The Quest Begins

Just More Time…

My own physical and emotional healing was well under way however life always wants to throw another curve at you and this time it was thrown directly at John.  This was one of our most challenging days yet…

It was a hot muggy day on July 7th, 2001 when John complained about being short of breath, turning ashen grey in a cold sweat.  He had a terrible pain in his neck and a felt a pressure in his chest. In horror I knew it was his heart.  Having given so much of himself over the years with his never give up attitude and his care for the welfare of others had finally taken its toll on him.

Although he always put on a brave face his spirit was weary from trying and now his heart was failing.  I just prayed at that moment that his fighting spirit that brought him through when he was such a tiny baby could protect him just one more time.

Whisked away in an ambulance I knew his fate was in far greater hands than mine… I waited hours in the emergency lobby area while the doctors operated on John’s heart.  It was agonizing.  How quickly life can be snatched away.  It’s ironic how I always reminded John of the assumption that death will take us in midsentence…  But not now… not John… we had so many plans…

I sat and shut my eyes and in my mind I could see all our adventures together flashing in quick succession like an old fashioned move flick.  I heard our laughter and all the funny things that are uniquely John and then a smile came to my lips.  I would never have traded a minute of our journey together for anything.  There was never a regret no matter what happens from this moment forward…. not one…

When I was finally able to visit John in intensive care he looked so vulnerable and fragile.  My rock, my strong and loyal companion was now all hooked up to monitors,  wires and beepers  There was no greater gift than just to hold him and know that he had made it through once again.  What we both didn’t realize was the psychological aftermath which was shortly to come from such a life threatening event and the effect it was to have on John.

Upon his return home John’s personality shifted immediately.  Having just dealt with his own mortality much of the shock manifested in periods of anger and then depression.  He admitted he felt very anxious at night which completely disrupted his sleep patterns making the dilemma worse. However because he was on a cocktail of prescribed medications and now on antidepressants for his mood swings we weren’t sure if he was dealing with his true feelings or the side effects of the regiment of pills he was taking.  We were both totally confused and with little information volunteered nor offered from the medical establishment on the mixture of these chemicals John courageously decided to eliminate them all one by one. John opted to use natural and alternative methods instead combining natural herbs, exercise, eating healthy (well most of the time…) meditation and chelation therapy.   I am happy to say that not only did John’s health return with this new lifestyle but his sense of humour and his penchant for fun all came back with it too!

John later told me that they had trouble inserting the stent in the operating room as his artery was badly contused.  Not knowing the extent of the damage to his heart and with the current complication John was not sure if he would make it but all he could think of was me.  Nothing else… All he asked for was “more time with Elaine” The tears welled up in our eyes as he spoke those words to me.

So every day since then we live our lives as more time with each other.  For certain we still have our fair share of challenges and the bills still keep coming but at the end of each day we focus on gratitude and the simple joys we share together.  The bike rides, the walks in nature, admiring the beauty of a tree, feeding the squirrels or a blue jay, a cup of coffee we shared, spontaneous laughter at something silly, the smile of a child, patting a dog, and even in the sad moments when we share mutual tears.  Those are the true joys, the gifts of life which ask for nothing in return and are out there just waiting to be appreciated by those who see through the lens of a different light.  The light of an openness within us that allows these everyday moments to become a part of us and reflect through us.

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