[Post from Paul] The Girl I Love

One tiny little detail to report:  We went back to Dana Farber today and discovered that Pam’s platelet count was up, but it needs to keep rising before she’s ready for another round of Chemo.  She’ll get a new blood test on Wednesday and Jenn (her NP) thinks she’ll be ready by then.  Truth be told, Pam isn’t in any hurry to go back to feeling nauseous all day every day.

Many, many, many people — people who check the blog and other folks as well — have come up to me to tell me how much they’ve come to admire the way Pam has confronted her illness, dedicated herself to becoming well and kept her loving heart open to each and every situation that comes her way.  You’re all so proud of her, but none of you gets to see her the way I do.

Pam is my heroine.  She teaches me, every single day, how someone can place her (or his) life in God’s hands in a situation where faith is the only comfort one can hope for.  She has the same feelings anyone would have.  She’s grieving the loss of so many opportunities for happiness that her multi-talented life once provided her.  She comes to resent the uncertainty that has become a permanent part of both our lives.  She gets bored and restless and very rarely has the energy to do anything about it.  And, yes, she fears death.  Death is by no means a taboo subject.  Mostly, when she thinks of the end, she fears losing the power she’s always had in my life, and in Liqa’s life, and in the lives of all the people who love her to care, and to protect, and to guide, and to comfort.  Pam is someone who would much, much rather suffer than cause someone else to suffer.

How can I describe what an honor it is to receive Pam’s love?

Because she has such faith, Pam is able to keep her head in the present moment.  She can’t control what’s to come, so she doesn’t even try — instead she finds opportunities in the ‘right now’ to put some joy into life and to give everyone around her yet another new reason to be grateful for the fact that’s she’s around.

Sickness can tempt a person to become selfish and bitter.  Pam has gone in the opposite direction.  I get to pray with her every morning, so I get to experience first-hand the compassion and generosity she has for others who are facing difficulty.  Pain can make a person close their heart — and Pam has had more than her share of pain; but her heart is more open now that it has ever been.  Can I explain it?  Not really.  It’s a mystery of grace — and I’m the beneficiary of the grace that flows out of her.

I certainly wouldn’t have chosen the life that God has opened up to us — but it wasn’t for me to choose.  Now that we’re in the midst of it, though, I find so many reasons to be grateful, so many reasons to be joyful.

John Lennon told us that “Love is all you need,” and when I was a teenager that sounded so wonderful to me, and so true.  As I got older, I figured out that there’s a whole lot more you need than that!  Maturity taught me that the love I longed for as a teenager can only exist in a person’s imagination, or in a song.  These days, though, I’m discovering a love that I couldn’t have possibly imagined when I was young.  The love I’m getting these days isn’t easy at all, or fun.  It’s ugly, and ragged, and frustrating and … one more thing … it turns out it is all I need.




About captaincatholic

Fifty Eight Year old 'Cradle Catholic'. Married for twenty two years to the magnificent Pam. Father to the unsurpassable Angelique. Parishioner at Sacred Heart Parish in Lexington MA.
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3 Responses to [Post from Paul] The Girl I Love

  1. Mary Ellen says:

    She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. And we love her, and you. I am undone by this post. You both are crystal in your clarity and beauty. Love YA. Your sistah

  2. Lisa Cimino says:

    I’m wordless Paul – I’m teary! Love to you both!

  3. ronald lancaster says:

    This is quite beautiful. Thanks for letting us all know how you feel. Pam is has turned into that exceptional patient that Dr Segal talks about. She has always been an exceptional person. You have been very lucky indeed to have her love and devotion, and I know that goes both ways. May God continue to keep you all in his hands. Love, Julie


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