My father-in-law (Norm), whom I adore, went through an emotional ordeal dealing with my mother-in law's (Bunny) illness over a lengthy period before she died in 2016. One of her doctors approached Norm and suggested he write a journal as a coping mechanism. After Bunny's death, the doctor asked Norm to allow himself to be filmed talking about his experience while writing the journal. This was to be shown to other medical personnel to display the benefits of journaling. Norm agreed and reached out to me for assistance in getting started - to provide a head-start on his own recounting. I could not emphasize to him enough that his experience was exactly that - his. I told him that I could write as if it had happened to me and that if anything resonated with his own experience, then he should use it. The following is what I offered...

Sometimes sadness is as black as midnight on a moonless night.
I started this journal because it was recommended as a catharsis during the ordeal. I don’t know how cathartic it’s been, but rereading the events as they unfolded evokes many more thoughts of joy than sadness.
I feel compelled to begin with an open expression of how much my wife means to me. When we were teens, I prayed that Bunny and I would end up together. It was like wishing for rain as I stood in the desert. A lifetime together has been filled with laughter, tears, beautiful children, more moves and travel than we expected but there was one constant. Everything we encountered, we met together with a sense that we could overcome anything as long as we stayed united.
During Bunny’s illness and rehab, I was forced to be the proverbial rock while others around me were crumbling. My children remained my children, in need of a strong father during a crisis. Bunny’s siblings needed to hear that she was in capable hands in her time of need. The reflections of chronicled events somewhat gave me the courage and fortitude I needed myself to continue on a lifelong path of inward stability and outward strength. Countless times I cried private tears during the course of writing. Perhaps this was the best result of writing – an outlet providing the ability to grieve.
The many people who visited, called, wrote letters or sent cards represented a constant encouragement and influenced my writings and bolstered my ability to continue inexorably forward.
The chronicle is complete. The primary emotion I have after everything and beyond everything, is a sense of gratitude that this woman accepted me and loved me as I was – not a single other on this planet could have accomplished that. I could not love you more.

One Reply to Bunny Revisited

Scott Hardie | November 12, 2017
Nicely written. For many people in crisis, keeping a journal can be so helpful in focusing one's thoughts and creating a mental space in which to process one's grief and distress. It's good of Norm to do it, of his doctor to suggest it, and of you to help him with it as much as you could.

Web Junkie

Steve West scours the Web searching for interest or absurdity and then shakes his head ruefully when he finds it. Read more »

Action Hero?

I remember back in the early '70's, my brother and I got new G.I. Joes for Christmas. They were pretty cool with the kung fu grip and "real-life hair and beard". Go »

Worst. Playground Toys. Ever.

"Mommy! Mommy! Can I crawl up the elephant's butt? Go »

Take Me Out...

It was baseball night in Bowie. As part of Lauren's tenth birthday celebration, we went to see the Bowie Baysox. Highlights of the evening included: Nearly getting nailed by a foul ball while distracted by getting pizza sauce off my pants. Go »

Spain in a Week

We're back in the USA after a week in Spain with layovers in Paris and Amsterdam. Barcelona and Madrid were incredible. We saw more things than my brain could catalogue and looking at the pictures we took I find myself repeating, "Where in hell were we when I shot this?" Go »

Who Edits Wikipedia?

Without trying to seem overly paranoid, I've always been just a little suspicious of Wikipedia entries since they can be easily manipulated. A student has created a program that tracks just who is making changes to Wikipedia; adding exaggerated claims or deleting sections with negative connotations. Go »

Halloween Is For The Dogs

Last year for Halloween, I took all of Lauren's stuffed dogs and sewed their mouths to parts of my shirt and pants (with fake bleeding cuts on my arms and face) and went as an attack dog trainer. This year, I need to adopt or at least rent a dog so I can dress it like this for Halloween. Holy Kibbles & Bits Or this... Go »