I’m certain that for the most part, Sue was very grateful for how I cared for her and loved her.
And each time that our relationship had to be re-adjusted to the complexities of the disease there was, usually, an emotional price to pay. Sue was not one to give in easily. I’m pretty sure she knew that I was trying to help, but her pride and strong independence would not allow her to easily accept that she was losing more and more of her memory. So, it took a little while for things to calm down after most re-adjustments. It was our love for each other that kept us chugging along.
I said, “I’m hanging in, but it’s tough.”
It was as if he’d been sent to give me a message.
He told me that I should not let anybody put me down. He said that I had given Sue freedom and dignity and that she had been a happy person and had had a good life. He said that he’d often talked to Sue and that even though she usually told him the same story, he loved hearing it each and every time.
He brought tears to my eyes.
This kind fella was an engineer who worked on the Cabot Trail.
We loved its beautiful wild places. The freedom that blows in the wind. The power of the river. In winter the landscape crammed with stunning snow sculptures. The weather’s amazing shows.
I’d worry about a flood and she’d tell me not to fret. Sue wasn’t hog-tied to worry and tight-assed security although she could be very organized. She did, however, have one fear that she would often talk about. The fear of ending up in an institution and losing her freedom.
So she didn’t end up like one of my friends. Incontinent, under constant watch and asking to be killed.
That is the silver lining amongst the sorrowful knowledge that I’ll never see her again. Yes, she had a dignified death. Yes, she escaped a bullet. Now I have to deal with her absence. Deal with the thick sadness.
She was my hero. She was my battling partner who I watched every day with amazement. Deep to my core was my sense that she needed and deserved her freedom to live the way she wanted to live until dementia became too much for both of us. My seeing her as a poor suffering soul who needed my constant, care-giver’s attention wasn’t the way I could operate and it would have caused Sue much dismay and anxiety.
Sue was my greatest supporter. She was always encouraging me and she is one of the main reasons I have a novel coming out soon. She is still part of it. Coincidentally, the novel will be called, 'DEAD AND NOT DEAD'. Isn't that strange?
Anyway, I believe that it’s possible that Dominic pulled Sue onto a lane that goes into the mountains and then later on he broke his leash. All sad water under a fading mystical bridge.
As a friend said, “Over time, she will become tender in your heart.”
I often feel her presence and know that she wishes me, her family and her friends well.