'I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you.'
I know about 'soul' searching having done quite a bit lately. As a result, I feel as if I have reached a fork in the road. I am painfully aware of 'taking myself wherever I go' which makes it difficult to 'avoid' pain and suffering should it is my own. Many of you know, and understand, the depth of feelings developed over time with fellow bloggers; they become life altering. One such blogger is Brenda @ Breast Cancer Sisterhood who writes poignantly of the death of her precious James on 26th December, 2010. Brenda, writes of the love she and James share and has written in such a way as to open wounds that I felt had been put to rest.
When I married my late husband Ray in 1967 little did I know he would show me the meaning of 'unconditional' love. During our 27 years together I enjoyed the privilege of being loved and accepted, in spite of my many faults. At the time Ray was diagnosed with a brain tumour it was necessary to leave our squash and fitness centre to allow him to undergo surgery in Melbourne. Damian, who was about 18, along with a close personal friend Marianne Hocking stepped up to the task. Jeremy, our 7 year old, with farmed out to the most amazing family. Leaving him with the Allen family enabled me to spend 18 weeks with Ray during his neuro and thoracic surgery. The procedures took much longer than expected. Ray was paralysed down one side as a result of the first operation. Rehabilitation was required before he could undertake surgery to remove the tumour on his lung. The lung tumour was discovered during testing for the brain tumour. We survived that period and, somehow, I was able to spend every day, and most nights, by Ray's side. The nurse's quarters became my 'home' away from home. Thankfully, Mum had travelled from Dubbo to be with Ray and me after his initial neuro surgery. She then headed up to Lakes Entrance where she was made to feel welcome by some of our close personal friends.
Four years later Ray went into a coma; it happened suddenly. Jeremy helped me to carry his Father into the bed he shared with me. I phoned my Mother in Dubbo who agreed to catch the train that very day. Mum's presence allowed me to climb into bed beside my darling Raymond. I stayed beside him in the bed for the last five days of his time on earth. At times we were visited by loving family and friends; loved ones that had come to say their goodbyes. I remember that time well! I often feel guilty thinking of things I had done prior to that time. Things I am not proud of. I ask Ray's forgiveness.
I recollect so well the sense of peace that came from sharing the journey; it seems I was led. There are lasting benefits to sharing a love which is timeless; a love in which I feel treasured/secure. There is no room for jealousy, there is only pure love. With love all things are possible.
To meet and to part is the story of life; to part and to meet is the glory of life