1 (edited by Cherbourg Fri, 13 Mar 2009 06:22:55)

Topic: The shell in my pocket.

Hi all,

Today and for a long, long while I will carry a small solid white seashell in my pocket. 

Wednesday it was 77 degrees here in Morehead City where I work at the local hospital.

I had a really bad mental day in my lab.  Out of the 5 specimens I  diagnosed, 4 were malignant.  As usual I said a prayer for those whose life was about to be upended.  I was also caught up in the throes of anticipatory grief about my Mom's situation and was waiting for a phone call from Daddy since her Hospice nurse was scheduled to come.

When I left work, since my hospital is across the sound from the beach, I decided it was be my first day back walking on the beach since late November.

I honestly think anticipatory grief is awful.  As I walked my mile and 1/2 on the beach I decided to just wallow in it.  I walked and cried with seagulls and pelicans for companions.  There were very few people on the beach and it was so beautiful.  I paused to write my Mom's name in the sand and then couldn't push myself to walk away and leave it there.  I wondered if I would be strong enough to let her go when her time comes.  I stood there crying until finally a wave came up on the beach and gently washed her name away.  As I watched the sea recede, on the beach lay one perfect, small white shell.  As I reached down to pick it up, it was as if God was with me reminding me that He was in control and would take my Mom to be with him when her time comes. 

I finished my walk with a smile on my tear stained face and the shell in my pocket.

So in the words of the famous Paul Harvey.....now you know the rest of the story.......

Hugs to all on this journey....

Love,
Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Dearest Pam

I am thinking of you and understand the anticipatory grief feeling completely.
My prayer for you is for strength and fortitude. 

lots of love to you and your family and your dear mom.

Michelle

"My dad, Tony, passed away on 4 October 2010, after a 19 month battle with CC"   - I carry you in my heart, Dad, forever.

Re: The shell in my pocket.

I think it's holy moments like those that make death tolerable for us, and even beautiful in a way. 
Thank you for sharing that experience.   You are so fortunate to be near the ocean, I miss it terribly.....

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not my will but thine be done.  Matt 26:39

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Thank you for your story, Pam.

I live near Puget Sound and I love going to the beach and gazing out on the water.  It refreshes the soul.

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Pam, thanks for the beautiful story.  The ocean, the warmth and the sun, are a great vision for me right now.  The anticipatory grief is awful!  I want to be prepared, but I just dont think that is possible.  God has been holding me up through this whole nightmare, but his grip is really getting tight around me now.
Take care Pam, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Barbara

The  Lord is my shephard

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Dear Pam,

You are beautiful. Keep on holding on. You're family must be so blessed to have you with them at this time.

I am praying for you and your family,

Ashlea

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Pam and others I think the anticipatory grief is a complete nightmare actually.I think you are full of fears that you will completely fall apart and be overwhelmed with grief when your loved one actually dies and that you will be unable to function at all.Well I think you switch on to automatic and get through.On another note the ocean has helped me a lot  and I have swum in it every day since my husband was diagnosed last October.Im in the southern hemisphere and the water is warm now.I will have to settle for walks in the Winter
                                     kind regards  Janet

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Another wonderful story, Pam. I love how you write. You make everyone feel good.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Hey Pam, thanks for sharing your uplifting story.  I know what you mean about anticipatory grief.  It is so hard on the family mentally and even physically.  Ben's (our son) stomach just seems to stay in knots.  I think it's ever present-what's going to happen? when is it going to happen?  I would like to go on one of your walks.  Sometimes we just have to give in to it, experience it, go through it and come out feeling a little better.  Lots of birds and nature sounds here, but no loud ocean sounds to drown out the ranting and crying. 

Love, Carol

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Dear Pam -- Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. My husband passed away May 18,'07 with this terrible disease. Fortunately, he didn't suffer too long with it. I live on the ocean at Hutchinson Island, Fl.during the winter months and I can relate the comfort the beach and the water bring. In fact, my son and daughter accompanied me in burying their Dad's ashes in the sand. We purposely put them fairly close to the lapping waves on the shore so we could witness them being carried out to sea as we sat and reflected on the wonderful life we had with "Dad & Husband". In a memorial I wrote a favorite verse --- "The tides recede but leave behind, bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops but echoes on in a soft and sweet refrain. So every day that passes by a part of you, Dear (name), will still remain. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Pam.  Hugs,  Jean

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Pam - this is a beautiful story. On my last night of our grief mamagement group, we exchanged snow white pebbles the instructor provided us with - that is what is in my pocket. To each and every one of you who walks this journey- may God give you strength

Joyce C..

Re: The shell in my pocket.

Pam,

You are a gem, I am thinking of another book we all have to write, Chicken Soup for the Cholangio Crowd. Thanks for sharing, we really need these stories. And I know your work must be hard but it is such important work, everyday you help tell people what they are up against and they need to know that so they can put up a fight.

Patty

Re: The shell in my pocket.

I can't tell you how much all of you comfort me when I'm down.  You humble me in the time you all take to send a friendly word or share a thought.

If I have to be on this journey, I'm glad I'm not alone.  You guys are the best!

Hugs to you all!

Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.