Bill, and his faithful Lara
Kids, it has been a watershed year. A year of changes, a year of gaining and losing, a year of grief and gratitude. A year of truly knowing that, no matter what, deep within my old crone spirit, I am okay and can handle what comes.
Gratitude, always, for the gift of life, for the beauty of this incredible planet, for people I love, for a successful letting go of my own place to find a cozy refuge in a much smaller space, with resulting relief and a reduction of stress. And amazing gratitude for the writing I have done this year, thanks to all of you, who keep reading and, thus, keep me writing. There are 800 poems in the world that would not be here without you. I thank you, and am eagerly looking forward to writing our way through 2012 together.
Today I spent with Faiza, whose husband, Bill, is dying. Each week I have been amazed to find him still there. Today his face lit up like the sun when he saw me. "HELL-o Sweetie!" he beamed. He made it through Christmas, thankfully. And through the very end of 2011. Not much longer, I dont think. This past week was a hard one, for him and for Faiza.
The photo, above, was taken some months ago, when Bill was stronger. Now a hospital bed is in that corner and Lara is very upset - she doesnt like the bed, and she feels all of the stress of things not being well in the house, and with her people.
This morning Bill told me how much he wishes he could go out on the back porch for a smoke. He loved his cigars. But it has been a year since he was able to have one. He is on oxygen and has trouble with his lungs.
Faiza is literally on her last legs. The strain of caring for him, and the stress all of the "helping agencies" cause her, with their regulations and requirements and endless hassles, have about done her in. She keeps going on will power. I know something about that. I so worry about her, after Bill passes. But she is brave: "Whatever God wants, is what we'll do," she says.
As we sat in the sunny window and had coffee this morning, her engagement ring sparkled in the sun. I commented on its beauty, she fingered the ring, recalling how Bill had given it to her, and then she said, to the ring, "I love you, Billy, and I will for the rest of my life."
The end of 2011. The beginning of a brand new year of possibilities. I am lifting a glass now, to all of you wonderful friends, who have enriched my life all this past year. I look forward to writing and reading poems all of the next.
Happy New Year!!!!!!