Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve

Dear Friends

It's New Years Eve and I am sitting next to Ellen as she rests. The day has been quiet and finally, after another day of rain and gloom, the sun has been shining brightly through the living room window. It's been a long and difficult week so a little sunshine is much appreciated.
Ellen has continued to decline each day. She sleeps most of the time and drinks or eats very little. Her sister, Beth and I tend to her needs. A health care aide comes each day to bath her. Friends and family come and spend time next to her, holding her hand, speaking softly to her. She is treated with such tenderness and love, I know she must feel it in their touch. She is more wakeful in the mornings, more alert and during this time there are fleeting moments when I am sure she feels my presence. Her eyes rarely recognize me, but I know she is comforted by my voice and touch.
This process, transition from life to death, is painful to witness, but it is also a beautiful experience. I feel blessed she has allowed me to be a part of it, to allow me to care, comfort, and stay with her through these past weeks. I am amazed by her strength and comforted in turn by her peaceful acceptance of all that is happening to her body. She has taught me for so long how to truly live every moment and now she is teaching me how to let go. It is such a gift.

I have appreciated, so much, all of your support, kind words and prayers. Your simple messages have brought me comfort when I have needed them most. And I know, I believe, Ellen has heard you all.

love,
cathy

10 comments:

Cathy Rose said...

Dear Cathy,
Your words this evening are filled with love and strength and these updates are such a present to your friends who are scattered all over the country. We need this connection with you and Ellen...thank you so much for sharing your personal thoughts. I will see you soon my friend.
Love, Donna

Rone' Prinz said...

Dear Cathy & Ellen:
Thank you so very much for sharing your words with all of us. This is indeed quite a gift for you to witness....how very precious every moment of living is... I send you endless love & sincere heartfelt wishes,
Rone'

Anonymous said...

Dear Cathy,
It's quieting down here in downtown Orlando. The fireworks have almost stopped and the party goers are probable making there way home. The New Year is here and my thoughts drift to you and Ellen as they often do... I checked the blog for an update and I was happy to see your new entry. Somehow, it makes me feel like a part of me is there with you in NOLA. Your writing is so eloquent. It comforts me to think of you there by Ellen's side. I know that was her wish and you have stepped up to the task with more grace than imaginable. It speak to your love of this little cajun. I send you my love. Please give her a kiss for me...
Debbie

Anonymous said...

I am a total stranger, but was lead to your blog thru your art website. You posts are very touching..and you are lucky to have each other.

Please forgive me if I'm passing along information you already know...but in case you don't...the last two senses we have are touch and hearing.

God Bless the Hospice workers who taught me this...and it truly is correct.

Even though I am a stranger...you have touched me and I'll keep you both in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cathy,
Through Debbie,I have kept up with you on this recent "Journey".My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Peace be with you and Ellen.
Love and Hugs,
~Audrey Lentz~

Pete said...

Ellen -
Thanks for all you have done for Cathy during your time together and for being a beloved member of our family. We sense in the two of you what we have in our own relationship: unconditional, totally fulfilled love. This is a rare gift few couples experience and it will continue to strengthen, comfort, and guide Cathy long after you complete your journey. To be sure, there will be things she will have to let go of and this will not be easy. But her life will be greatly enriched by the things she gets to take forward. These are at the core of your love. Among other things, they include the vivid memories of your most cherished times together and a much bigger and warmer heart and soul.
Love,
Pete and Carolyn

Kristine Campbell said...

Cathy-
I just went to your studio site to see if you might be in Ann Arbor this summer and read about Ellen. I am so sorry to hear about her illness. My best wishes go out to you and Ellen.
kris

Kim said...

Dear Cathy, I too want to thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts and feelings. It helps me to feel close and connect to you both. So much love and grace..It is beyond words...heart to heart...soul to soul...Love, Kim

Julie said...

Dear Aunt Cathy & Ellen,

As I read your words, I can totally relate to what you're going through. You are able to express in your writing so much of what I was feeling with my dad. I have nothing but amazing things to say about Hospice and the care and support they provided both me and my dad. I know Ellen so appreciates everything you're doing for her. She's exactly where she needs to be...surrounded by those who love her so very much. Know that I love you both so very much and my thoughts and prayers are with you always.

Love,
Julie

Anonymous said...

Cathy,
You and Ellen are in my heart at every moment. As tears roll down my face, I know there is beauty in Ellen's journey home. We are all so much more than we know.
Betsy