I tell lots of personal stories on the blog, generally with the hope that the lessons inherent in the stories are useful. The lesson in this one is simple: There are times you have to say something before you can move on. I need to say this ...
During the past few months, a small group of us spent a lot of time with Duana -- at her home, in the hospital, and then at Hospice House. Did she need us? Absolutely. But our caregiving wasn't purely altruistic. We needed her too. And we knew our time with her was limited.
So, when people lavish praise on us -- and they have -- here's my response: All we did is what friends do. We showed up. We helped. Each in our own way, we helped.
It will take a long time to fully comprehend the gifts Maureen, Mary Jo, Janey and the rest of us received by being with Duana during her final days. I already know this: I wouldn't have missed a moment.
I also know that the whole "live like you were dying" concept is a helluva lot more romantic when it's a song than when it's real. There was no sky-diving at Hospice House. Take the meaning of the song to heart: Go Rocky Mountain climbing now.
For my own creative sanity, I need to write a long piece about Du -- not a blog entry. So I will. But, for now, I'm moving on. Which is exactly what she would want me to do.