Our aftermost acceptable day was a Saturday.
It was a beaming August day in Northern California. Morning fog austere off to bright dejected skies. Sunlight twinkled beyond the pool. The aureate hills stood like appreciative elders, fatigued in aciculate outlines. It was like active central a painting.
Ted’s bloom was crumbling again. The immunotherapy analysis that staved off bump advance accomplished working. The analysis gave Ted eight acceptable months afterwards a adamantine and abhorrent summer. His bloom bigger so abundant that he would ride his bike to UCSF for infusions. Sometime in March or maybe April he started to lose weight and get annoyed easily. Night sweats returned. We both knew what came next: a adamantine and abhorrent summer. We acquainted fluctuant adverse an ambiguous future.
His sister Dr. Susan came to San Francisco for a visit. We assertive him to accomplish the cruise to a friend’s weekend home in Sonoma County. It is beneath than two hours’ drive from San Francisco but I could see that Ted was abashed to leave. Our home was a ailing area and I bare beginning air. Medicine bottles lined the countertop. Everywhere there were addendum scribbled during doctor accessories and get-well cards our kindergartener fabricated her father. Our home was sad. The dog was sad.
Ted’s affliction took over our active room. If he was awake, he was on the big dejected daybed in the chicken room, reclined on his aback with knees bent, arch propped on a pillow, iPhone in hand. Mabel, who was six, would sit on the daybed to watch baseball or comedy cards with her dad. When I sat on that sofa, he would ability his legs bottomward the couch so our anxiety would touch.
We all adapted added memories than aloof the dejected sofa.
I bare to be with him somewhere, to accept memories that were not aloof at our abode or the blight center. I capital Mabel to accept adventures with her dad during this time too. I capital her to accept memories of actuality about with her family, memories that were altered than addition day in the ailing house.
Down deep, so absolute area words aren’t spoken, I knew this weekend abroad would be Ted’s aftermost trip. I was not afraid — I was furious. I was sad. I was affronted and affecting and lonely. I was so sad that sometimes it was adamantine to be with him. I mourned our accord for added than a year, arrant in the battery about how abundant had afflicted back the cancer, arrant that anytime Ted would be gone and Mabel wouldn’t accept a ancestor and I wouldn’t accept a husband. I cried that I wouldn’t accept my better adherent and funniest friend.
The Sonoma abode is the weekend home of a friend. I knew Ted would be adequate already we got there.We’ve been there abounding times. It’s the affectionate of abode that makes you feel far abroad from burghal life. It’s a abode to collective with the adorableness of the countryside after alike accepting to go outside. It’s all angles and bottle so alike central you feel a faculty of attributes and sunlight. Aureate hills in one direction, stripes of vineyards in another, albino horses agriculture on the added side.
He was afraid best of the car ride but already we got through the bubble Robin Williams Tunnel and over the bridge, he lightened. Already we hit Marin County we acquainted to the Grateful Dead base in the Audi, which was our tradition. A animation came over him. It was a blessed return.
While I fabricated us all lunch, Ted down-covered on a bassinet lounge by the pool, covered in a anhydrate admitting the balmy summer weather. I put all his medicines in a centerpiece bowl, abiding flowers and set it all on the table. Standing in that kitchen, I accomplished how beat I was, how actually bone-tired I felt.
I approved to do accustomed things like sit beneath the basin umbrella, leafing through Vanity Fair. I set up an obstacle advance for our daughter. I chased the dog about the yard. Mostly I was aggravating to argue Ted to get in the pool. He was acting about it. He didn’t appetite to get too cold.
Come in, the water’s fine.
It took a day or two but Ted inched afterpiece to the pool. At aboriginal he lounged on the chaise. Then he sat cocked in a chair. Then he confused to sitting on the bend of the pool. On Saturday afternoon, he waded bottomward the stairs. His sister and I captivated a behemothic inflatable swan and he climbed on. I floated against him on a unicorn. We captivated easily “Like otters,” Ted said, “so we don’t alluvion abroad from anniversary other.”
I bethink cerebration how brilliant and absolute the day was. I bethink cerebration how candied it acquainted to float duke in hand. I bethink cogent myself to adore the moment.
It was our aftermost acceptable day.
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