There are so many instances that I can speak of in which people where there for Michelle, my step daughter and I during her cancer battle. And after it. The support we received was truly remarkable. From time to time I will highlight somebody who was there for us, what they did and what it meant to us.
Today, I want to talk about Michele. That’s with one L.
The day that we were first told that my Michelle only had a couple of weeks left to live was horrific, as you can imagine. It was a Saturday, and the hospital room was packed with visitors. I remember standing in a circle listening to the doctor say the words, alongside Michelle’s cousins and my sister.
At this point Michelle was heavily sedated, due to an error from the hospital, and was in and out of it. More out, than in.
A couple of hours after we received the news, my step daughter arrived to the hospital. Granted, she already knew that Mommy was sick and dying (although we used kid friendlier language of course), but having to pull her into the other room and tell her that Mommy only had a couple of weeks left to live before she went to Heaven was soul crushing. The pure, raw, unfiltered tears and emotion of a child’s heart being destroyed is something I will never forget.
As she would depart a few hours later, and slowly everyone else made their way out, I was alone.
I was in the hospital room. Alone. With my dying wife. Who lay there semi-comatose.
I was uncertain about so much.
Uncertain about how much longer she would live.
Uncertain if I would ever have the chance to speak to her again.
Uncertain how much more she would suffer.
Uncertain if I could make it through this.
I needed someone.
Just to be there.
Just so that I wasn’t alone.
Unexpectedly, in walked Michele. With one L.
The truth is, I can’t tell you much of what we discussed that night.
I don’t remember many of the words spoken, or the stories shared, but I remember one thing: At that exact time, in that exact moment, the company of Michele, with one L, was exactly what I needed.
We sat for a good hour or so. There were moments of silence, moments of sorrow and moments of laughter.
We sat and stared at my Michelle as she slept away. And yes, we spoke to her as well.
It was comforting to have someone. At that moment. Just to sit with me.
To see them deal with their own heartache.
And to acknowledge mine.
In that moment, having her there, brought me the comfort I needed.
And I will be forever grateful.
Thank you: Michele. With one L.