One Year Later: Dec 01, 2023

One year ago today, this is the summary I posted to all of my family and friends:

Cancer does not behave in ways we expect. Jami and I walked into the hospice care center on Tuesday afternoon. Although she was a bit unsteady and had a bad headache, she walked under her own power. Our goal was to get in, figure out the proper pain medications, and walk out. Our plans changed. The cancer is progressing fast. Much faster than I expected.

Today is the first time the entire medical staff confirmed what we can physically see. Jami is not going to “recover”. She is not going to wake up. She is not going to have a conversation with any of us ever again.

This was hard for me. I didn’t expect that she would decline this fast. I expected us to walk in, get her relaxed, work with the medical team to make a new plan, make a few tweaks here an there, then we would walk out and get a new “unknown” amount of time together.

Instead, I never get to properly say goodbye. I never get to have that last word with her. I don’t get to hear her tell me it will be OK. I don’t get to hear her laugh. We don’t get another conversation.

However, I take solace in knowing that she spent her entire life building this family. She gave us everything we needed to continue moving forward even though she would not be with us. When she told me, “We Made A Family” - she was right. We did make a family and this family is strong. She made sure of that. She told us from the day she was diagnosed that using her death as an excuse for bad behavior or getting stuck was not an option. She told me that. She told our children that. She told her family that.

We are strong. We need to continue to be strong for Jami. Anything but, would negate everything she worked so hard for.

The rest of the day was spent processing there will be no recovery. Family visited. Elliot visited. I visited.

I sat and talked with her - although it was only a one way conversation. However, I could tell she was listening. She knew I was there. She would react occasionally.

I’m going to close with these words that Jami held so closely: “There is no point in getting mad at the things we can’t control” - She lived by this. She knew that cancer would eventually take her life and there is nothing she could do about that. She could have been pissed off at the world. She could have retreated into depression. But she didn’t. She lived everyday to the fullest! She attended every family event. She went on every family vacation we could. She attended every sporting event. She played games with us. She joked with us. She spent every free moment building memories with family and friends.

She loved life until the very last minute. She showed everyone, by example, how we should live even when faced with a terminal illness.

Here is the post I made one year ago to all our family and friends: