I never wished him illness. I never wished he’d die. I never wished he’d stay away forever, although that certainly would make my life simpler. I’ve been glad that he’s out of my life, not threatening my safety by his presence, not upsetting me with his shocking and illegal behavior.
When I first met him, I knew he was playing with medical fire, smoking those cigarettes for thirty plus years, only quitting when our son was born.
“I want to be around when he’s eighteen,” he said, as if eighteen was the end of a parent’s involvement with a child.
He thought he was free from a death threat because cancer never showed up in his lungs. Although emphysema developed, strangely, it didn’t affect his breathing, in spite of what the scans showed. He’d lucked out again.
Then there came an aggressive bladder cancer. That was treated surgically two years ago and he seems to have handled the aftermath well.
The medical scenario has changed again.
Just before Christmas, a CT scan found a new mass in his abdomen. Subsequent serious problems developed, creating a grave situation. His last blood pressure was 65/53 and he continues to lose blood.
Being in prison has consequences besides being locked up. The authorities have complete control of what happens and what doesn’t. Influence by others who care what occurs to the incarcerated one, is minimal.
A delicate balance must be maintained. If the prison authorities feel that someone is trying to push them around, or influence decisions, they may shut off any effort to take action.
My former husband is fortunate in that his smart and articulate cousin has been taking care of his affairs – taxes and whatever else can’t be done on the inside. She’s also been a wonderful friend for me, and has been since the beginning of the horror, in 2005.
She’s been supportive to him all along. Now, she’s pressuring those at the prison who make medical decisions, to remember that legally he’s entitled to timely medical treatment, based on the recommendation of his doctors. He’s not receiving this service.
So she’s writing more letters and emails. For the first time, I’ve written one too.
Today I’m not thinking of the past, the things he did that were wrong. It’s time now to push those realities to the side and do whatever I can, even if it’s only writing a letter asking for action to save his life.
It never really ends does it? But you have to do what you can, and what you know is right.
Very well written, Jane. I can feel your concern and compassion. Good for you for taking action rather than holding on to past wrongs.
Thank you, Catherine.
You continue to work with, and at, your whole life without flinching.
Many of us do too, but few have your writing talent. Thank you.
Thank you, Jan.