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My wife, Evelyn - from Bob
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1724
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject: My wife, Evelyn - from Bob Reply with quote

I just wanted to let everyone know that my wife Evelyn, the love of my life, is back home from the hospital and Hospice, dying of peritoneal cancer. She wants to die at home, and I will do everything I can to make that possible.

We have been together almost 30 years, and she informally adopted the kids, all of whom regard her as their real mother. All three kids have visited daily, rearranged furniture so we could put a hospital bed in our bedroom (for her), with one of our granddaughter's bed next to it (for me). We just started a home health care aide on night shift a short while ago. Other family and friends have been visiting and more will arrive in the next few days.

Evelyn has survived over six years since her original diagnosis, when life expectancy for her condition (peritoneal cancer) was six to twelve months. Lots of chemotherapy and a good oncologist and gastroenterologist have made a world of difference, with six years of good quality life, but she is clearly now on her way to leaving this world and quality of life is rapidly evaporating. Not today, not tomorrow, but a few weeks, at best a month.

Un abrazu pa toos y toes,

Bob
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tierradenadie



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Posts: 253
Location: nyc

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we are all made of star dust - carl sagan

{ un abrazo como alas ~ pit }
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1724
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gracias Pit. Es dificil.

Bob
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Raquel M



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 608
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Esto me ha dado consuelo en los momentos mas dificiles. Reply with quote

Si en las tristezas que te combaten

acaso alguna te acongojare,

se valeroso, no te acobardes,

que si son humo, las lleva el aire,

por eso dijo la Santa Madre,

"Nada te turbe,

nada te espante,

Dios no se muda,

la paciensia todo lo alcanza,

quien a Dios tiene, nada le falta,

solo Dios basta."

Santa Teresa de Jesus
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1724
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gracias, Raquel. El poema me gusta mucho. Ye perguapu.

The quoted part in English, is:

Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing make you afraid.
All things pass away.
God never changes.
Patience obtains everything.
God alone is enough.
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Barbara Alonso Novellino



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 324
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Bob,

Oh My God Bob...words can't desribe how terrible I feel for you and your family.

It's so hard to know what to say in a situation like this. Except to say...

My thoughts and prayers are with you all...

God Bless Evelyn and all of you.

Barbara Alonso Novellino
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Marta Elena Díaz García
Moderator


Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 359
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:24 am    Post subject: We are warriors of light.... Reply with quote

Dear Bob:
It is very difficult to explain the sadness I felt reading your mail…..
I admire your strength and love.....are beyond words.

My prayers are with Evelyn, with you and your family.

Marta


"Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver."
Barbara de Angelis.
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Xose



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 338
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad

Bob, there's not much to say, I'm afraid, other than we in the V. household are so sorry to hear the news and that our thoughts are with you. I can't begin to fathom the pain you must be feeling.

I'm not a religious man, but I do believe in thermodynamics, which states that matter cannot be created nor destroyed, only shifted from one state to another. So try to take comfort in the thought that your wife will always be with you in the stars you see at night, the great seas that we gaze at in awe, and everything that surrounds you. Hang in there, amigo.
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1724
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've been talking about what we want on our tombstone other than names and dates and the initials of the cats who will be enterred with us (don't tell the authorities). Something to write about each other. I write poetry and fiction (no more lab research for this boy) and keep getting invited to read my short stories at SLSA meetings - next one in Atlanta in November. I'm leaning toward : "I love you even more than the small rain loves the gentle earth."

Last edited by Bob on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Betty



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 82
Location: Centerburg, Knox County, Ohio USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, I am writing through tears of sadness for you and your family and most of all for your lovely wife. We are all dying, we just don't know when. Not knowing is easier, isn't it. I hope our expressions of comfort will ease your heart's ache. Embrace your remaining time together.
Betty
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Raquel M



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 608
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: I understand your feelings... Reply with quote

This Psalm helped me thru my husband pancreatic cancer operation, his
chemotherapy and radiation....5 years later it also helped me survive my
husband colon cancer operation the post operation and iliostomy....

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
For his name sake

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I fear no evil;
For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff,
they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil,
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


Last edited by Raquel M on Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1724
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gracias Raquel.
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Marta Elena Díaz García
Moderator


Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 359
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:53 am    Post subject: Polvo enamorado.... Reply with quote

Dear Bob:

Please find here a poem of one of the best Spanish writers: Francisco de Quedeveo y Villegas.
The poem refers to love beyond death. The last verses are, from my point of view, the best: "polvo enamorado"....

AMOR CONSTANTE MAS ALLA DE LA MUERTE

Cerrar podrá mis ojos la postrera
sombra que me llevare el blanco día,
y podrá desatar esta alma mía
hora, a su afán ansioso lisonjera;

Mas no de esotra parte en la ribera
dejará la memoria, en donde ardía:
nadar sabe mi llama el agua fría,
y perder el respeto a ley severa.

Alma, a quien todo un Dios prisión ha sido,
venas, que humor a tanto fuego han dado,
médulas, que han gloriosamente ardido,

Su cuerpo dejará, no su cuidado;
serán ceniza, mas tendrá sentido;
polvo serán, mas polvo enamorado.


CONSTANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH

Perhaps whatever final shadow that
the shining day may bring could close my eyes,
and this my soul may well be set aflight
by time responding to its longing sighs;

but it will not, there on the farther shore
its memory leave behind, where once it burned:
my flame the icy current yet can swim,
and so severe a law can surely spurn.

Soul by no less than a god confined,
veins that such a blazing fire have fueled,
marrow to its glorious flames consigned:

the body will abandon, not its woes;
will soon be ash, but ash that is aware;
dust will be, but dust whose love still grows.
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1724
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gracias Marta. I will read it to Evelyn when she awakens. The English translation is graceful (She does not understand Spanish). Is it your own? Actually I will read both versions to her, Spanish for the sound and rhythm and English for her understanding.

The poem is especially moving because we will both be cremated and have our ashes mixed and buried in a single container in Rockport, where we bought a gravesite two years ago.

A hard night last night, major barfing. I gave her more pain meds (subQ and sublingual) and hooked up another liter of saline with glucose bag for IV drip to keep her hydrated. There is no hope of cure, just comfort. What she still loves is that we are sleeping next to each other again. Me too.

We met with our friend who is an Episcopal minister to start planning her memorial service, talked with our kids about a funeral, etc. Kat (oldest daughter) is back from Maryland. Her brother is on his way here again (lives about 45 minutes away). Kids will be here later today.

I'm exhausted, but have come to realize that despite what we see on television news and read in the newspapers, there is still very much love and kindness in the world.
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Marta Elena Díaz García
Moderator


Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 359
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Bob,

It was not my translation of the poem. The poem belongs to the baroque style (Quevedo, XVII century) and most of the verses need an explanation or interpretation.

For example:

"postrera sombra" (the last shadow) is the death
"blanco dia" (white day) is the day of the death
"la ribera" (shore) is the everlasting life
"todo un dios" (an entire god) is the beloved
"venas que humor.." (veins that..) means the blood that fed to love, one day will be ashes
"médulas que.." (marrows that...) means the most inaccessible part of the person that loved deeply.


So, it is quite difficult to translate it to English and still more difficult to capture the sense and the feelings that the verses transmit.

Many persons consider it is the most beautiful love poem writen in Spanish, even that those writen by Dante.

Here I am enclosing other translations of the poem I could find.


Love Constant Beyond Death
Translation by W S. Mervin

Last of the shadows may close my eyes,
goodbye then white day
and with that my soul untie
its dear wishing
yet will not forsake

memory of this shore where it burned
but still burning swim
that cold water again
careless of the stern law

soul that kept God in prison
veins that to love led such fire
marrow that flamed in glory

not their heeding will leave
with their body
but being ash will feel
dust be dust in love


Love Constant Beyond Death
Trans: América Martínez

Closed, my eyes could be, by the last
shadow that the bright day may bring,
And it could cajolingly free my soul
Now from its anxious zeal;

But not, from that other side, on the bank
will memory leave, where it burned:
to swim my flame knows the cold water
and pay no heed to a severe law.

Soul to whom an entire god prison has been,
veins which fuel to so much fire have given,
marrows that have so gloriously burned,

Its body it will leave, not its concern:
they may be ash, yet it will have feeling;
dust they may be, but dust that loves.
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