Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Letting Go and Hanging On For Dear Life

Right now, after weeks in the hospital expecting to die but living has changed so many things.
I am now very medically fragile and will continue to be. My husband has left work which he deeply loved, to care for me. He has to do things like give injections and negotiate care and does so by leaving piles of dignity. And manage an impossible long list of medications and medical appointments. All his management skills have kicked in. Along with dedication and love.

Steroids to keep my lungs functioning, Sometimes I can walk and sometimes I can't do it very well. Sometimes communication is nearly impossible because of pain and frustration.

I was about to end all medical treatment and silently start to let go but waited a little too long. I can't do that now. Because the cancer cell count has plummeted but a tumour is in my skull and in T3 in my spine. The adjuvent chosen has killed cancer when that wasn't expected. The booster to the adjuvent has destroyed my core health. And the huge blood clots came from late stage cancer.

Both of us have let people go from our life. Without much sadness at all really. The sadness of this far outweighs other loss for both of us. This one is just far too big to deal with other people who don't come through or make anything sadder or more difficult.

We are truly surrounded by caring and friends. There is quality to life for this precious while.
And after 33 years with all that means we get this next little while.

I watched death in the hospital a few times when I was there. I could not see it but knew because the environment changed with the routine and the caregivers burdened faces. They were moodier after. Less patient or sometimes a little more giving. Families could be heard a little but it was their walk out of the room that was so clear. Almost single file with eyes straight ahead.

It is like that now. Eyes straight ahead when needed.

But I get to go back to Swee
thaven for the weekend. Tim has surrounded me with my art supplies and I have played a little and he has started reading me a series of interconnected myths and sociology about living solo in a crowded world. He has explained why our relationship exists, continued to morph and then thrive. And that had to do with both our capacities to speak truth (loud or not) to maintain intimacy and recognize quiet and personal agency. We spend time with others and simply end up retreating into what no longer needs tinkering with. Just us.

I have always thought it had a lot to do with his genuine open minded patience and respect for others. And certainly for me. He has almost no capacity for cruelty and may judge others but from a genuinely fair lens. He is unbelievably kind.

I have not once felt to be a burden to him. Not once.

Detail of quilt made by my Great Grandmother Mabel Della Wells. It was a gift to my Grandmother for her marraige. Cotton with a lamb's wool batt. I slept under it as a little girl on the farm.

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