Friday, January 29, 2016

The Double Rainbow

Every morning before I set off for the hospice, I take the dog across the fields for a blast of fresh air.
Today we set out on the cusp of an incoming storm.  As I left the house the sun was shining brightly, but by the time we reached the public road, ominous clouds were gathering and the wind was getting up.
As a severe weather warning was in place for the area, I did a quick turnaround and persuaded the dog that it was time to head home, however delicious the haybales were smelling.
We had just reached the garage at the back of the house when the rain hit.
Hero decided to take cover behind FL's parked car, wrapping his lead around the wheel arch in the process.  I was forced to turn back to free him... and as I straightened up saw the most amazing rainbow across the valley.
Thank you, Hero - I would have missed it if you had not become tangled!

I sat with FL from 10am to 4pm, as usual.
He opened his eyes more often than yesterday.
It would have been easy to believe he was getting better.
I am sure he enjoyed my weather report.
Every so often, he stretched an arm over his head, as if he was about to yawn and then leap out of bed to cook himself an enormous breakfast.
But that is not going to happen.

The nurses asked me to come to the quiet room with them, so they could explain the arrangements for when the end comes.
It is my role to make the call to the University to carry out his bequest to the Anatomy Department. It is something he feels very strongly about, so I must make sure it all goes smoothly.
A teacher by profession, he is determined to serve an educational purpose to the end... and indeed beyond.

Thank you for continuing to share this time with us.  It helps a lot to feel we are not alone in this.


76 comments:

Dore Bettridge said...

There are no words for this time in your life with FL. But your love for each other is as radiant as the rainbow that swept across the sky.

greenmtngirl said...

I look for your posts every day, Roo, and feel honored that you share so much with us and let us accompany you that way.

A beautiful rainbow indeed! May it herald peace in the moment and peace to come.

Tamsin said...

Beautiful rainbow! Thinking of you both.

agirlinwinter said...

I think about you both every day now. You are an amazing, strong person.

Mindo said...

Thank you for sharing this journey, it brings back memories of when my father was in hospice. I was comforted that the end didn't have to be painful and difficult, and it seems that FL's hospice is making him comfortable. Thinking of you.

Knitlass said...

Glad to hear you are all safe in the midst of this horrid weather. Hero's double rainbow is very special.

Oh! University anatomy department - good for FL, and big responsibility for you which I'm sure you will manage admirably.

Sharon said...

I, too, had a double rainbow on a day during a very difficult season. I think we must be loved so far beyond what we are aware of, and from time to time, the universe allows us a split-second glimpse of that. And those times when he opens his eyes and sees you there, FL is looking at love. What a beautiful vision for him at the close of his life's day. Peace to you both.

Jennifer Hill said...

Beautiful rainbow. Jen

Jane Neave said...

Thinking of you both with love xxx

Mags said...

You are still very much in my thoughts. xx

Amphibiaknitter said...

Thinking about you both daily over here on the other side of the pond. Thanks for sharing the double rainbow. Take care. Gentle hugs to you both.

Melissa said...

Roo, as you navigate "the end" as you call it, know that you have hundreds of us wrapping our collective arms around you and FL (and Hero). Warmest hugs.

A.M. said...

I've been reading your blog for a few years now, silently. But have been thinking of you two for the last few months and weeks. Thank you for allowing me a glimpse into your reality.
I hope FL is ok under the circumstances, it certainly sounds as if he is well cared for in the hospice and by you. I hope that you too are taken care of by friends and family and don't have to cope with everything on your own. Can't help but feel that the double rainbow means that you are not alone. Take care.

Jane said...

You are not alone. Lots of love. Xxx

Textile Art Forum said...

thinking of you everyday. iy only know you through your inspirational blogging but I feel that I'm on this journey with you because of your open and honest sharing

Catherine Cottingham said...

The grace and dignity with which you write is remarkable. Thank you for sharing your story. Kindest wishes to you both.

Dottie Doodle said...

Your writing is extraordinary, so moving. Thinking of you both every day.

pendlestitches said...

You are not alone. You are both in the thoughts and prayers of many.

Nick UK said...

Thinking of you both everyday, you are most definitely not alone.

rosylea said...

The way you talk about this journey is enlightening and graceful. Thinking of you both, R

philatour said...

The splendor of a double rainbow greeting you at storm's beginning; joy and trouble in the same space. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Walking towards the physical parting together .. priceless. I thank you so very much for accurately and tenderly sharing the journey with those of us who are not so far from it.

Kate Babbitt said...

Every day when I read your posts, I'm almost overwhelmed with how generous you are to share this most intimate experience. I think of you so often each day and send you thoughts of love and peace. There's so much responsibility on your shoulders, but if there's any way that thoughts and intention have an effect, you're not doing it alone. You're a very classy lady, and I feel like I'm right by your side as you go through your days. I hope all of our thoughts and prayers are making your days somewhat easier. Thanks for the double rainbow; it was such a lovely thing to see first thing in my day.

opakowana said...

I am truly amazed that you find both time and will to write here every day. But it probably helps..and one day , looking back on these diary entries, maybe you will make sense of this journey.

p.s. you are not alone and you won't be alone...

Glasto63 said...

Well done for managing to get such a good photograph, and thank you for updating us all. Sending hugs to you both and a virtual doggie chew for Hero. X

Athene said...

Thoughts are with you. Maybe this is the time to take up your neighbour's offer to look in on Hero for you?
I applaud FL's decision, a really worthwhile cause.

Star speckles said...

Thinking of you Roo. Beautiful rainbow
xx

Ali said...

I have been following your journey for a long time but never commented before. We went through a very similar experience with my partner's Dad, he would not go into a hospice so we cared for him through each night till the day carer came in the morning, of course not the same as with the love of your life. He also wanted to be taken to the Royal College of Surgeons afterwards to "be of some use". I look for your post every day and am often in tears at the challenges you face, but how wonderful that you have experienced such a powerful love for someone, not everyone is fortunate enough to have experienced that. I hope you both have some peace and comfort from that.

Marilla Walker said...

You are absolutely not alone! Xxx

Mad about Craft said...

xxxx

Deborah Simms said...

I've been reading for a while now but never commented before. Just want to say, I'm here and I'm honoured to read your story

Deborah Simms said...

I've been reading for a while now but never commented before. Just want to say, I'm here and I'm honoured to read your story

Tineke said...

I've been reading for a few years. Thinking of you both, each day.

lynne said...

Oh Roo you are far from alone! I am another long time reader of your blog but I've never plucked up the courage to comment ( bit useless with words!) but I just wanted to say that you, FL and Hero are in my thoughts at this most difficult of times. X

Suzie said...

Hugs, prayers, peace and love to you both. You are a very strong and amazing woman. It is so hard to read your posts without crying, but know that my heart is with you! Thank you for sharing your lives with us. Peace for you both from Richmond, VA, USA

Charlotte said...

Oh! Breathtaking, all of it, the rainbow, FL's decision for his body, your grace in such a difficult difficult time. I hope it helps to know we're all out here holding you in our hearts and minds.

Poppy said...

Thinking of you both. You are inspirational x

Annieval said...

In the last days of my darling Mum’s life I listened over and over to the Celtic blessing Deep Peace. The words helped me and I send them to you with love:

Deep peace of the running waves to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the gentle night to you
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you

colleen said...

I can't help thinking that it is you we must thank for sharing your experiences with us, making us consider more thoughtfully the realities of The End. You have done this with such grace that I'm sure that the teacher in FL would be very proud of you. And how wonderful that he too wanted to educate others. Thanks to you both.

Susan_in_Peckham said...

What a beautiful reminder of the beauty in our lives - arriving at a very dark moment indeed.
i have several close relatives who have chosen to donate their bodies after their death. A very generous act on FLs part and on yours for ensuring his wish is enacted.

poppyinstitches said...

you are not alone, we are with you by spirit. much love rx

Kate said...

As others have said above, you are not alone. I for one often think of you and pray for you both. Thank you for sharing with us.

Violet said...

You are not alone. Thank you for sharing - your words will be of help to those who come after you.

Mog said...

How lovely to see those rainbows when you were stopped in your tracks. Dogs are canny creatures.

You're very much in our collective thoughts many times each day. Much love to you all, including Hero.xx

Maeve said...

You are an amazing couple and we are here with you everyday. We had that storm overnight. Most of the country was awake with the wind. Stay warm and take care.

Jackie Dean said...

Thankyou for sharing this private time, you are both in my thoughts daily and I send you love and hugs. Xx

HappyAcademicRunner said...

Thinking of you both xx

Lysy said...

You're touching more people than you can know, Ruth. I look for your posts every day and think of you both often.

ambermog said...

Oh if we could all do more than be with you on the blog I am sure we would be Roo. Sending strength for you and hope for a pain free FL xx

vintagerockchick said...

I imagine that for every person who comments, there are a hundred more who read your blog in silence - in awe of your strength and courage, and inspired by your love story. So no, you are not alone.

Philippa said...

You are truly not alone...I have been looking for your updates each day, and sending wishes for you both. I am also really glad you wrote about this because I think it will help other people facing the same thing now and in the future. I think they will be less afraid. So thank you xx

Twelfthknit said...

My grandmother wouldn't so much as arrange the funeral my grandfather wanted which baffled me. Hope you have some support through this time and also after

Best wishes

shivani said...

Thinking of you both everyday x

TempestKnits said...

A double rainbow.......I get the feeling that this was just for you. What a noble bequest of FL - he really does sound like a most thoughtful man. Stay strong, Ruth.

5arahel said...

It is we who should thank you for sharing such an intimate account with all of us, it's a privilege to follow it. And it's quite clear from all the many heartfelt comments on each post that you are certainly not alone. I add my wishes, thoughts and virtual hugs too.

Jenni said...

You are not alone x so many of us thinking of you x

Susan said...

You are certainly not alone. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Carmel said...

What a noble gesture and generous gift from FL. From what I know of such things in Australia I know he will be cherished, treated with the utmost respect and his generosity long appreciated.
Thankyou too Roo for your generosity in sharing these life-changing moments with us all. The impact your words have is greater than you could possibly imagine.
You are not alone. X

Miss said...

Peace and love x

Joyce Ward said...

I think about you and your current journey everyday. How loving and caring you are. This is difficult but part of life. Offering prayers and thoughts for peace and strength as you share this parting in the road with your beloved. Be well.

MaryinTN said...

Roo, you are not alone. You and FL are generous, courageous an inspiring souls! I am in awe at the grace and dignity that you both have shown throughout this horrible illness. FL makes a priceless gift to University and future generations. You are both in my thoughts daily. Peace and love.

Linda C said...

It is an honor to be allowed to share this journey with you. My favorite cousin died a few weeks ago. There was some estrangement with the family- secrets always - I would have loved to be present or to sit with her. But I am being allowed to be with you all, and I can grieve with you and with FL, and I can pray. I hope you will be held up with loving arms and know you are never alone. May the Love at the Center of All Creation keep you both.

Much much love.

Valerie said...

Roo I have been lurking but not commenting because I did not know what to say that could possibly be of comfort to you but now I know the thing that will endure is the love you and FL share. Thank you for your posts and for your courage.

Heather said...

I, too, look for your post every day I do hope that the comments help you to feel that you two are not alone. May you both have peace, and I do hope that there is some comfort from the kindness of strangers.

pennylibrarian said...

I wish that we could all reach through our screens and wrap you into our arms. Thank you both for your courage, your strength of spirit and your generosity. xx

Louise Perry said...

Sounds like it was a good day for FL, heartbreaking for you though. Love the rainbows.

Minigranny said...

Thinking of you both. Thankyou for the rainbow. Xxx

Laura said...

That's a really beautiful rainbow - nice one, Hero :)

Much love xxx

seamedstraightforward said...

Even in the most difficult of times, there is light and beauty to be found, if you know where to look.
Good Boy, Hero!

CarolS said...

The rainbows were such a wonderful gift and I so wish I could send you both, and the nurses, flowers to lift all your spirits. Will you accept from me please a late winter/early spring bouquet of your favourite blooms?

tim's wife said...

This post is just stunning to me, not only due to the beauty of the picture but because we just lost a young man to MM a few weeks ago. He lived in Pennsylvania and had 2 very young girls. He was just shy of his 43rd birthday. There was a double rainbow the day he passed, and he also donated his body to research. To see a rainbow in wintertime here is SO rare, let alone a double one. It sure feels like some divine sign, doesn't it. Maybe Heaven is the "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow.

stripeybea said...

We are all by your side, my thoughts are with you both xx

Unknown said...

A month after my mother died, I was having a crying jag for no particular reason, when I happened to look out the window and see a gorgeous rainbow. It was almost like she was telling me everything would be OK. How wonderful that FL is making such a tremendous gift. My sister and I were talking yesterday about doing the same.

jessica said...

Sending much love to you both. A beautiful double rainbow.

Nita said...

The joys and blessings in our lives are found in the smallest details...like unexpected rainbows... and brief awakenings and little smiles from FL. Hugs.

deborah said...

My thoughts and love are still with you. Thank you for sharing the beautiful rainbow xxx

K.Line said...

Every single time I read one of these posts I'm awed by your ability to share this experience with us. It is a gift. I'm so sad that you are going through this but, as you continually clarify for us, it is as relevant a part of the human experience as birth and marriage and the transition to adulthood - and many others. We hear so little about it, this journey to death, that it has almost become taboo. But I am so grateful to hear about your experience. It makes this stage relatable (to put it totally inadequately). We should all work to understand this as much as we can because we will all be here someday, in some way. Thank you, Roo. xo