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I’m not always good about putting my thoughts into words, but I wanted to share how I felt tonight. I have a friend, Becky, who has been there for me since Tom died. She keeps telling me to take one step at a time and this is a process to go through. She has never judged me but has been by my side the whole time.
We usually get together on Wednesdays, to exercise and to have dinner and a couple of drinks. Tonight we started talking about Tom, I told her how we met and how much I totally fell head over heels in love with him. Not that it was perfect in the beginning, we were both very independent and stubborn and it took us a while to blend our lifestyles and personalities. I did a lot of crying tonight but today was 3 months since Tom died.
What opened my eyes and I’m not sure if I’m saying it right, that since Tom was diagnosed in May of 2009, he became different. He beat the esophageal cancer through intense chemo and radiation (he was in a trial) and had major surgery in October of 2009 but his personality changed a little from the beginning. It took him several months to get over the surgery, they took out his esophagus and pulled up his stomach to make it into an esophagus, so his eating habits had to take a drastic change. His stomach became much smaller and so a meal for him was less than a ½ hamburger without the bun and maybe 5 tater tots for an example. He had no problems doing this because he became very ill if he ate too much at one time. Other than having to be very, very careful of his eating, he was decently healthy. During all this time, Tom wouldn’t go any further than one hour away from our home. I don’t have an explanation for this but he was afraid to venture any farther. We celebrated our 20th wedding in May of 2010 and I wanted to go on a cruise or fly to an island. The most I could talk him into doing was going on a beach vacation 30 minutes away from where we lived. It took me until October of 2010 when I talked him into driving 7 hours to go to the Florida Keys on a camping trip. Once he was diagnosed with brain cancer in December of 2010 his personality totally changed and he became very combative.
My point is, sorry if it took so long to get here, I can’t believe how talking with Becky tonight and reminiscing about how I met and fell in love with Tom over 21 years ago was so good and cathartic for me (tears or not). Even though while he was sick I think we grew closer through the process it was different. Sometimes we or I got so caught up in his illness and the day to day stress of it that I really needed to remember why and how we were for so many years and that I would do it all again in a heartbeat.