For Gary

Many of us follow Terry, over at spearfruit and have joined him in his journey with cancer, surgery, estranged family members, the sale of his house and subsequent move to Pensacola, Florida.

He walks us through his treatments, his plans and his future goals. Sometimes, he isn’t feeling well and lets us know with an apologetic demeanor.  His battle has oftentimes been an uphill struggle and he writes about it with such grace and dignity.

Behind the scenes, is his partner and husband, Gary.  He is always there, supporting Terry, albeit mostly in the background.  I try not to forget Gary when I comment on Terrys’ posts.

Terry posts about Gary and sometimes, there are pictures of him.  The love they have for each other doesn’t need to be defined by me or anybody else. It is there in writing.  

Even when the back window of their truck was “mysteriously” broken, the “culprit” was revealed in a loving, tongue-in-cheek, humorous manner.

I’m not sure many of us think enough about the caregivers, the family members, the spouses and the partners of the people we are sending our wishes and prayers to.  But they are there, suffering right along with that person.  Often, they are the forgotten ones, being overshadowed by the events that are taking precedence in somebody elses’ life.

They give their time, their support, their love and sometimes, I’d be willing to bet, they cry alone.

Being a caregiver, in whatever capacity, requires a strength that often goes unnoticed.  These caregivers can’t fall apart.  They have to be strong for their loved one, while at the same time, holding themselves up.

They make unselfish sacrifices every day.  It is incredibly difficult to watch another person suffer and when that person “belongs to you” the suffering is immeasurable.

Gary and other people in the same role are “unsung heroes.”  That’s a phrase that most of the time represents a person who doesn’t get recognition or notoriety but plays an important, supportive role…”behind the scenes.”

They should be remembered.

 

52 thoughts on “For Gary

  1. Pingback: It was no accident | spearfruit

  2. See, there is a kindness already. I often call the person doing the caring to ask how they are too. Often forgotten as the person actually suffering takes precedence. I feel situations create many victims and often the loving carer is overlooked and can feel isolated, frustrated and in need of someone to talk to who doesn’t judge their feelings.

    Your post is a strong one, and the responses to it are filled with resonance. You should be very proud of it. I can see both Sperafruit and Gary are very appreciative.

    Your light is still on despite what you may say in my blog x

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    • Thank you. I remember my oldest daughters’ husband got into trouble with the fire department. They are both strong personalities and her husband is a lieutenant. He is not at all warm and fuzzy but he is a fair man and expects you to do your job. He reprimanded a fellow firefighter and that firefighter accused him of prejudice.
      He was stripped of his title and had to fight to get it back.
      During all that (it lasted more than a year) everybody was offering outrage and condolences to her husband. I didn’t know about it until it was almost over and my thoughts were for both of them.
      I asked my daughter how she was holding up and she started crying. She said “mom, you are the only person who has ever asked how I’m doing.”
      Poor baby. I felt bad for her. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find tales like that at very common. The reasons for them are legion, but your last line in the reply is one I’ve encountered many times. The fact that you empathised with both of them and had that response from your daughter says a huge amount about your character…even the feeling bad for her is extremely empathic…I know it’s your daughter, but I will wager you can feel for people in general. Might be why there is the darkness inside too. You actually care too much and overthink things to your own expense. Warm, honest trait that, but one that also draws a question. Are you OK? Really OK…not just the stock answer “I’m fine,” but the real one because somebody asks 😊
        You’ve got the kindness challenge already inside you know.

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        • I remember Loser telling me that I was the most cold-hearted, least empathetic person he had ever known in his life, after I finally stood up to him.
          And, no. I’m not okay but I am a great pretender. There’s no “someday.”
          Betrayal for me, is fatal. It killed everything I ever believed in or trusted. I’ll survive but only in my dark and twisty world. It’s comfortable there.

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          • Then Loser was not listening to you. Your words evidence that is totally untrue and it’s a great shame if you will not look at your blog comments to evidence that. Actually, that’s a direct quote to me from my therapist concerning my negativity about my writing and my outlook on life.
            Betrayal is a very difficult thing to climb away from too. It guts self respect and esteem. If you ask me, which you aren’t and may choose to ignore, I think the kindness challenge might make use of your empathy to others and force you to see the qualities you have that myself and other commenters see.
            I’ve spent a decade restoring my self esteem and it continually wobbles. The fight to stay in the moment and stop overthinking is a continuous one I may never escape entirely. It’s bleak I know. But it can be better than it is…you have the qualities my friend, you just need to believe in them x

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            • He was just pissed because I stood up to him and he wasn’t used to that. The next time we talked he was telling me that I was the love of his life.
              He was a nut job who couldn’t stand it when somebody wasn’t bowing down to him.
              I made the biggest mistake I ever made, marrying him and trusting him. It’s a mistake I will never make again. Lesson learned. 🙂

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              • Not sure liking that comment was the right thing….maybe a birth marked “I hear you.” Control freaks are never the best soul mates, it’s terrible to find trust put into someone like that. Just be aware we’re not all like that you know…honestly 💐

                How long ago was all that?

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                • I left him in ’05 but he kept hanging on. We never talked about divorce…until he picked up that tramp. When I mentioned it, he said no. He thought he would have us both and get to keep all of his money. I (as he put it) didn’t spend a lot of money. Unbeknownst to me, he was paying that tramps’ taxes and other bills, so he appreciated the fact that I was frugal.
                  When I filed for divorce anyway, he snarled “I’m not paying you fucking alimony and you are NOT going to take everything I’ve got.”
                  I just smiled and said “okay.”
                  He eventually realized that he wasn’t going to bully me anymore and it pissed him the fuck off.
                  I became “insane” but he ended up being the “Loser” in more ways than he thought.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Shoot that is a long time to have lived with the darkness. You still sound full of anger too if you don’t mind me saying. I’d say exiting that toxicity should be seen as a major positive move. Standing up to a bully takes courage and the statement that “I’m not living like this anymore.” Have you actually talked this out properly with anyone…proper ranted and vented? Bad question from me mind….I tend to lock things in and let them fester…insanity is cool too…although I tend to call it intelligence too…seeing through the crap and not being a Lemming….

                    You’ve actually done a few positve things recently you know….empathy and kind words to your blog friends, actually sworn about your ex and shown anger, an emotion…told me you stood up to him and filed for divorce….all of those take courage you know…so many people can’t do that and continue to live in misery…you should consider this kindness challenge in May…it might help you see you the way your followers do….including me…

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                    • Full of anger? Ha. Yes, but I am angry with myself for having had absolutely no spine. I allowed Loser, his abusive drunken mama and the rest of his family to treat me like garbage. I even allowed my children to bully me. Funny thing, like I said, when you finally start standing up to these vermin, YOU are the one who is insane.
                      It’s pretty remarkable too, that Loser stuck his finger in my face and said “I like strong, self-confident women who push back and all you ever did was shut up.” When I pushed back, he stuck his finger in my face and said “there’s a difference in being strong and being a vindictive bitch.” LOL.
                      When he talked to me or saw me, that WTC punished him….by “shutting up.” She wouldn’t speak to him for days, weeks and months. Wonder why she wasn’t a vindictive bitch? Sure, I was taking his money and it pissed him off, but so was she. He was buying her companionship…paying her taxes and tuition…with “our” money.
                      I do have empathy for my blog friends. I have empathy for everybody…unless and until they fuck me over. Then….watch out.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Umm, that’s normal you know…feeling like that. It’s takes real spine, as you put it, to wake up one day and realise what you believed to be normal with fault lying at your feet, is in fact NOT normal. That one takes guts to say sod this, I’m not wrong, I’m right. The situation is just plain wrong. Alas, dealing with the self annoyance at not recognising it earlier can cause a lot of internal anger. Standing up and saying no more is very tough. If he didn’t see why and threw negatives at you then it really a shows how little he cared about your feelings. I guess that’s about when the betrayal club hits you proper hard.
                      Me, I’ve learned to be selective now. If someone starts acting odd I pull back. My therapist said I had no emotions and didn’t know what to do…I just thought..hmm…you have the training, but you’ve never been in the hole have you?
                      You need to let go of that anger at yourself and rethink it. You took control of a bad situation and got out. That was a good thing not a bad one. Gut wrenching yes, but surely it would have been way worse staying and dragging it out even longer. Think if it as freedom to be you…so let’s see who you really are kind of thing….although I’m sensing gothic mindset and a natural melancholic…in which case…be happy with that too….I am….mostly….. Lol

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                    • I don’t think it was a matter of how little he cared about my feelings…I think it was a matter of a doormat suddenly slapping him in the face. You know all bullies are cowards and when the person they have been bullying for years and years finally stands up, their reaction is tho throw the fault back onto them. I’ll probably always be angry to a certain extent. When he and that WTC turned my children against me, it was a blow. I understood it. Nobody wants to be around somebody who is “insane” and “needs to be locked up somewhere.” Much of this has been dictated by the WTC. She turned him into a puppet who says and thinks what she plants in his head. Things like “she’s liable to shoot you. She’s crazy, you know.” And, “how do you know you gave her Herpes? You have no idea what she was doing while you were at work. She could have caught it from anybody.”
                      He confronted me with both scenarios. what a peach.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Bullies that normalise on treating someone like a doormat probably don’t even realise they are bullies. They assume it’s OK to carry on doing what they want while the mat cleans up everything they leave behind. Sounds to me like she was saying everything he wanted to hear and adding ideas to boost his POV. How old were your children at the time? I’m guessing quite young?
                      It also sounds like he was rather possessive and insecure too…easily falling into she’s at home putting it about….why don’t you with me kind of thing. Justify infidelity by saying that’s what you were doing. Might be she set the whole thing up and he fell headlong into the trap. Could be they are well matched in matters of being self justifying egomaniacs?

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                    • This only happened four years ago. He was living in South Carolina, trying to retire and I was living in Florida. Our children were all in their thirties.
                      Everybody knew I was never going to take him back but he just kept hanging on…until he met that tramp, and yes. She told him everything he wanted to hear. He needs his ego boosted and I didn’t do that.
                      He was never possessive or jealous. He knew he could trust me.
                      She started her control a month after he picked her up. He was coming to Florida to celebrate our birthdays and she didn’t want him to come down and she really didn’t want him to stay with me. He came anyway and she punished him. When he came down for Christmas, again she wanted him to stay with her. She punished him for a month after that and told him that he had better never choose us over her again. Christmas was when he decided to tell me about her…and refuse to talk about divorce.
                      And yes. They are very well suited to each other. They both love to drink and hang out in bars, they both smoke and neither one of them has any moral compass. She ran into her ex-husband, (and as Loser put it) screwed him and got pregnant. He was remarried at the time, so her track record with married men is established. They’re really a pair.
                      She trades companionship and sex for money. He trades money for companionship and sex. Let’s see…what’s that called?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Then they sound ideally suited and you are better off without that sort of weirdness. Obviously that’s just my opinion looking in from the outside. But it’s a very toxic way to live. You must bein a slightly better place now surely?

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                    • Better place? I don’t know. I hate what they have done and said. The old saying about “words will never touch me” isn’t true. Sometimes, I think I’d rather have the sticks and stones. I’m used to those.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Words have a power all of their own…ask anyone who has been victim to abuse that way…however, you must, at some point, let those lie in the past because nothing now can change what’s happened. I think you have probably heard that all too often. It is, however, the biggest hurdle to overcome…letting it go and saying the future is unwritten. That was my challenge this year!

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                    • You never know, as they grow up they might challenge what they are told. I certainly did at least! But you are right…it is what is is, so that’s the first part of acceptance yes?

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                    • They all agree that (as they put it) “he’s a piece of shit” but they have been desperate for his attention and affection their whole lives. Now that he’s trying to impress that tramp by pretending to care about them, they are eating it up. Can’t really blame them.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • No, maybe not..but if they do reach out then try not to slag him off in front of them and just be you…I’m sure there’s something left inside that wants reconciliation without vitriol? Just a bit surely 💐

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                    • Reconciliation with him or them? The last time I saw my oldest, she sent me off with such rage and contempt. She would have never talked to “daddy” like that. I was done being a punching bag for him, her and any and everybody else who dared to talk to me like I was a piece of garbage.
                      Don’t see it happening. They want the “old” mom back. She’s gone.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Good grief….with them, not him! What do you take me for 😱 You need to find a way to lose the anger though….it’s possible then you may find a way to reconnect you new self with your children again.equally, if you can’t do that and too much time has passed, then you need to move on or you won’t ever stop feeling the way you are. It’s a tough call either way alas.

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                    • That’s the fight MH presents…thinking perpetuates the blah and it becomes such a “safe” zone it stops one living (yes, I know the beast there too). Deciding what’s good or bad becomes very tricky….although if someone asks you have two options….smile sweetly and say “No,” or speak the truth and say “Yes, but they are grown up and we’ve lost sadly lot touch.” No need to elborate and the answer there might move the conversation off into something else as it will make the asker feel a shade awkward. Happened to me too…I lost touch at an emotional level with my parents during my teens….my dad was just not receptive to what I wanted….his way or no way…it left me feeling unwanted and emotionally vacant. Still struggle with tht today too….but, life either stagnates or you find that inner fight that says sod it, I’m now responsible for me, life’s short and I’m fed up of feeling crap…obviously much easier to say than do…but one has to start or nothing ever changes yes?

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                    • This may sound insane, but I never felt “safe” when I was supposedly “sane.” There was no comfort zone with Loser. I was on edge all the time, never knowing when he was going to blow up and which one of us was going to suffer his drunken wrath. He would go to bars after work every night and because I actually thought he was “at work,” I worried all the time. When he finally straggled in, I could smell the beer on his breath and that would set me off.
                      Now….in my little cocoon…I feel safer and more comfortable than I ever have. Stagnant? Most likely but I’ll take it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Maybe, but I’d argue that your existence then was not normal and the paths of thinking it created reflect that. Those memories are strong ones and keep you inside a protective shield forged back then. All reasoning from there will refuse to let you rationalise anything, but reasons to stay in said cocoon. The reality is, today..in this moment, he’s unable to actually cause real affects to do anything…it’s your mind that keeps recycling it to keep you “safe”.

                      I hope that made sense and came out right 🤔

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                    • Yes, I do get that. I’ve been in a bad place for a very long time and last year was the fuck this one. Never thought I’d change my thinking and in some ways I haven’t…but the outlook is less bleak, which…in turn improves the way I look at me. No quick fix though…one day at a time. Just don’t stop talking to folk altogether! Or go check out the Dragon Stone posts on my blog and cheer yourself up…ish 💀

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                    • I know that too! Although on here you have a very large pool of people to connect with like minds…the outside world is not so easy as that is where the comfort zone, presumably, exits. There are days I hardly ever speak to anyone myself!!

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                    • Good! It’s better than no voice at all…and if down the line you learn that trusting is not always going to lead to what happened in the past then so much the better. 😊

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  3. Hi Laurel, my tears have stopped for a moment. What an honor to read this post and your kind words about someone that is dear to me and is my rock. He read this post and let me tell you, he had a big smile – you are a sweetheart my friend. Thank you for writing this genuine post about many of those people in many lives that are caregivers – they are special people. Thank you very much again dear for this heartfelt post, I appreciate you.

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  4. 👏🏻 my husband is on his way back in the dark from taking my mum back home, normally a 2 hour journey. He has tried to leave to come home 4 times but she has called him back with something else that needs an answer or seeing to. He is exhausted. She has been here since Thursday, she has dementia and is deaf. He looks after both of us. He has been cooking non-stop and driving her about. But he never complains except by joking.

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