in case I would be sad and cry.  Instead, he wanted to play video games where he could fight and do damage to things, or drive super fast and have cool cars, or just play the mind-numbing Mine Craft that all the kids his age play.

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I felt like I had lost my sweet, caring, concerned little boy.  Apparently, I didn’t.  Of this, I am so grateful.  He still snuggles with me.  He still has a big heart.  How big I didn’t know until we got the sickly hamster and the sickly baby squirrel, Bandit and Felix.  We lost both of these little creatures within a day of each other and Liam was distraught.

He talked about his grandma for the very first time since losing her.  The very first time!  He told me how he still hurts so much and it’s just so hard to go to her house to see grandpa because she isn’t there.  He told me it’s hard to go to church because she was always there  He cried without abandon.  Tears streaming and face buried deep in my lap, the tears kept coming.  We cuddled and talked for a very long time.  We talked about grandma, about grief, about the animals, about why God takes grandmas and baby animals home to heaven.  We talked about everything.

I reminded him that God has a plan for all of us and a lot of the time, we don’t understand what that plan is for any of us.  That it is okay not to understand because it’s God’s plan and He knows best.  It does make us very sad, but in heaven, no one is sick.  Our animal friends will be healthy and happy.  They will be greeted by grandma who will feed them and care for them like she always did with all the little creatures here.  As for Grandma, it was her time to go to the glory of heaven and be young and free and healthy.  Here, she was sick and wasn’t going to be the healthy, independent grandma she had always been before her stroke.  God knew that in her heart, she didn’t want to have to be dependent so he ushered her through to heaven, where she can be with all the angels and saints.  She can watch over us and pray for us to keep us safe.  Now, she always with us.

This long chat seemed to help, but every time we talked about grandma, he cried.  Oh, he cried. I reminded him of all the good things we have here.  I reminded him how much grandpa misses his favorite boy.  My poor, sweet, little boy got up from cuddling, looked at his dad and said, “let’s go lay down, dad”. Within minutes, this little boy, in the throes of grief, was fast asleep.

20150722_122453It’s taken all these months for him to acknowledge his grandma’s death but I’m proud of him for doing it at last, in his own time.  I wish, ever so much that I could take away his pain, that the hamster and the baby squirrel didn’t have to die to bring this about.  Whatever the case, you can’t change the past, you can’t change the future, but you can hold the present tightly in your arms and tell him how much you love him and how sorry you are that he has to know pain.