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My husband had kidney cancer 25 years ago that spread to his brain. He had his kidney removed and then a brain tumor removed. Then whole brain radiation. Cancer did not come back, but the radiation has done terrible things to his brain. He's now in a wheelchair and totally dependent on me. I miss him terribly even though he's still here. We always went on road trips together with our kids every year and did things together as a family all the time. He was a wonderful husband and father. When I look back, I sometimes wonder if I appreciated it enough back then. I sure hope I did.

I'm afraid that we spend way too much time regretting things we didn't do or say rather than be grateful for what we DID have.

Nobody gets out of here alive--and hopefully we all have been blessed with enough love and care that 'leaving' is not awful for anyone.

When I went through chemotherapy, I truly came to find out who was 'there' for me and who was not. No anger, no judgment, many people can't handle 'sick' of any kind.

Life is so short. I hope my LO's know how much I cared for them. I have no idea how most of them feel about me. It's not a contest, nor a goal. I believe life on earth is brief and challenging, but it is what it is.

My daddy spent about 3 years being 'unaware' of most things. I spent a LOT of time with his as he was bedridden. Nothing can take that from me.

What's that song? "What the world needs now is love, sweet love, that's the only thing that's there's just too little of".
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CarynAnn Jul 12, 2021
Bless you.
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We rarely appreciate how good we have things until we have bad times to compare them against.

One of my favorite quotes and mantras is from the book "How Green Was My Valley" --


"...there is no fence or hedge round Time that has gone. You can go back and have what you like if you remember it well enough."

Treasure the memories of the good times, because they haven't been taken from you.
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CarynAnn Jul 12, 2021
Thank you for your kind words.
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I too took care of my husband for a very long time. He was my second husband, my true love, and a great stepdad to my children. A year and a half after we got married my husband had a massive stroke at the age of 48, and our rollercoaster ride began. It continued on through him developing grand mal seizures, breaking his hip after falling during one of his seizures, and having to have a partial hip replacement, being in and out of the hospital trying to get his seizures under control, along with other surgeries, being impacted, and eventually developing aspiration pneumonia, after he was diagnosed with vascular dementia, which almost killed him, and gave him sepsis and septic shock. He was then able to come home under hospice care and was completely bedridden, where he spent the last 22 months of his life. My husband died at the age of 72, on Sept. 14th 2020, and I miss him every day. I made sure before he died, that he knew how much he meant to me, and how grateful I was to have him in my life. It was while on that rollercoaster, that I learned what true love was all about. I am now off of that rollercoaster, and am on the rollercoaster of grief. That's a whole other kind of rollercoaster, although you are now experiencing some of that with the anticipatory grief(the loss of a loved one before they actually die).
We're all human, but it makes no sense to go over the would haves, could haves or should haves in our minds. All we have is today, so please make sure you're making the very best out of it. and be thankful that you still have your memories of the good times shared. God bless you.
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CarynAnn Jul 12, 2021
Bless you too. I hope the wonderful memories you have ease your grieving a little each day.
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I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Of course you appreciated the good life you shared with your husband who sounds like a wonderful man. The fact that you'd even ask the question is proof of your gratitude and appreciation for the life you lived with him.
Of course you miss him terribly. Even though he's still living, you're grieving the loss of him. Be kind to yourself. Take care of you because being a 24 hour caregiver to someone is no easy task.
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CarynAnn Jul 12, 2021
Thank you so much for your very kind response. Means a lot to me. Take care of yourself too.
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I don't believe any of us truly appreciate our loved ones; however the few memories you provided convinces me that you came closer to appreciating what you had more than I can say that I do.

Hang onto those precious memories and maybe document them. Even though your husband may not understand continue to tell him how much you love him and how much you value your relationship.

Prayers that you are blessed with peace, grace and love.
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CarynAnn Jul 13, 2021
Thank you. Peace, grace and love to you too.
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Savor and enjoy the memories and him being with you. You can’t undo the past. Would have/should have/could have only robs you of joy. Love him and cherish your time together.
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CarynAnn Jul 16, 2021
Thank you. Bless you.
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MJ is correct with her statement. I also feel that what you are feeling is completely natural.

It sounds like you have precious memories of your husband and children. It is true, sometimes we don’t know what we have, until it’s gone. Don’t you think part of that is because we were young and busy with raising our children, along with many other things.

Here’s another take. my mother in law was the dearest woman in the world. She was so very kind to us. Well, whenever she was around our daughter, she would look right past us with a giant smile on her face that lit up the entire room. She would say to our child. “Come see grandma!”

My husband and I would look at each other and giggle. My mother in law’s love for our daughter was so touching. We would joke around saying, “Gee, we remember when we got a big hug and kiss before our daughter was born, now we are invisible.” We are grateful that our oldest child knew her. She died before the youngest one was born. My parents did the same thing. They were fabulous grandparents, but we knew they didn’t forget about us.

We absolutely knew that we didn’t hold a candle next to a precious child and we didn’t mind one single bit. After my mother in law said hello to her granddaughter, we got our hugs. We knew that she loved us! I have no doubt that your husband knew that you loved him and knew that you were busy with life and raising your children.
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CarynAnn Jul 12, 2021
Thank you so much. Warms my heart.
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We could all write a chapter of the book “Things I Could have done Better” I have wonderful memories of both my parents and raising my children, but also know that so much of those times is just a blur. That’s sad to me but also a part of life. You sound like a wonderful caregiver with happy memories to help you keep going. Don’t get mired down in regret, we all could have appreciated more, done better, loved more, it’s called living and learning as we go. I wish you both peace
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CarynAnn Jul 16, 2021
It is so true that a lot of the past is just a blur. Thank you for your kindness.
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You are a wonderful wife to be caring for your husband for 25 years. Kudos to you. The good times must have been really good for you to be able to look back to them with pleasure after going through so much. All the best to you both!
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CarynAnn Jul 16, 2021
Thank you for your kindness.
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I doubt it! - isn't is fundamental to the human condition, that classic "don't it always seem to go..."?

It's fine, it's normal, it's human. You were too busy being together and living your lives together to stop and (mentally) stare at it. But I'm glad you have those happy, happy memories to sustain you now.
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CarynAnn Jul 16, 2021
Thank you for your encouraging words.
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