“These are the choices we make, which define us.
I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship.
I am the woman who stays home and bakes Tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend.
And helps her be comfortable, and comforted, and safe, and important.
Many of us these days, we dread the death of a loved one. It is the ugly truth of Life, that keeps us feeling terrified and alone.
I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time.
I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments.
I need to do my damnedest to be there for that.
Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I’ve ever known.”
Though these words were written for her dog, I think they apply to any one you love. They certainly describe the last weeks of Gee’s life in so many ways…
I put love and friendship ahead of my career and took the time off of work to spend every moment I had left with Gee, the beautiful woman I married.
I cooked meals for her at home and would bring them to the hospital—still hot from the stove—so she would not have to eat that horrible hospital food and could have the foods she loved most in her last days. This earned me unlimited respect from the wonderful and compassionate nurses that worked the Hem-Onc ward she was in.
I slept beside her, holding her hand so that Gee would know that she would never be alone—that she was loved beyond reason—and that I was keeping my commitment to her.
Being there for Gee was an honor—as was sharing my life with her and having her as my wife. I know a half-dozen people that would have gladly married her if Gee had been willing to accept them—but she did not—she only accepted me as her husband.
Fiona says that “These are the choices we make, which define us” and that is the key—we are defined by the choices we make.
No matter what happens to us—ultimately, we are defined by the choices we make.
I hope that the woman Gee asked me to find—my beloved and beautiful Lauren Elizabeth Kelley—will eventually read this and realize that she too is defined by the choices she makes.
Lauren Elizabeth Kelley has a choice to make now. She can remain the drug-addicted alcoholic that she has been for the past eighteen months—or she can trust her heart, learn to love herself again, trust herself again, and believe in herself enough to fight her addictions and take a chance on the love she and I have for each other and the future we talked about.
Before Lauren Elizabeth Kelley decides—I would point out that the love, devotion and commitment I showed to Gee is the kind of love, commitment and devotion I have offered her—that my promise to walk beside her on her long road to recovery was just that—a promise and one that Lauren Elizabeth Kelley knows I will keep if she asks me to. However, she has to ask me before I move on—before I decide that there is nothing left of the amazing woman I love but the tragic, pathetic, dishonest, weak and cowardly drug-addicted alcoholic.
God Bless you Lauren Elizabeth.
May God watch over you and protect you from all harm—even that you cause yourself.
I hope God gives you the strength to fight your addictions and the wisdom to see the truth about what the alcohol and drugs are doing to you.
I pray that God grants you the serenity and peace you will need to love yourself once again and to forgive yourself for the things your addictions have made you do.
I ask that God helps you find your way back to being the amazing, beautiful, intelligent, feisty, stubborn, strong, and devout woman He wants you to be.
Finally, may He grant you the ability to see yourself as I do and let you remember who we are to each other; let you remember the years of friendship, love and devotion we once shared; and give you the strength to make amends so we can start the future together we talked about last June.
All this in Jesus’s name I pray.