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So, am I a winner?

Somewhere in the bible it says that anyone who gives up their life for another is truly blessed, or wins a car, or something.

It is not my intent to offend those who believe in blessings or cars, but I can tell you from ground zero that giving up my life for my wife was a no-brainer decision. It was like falling off a bicycle, or a mountain. It filled me with expectations I expected to hurt, but not hurt this deeply. It also blessed me with blessings I did not see coming, and never will.

The result of almost three years of battle with cancer is an unquieting truce. She is in hospice filled with drugs that take away her pain. I am in limbo awaiting a pain I cannot accept nor reasonably expect.

But as long as she is comfortable I can endure the unknown answers to the uncountable questions we both have. I will trade our very uncertain future for her reasonably comfortable present. I will make this trade every day for decades, or centuries if given the option.

Imagine searching your whole life for the one thing that makes life worth living. That is my wife to me.

Now imagine losing that meaning in life to an unrelenting and meaningless pain. That was our life before hospice.

Now, incredibly, imagine life slowing down to a day by day, hour by hour interrogation. Are you OK? How do you feel now? Can I get you anything? This is the uncertain present we exist in, while we await an even more uncertain immediate future, while ignoring a most certain future ending. This is hospice, this is our current lives.

So, could you handle this with your loved one? Could you compartmentalize the future from the present and find joy?

And in this game, even if you could do all that was asked of you, you cannot win.

No car for your my friend. You will continue to ride the cosmic bus, the bus that goes where it wants without your opinion or approval.

As painful as it is for me to say, here is the truth:

Try to enjoy the ride.

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