What would Ed say???

Let me start by saying thank you all for the outpouring of love, support, thoughts, prayers, warmth, compassion and tributes to Ed since he passed, and especially today, what would have been his 49th birthday. I am convinced these sentiments you all share are Novocain for the soul and help to keep things a little numb, which right now is not a bad thing. These kind words sent via email, text, Facebook posts and phone calls are what has continued to get us through the 18 months of Ed’s fight with Sarcoma and the past 53 days since he has passed (Josh posted this number on Facebook today in a lovely tribute he posted for his dad).

53 days. Hard to believe it’s been that long; almost two months. I had no idea how we were going to do it, but we have all come a long way in that short amount of time. We’ve moved from a catatonic state to functioning on a daily basis, and even smiling sometimes along the way. Josh and Jenn are both back at work and moving along. Skip and Zena continue to get their daily Kongs with cookies, their long morning walks, and now that the weather is turning for the better, lots of good outside time in the yard. And as for me, I occupy myself with “stuff” that needs to get done. I’ve been doing a lot of writing but not sharing as there are just some things I am not ready to share just yet. Ed always wanted me to write a book about all of this and well maybe someday my writings will be the fodder I use. Until then, we get through the days with each getting a little easier. Kind of like the time change a few weeks ago, there is one more minute of light each day. We all still mourn deeply. There are still tears, as there always will be. We will never stop missing him or hurting over him being gone. And in our continued lives, we will honor him each and every day as best we can and in particular today.

On this day that would have been Ed’s 49th birthday, we could all be sad. Paralyzed in a sense and acting in sorrow. But I have to ask – what would Ed say about this? I ask myself this question on most days, and this I know for certain; he would not want us to be sad. He would not want us to mourn his death, rather celebrate his life. These are his words from before he passed, “I do not want anyone mourning my death. I want them celebrating my life”. So how do we do this in a period of such sadness which on most days can be overwhelming?

Often on days where I am too sad and feel “paralyzed”, I reflect upon a time when Ed was in inpatient rehab post brain bleed. It was some of his unhappiest times as he was so devastated by his mobility loss. A brain bleed with this type of mobility impact was the one thing he dreaded happening most, and it had happened. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again; Cancer took Ed’s life but treatment is what killed him, chipping away at his soul. And these mobility issues as a result of the brain bleed was probably the last chip his soul could take.

It was late in the day on a Sunday, and the kids were on their way to the hospital for a visit. On most days, the later in the day it got, the worse his pain and spirits were and today was no different. He was depressed and tired and asked me to call the kids and tell them it was too late to come and he was not up for a visit. They understood and although they were only a short distance away, they did not come. Ed sat there, depressed and sad and all of a sudden he looked at me and said, “Nope. Not doing this. Let’s go for a walk”. So I said okay and got him prepared for a walk around the hospital floor. Keep in mind; it was not as simple as just going for a walk. We had to put what is called a “gait belt” around him so that in the event he lost his balance, I had the ability to “catch” him from falling. Something neither of us enjoyed or felt good about, particularly Ed, as this was never supposed to be my job. His walking was still a little unsteady but we got up, got the gait belt on and walked. And his whole attitude changed. His perseverance and determination to NOT let this physical mobility and other issues bring him down was clear – this would not beat him. Physically, he might not have had many choices, but mentally he would not allow this to take over. He had a choice on whether or not he was going to be depressed and immobile or be positive, and in true Ed form, Positive Mental Attitude or PMA was all he needed to get him through. The choice was his and he made it. And his whole attitude changed. He was sorry he told the kids to turn around as in a short time; he felt 200% better and would have enjoyed the visit. They came another day.

My point on sharing this story is that when I am feeling down or “paralyzed”, I ask myself, “What would Ed say”? And what would he do? And I think about this moment of many moments of defeat that this damn disease brought to him, and I say look at what he did. He never gave up. He made a choice in that moment of darkness to not get under the covers and give into this demon. Instead, he got up, fought it away and chose to be positive and see the light. And for us now, in this time of darkness and sorrow, we have a choice. We always have a choice. We can choose to mourn the darkness of his death or we can choose to celebrate the light of his life. And when making that choice every day, and trust me, there are days when I am wanting to hide under the covers in darkness, I ask myself, “What would Ed say and do”? And I hear a little voice that is very deep say, “Get your ass out of bed right this second and don’t even think for a minute this is acceptable”. And I smile because I know he is right. He is here with me helping me get through. And he will always be here giving me that push to make the right choice every day.

Everyone is entitled to their feelings of sorrow without judgment. And it is healthy, even necessary to mourn. Take the time to do this in whatever way is needed. But the next time you think of Ed and are sad, ask yourself, “What would Ed say”? You will not be able to not smile with the thoughts that come to mind about him. And with this in mind, I wanted to share something that was sent to me via email today from a very good friend; Hang on to those warm and wonderful memories and don’t give sadness the time of day.

Happy 49th birthday to the love of my life. I miss you so much every single second of every single day. I still do not know how to do life without you, but I am choosing to see the light you would want me to see every day.

Strength, Courage, Wisdom…Faith, Love, and Hope


3 Responses to What would Ed say???

  • Becky Sue says:

    Can’t wait to read your book….you are truly amazing and I think of you, Josh and Jenn often, so happy that you have one another to lean on.

    Laughing at what Ed would say, “Get your ass out of bed right this second…” very true, he never let anything stop him.

    Sending you all lots of hugs!
    Love ya!

  • Sue
    Sue says:

    Truly beautiful, Tracey. Thank you for this. Thank you for the reminder and bringing him back to his in a bright beautiful memory. i believe he does speak to us, and will always try and remember “PMA”.

  • Berni says:

    Beautiful Words tracey. your courage is amazing, and i too, am looking forward to reading your book one day. god’s peace be with you always

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