“A Time Cut Off From Time”
DeAnn Louise Daigle AWW 10/14/09
That’s how it felt when I went to Fran’s place out in Mattituck on Long Island. We did whatever she felt like doing or we did nothing at all. I ran a few errands for her or defrosted her little refrigerator. It was our time together and as the end grew closer, she told me how much she looked forward to my coming on the weekends.
There was no knowing how long Fran would live after she renounced the chemo and radiation. The pain grew bolder and she fed herself her own meds. Fiercely independent, she maintained control for as long as she could. Hospice grew tired of her calling them. She was afraid of being alone, I’m sure. She knew I’d come whenever she wanted me to, but she would send me away too – wanting me to go back to the city. She’d be okay.
“Let me know,” I’d tell her. “You know I’ll come.” I used up all my sick time and personal days from work and I was hoping to hang on to my vacation days. But, I had those for her as well if she wanted and needed me to come out to her.
I guess I’ll always feel I could have done more, I should have gone out there to be with her, but I needed my job too.
Because she wasn’t a close enough relative I couldn’t take a leave of absence to be with her. But, I would have stayed anyway if she needed me to. She didn’t want me. She kept saying, she was saving me for later.
But, the weekends were ours. I grew to looking forward to spending time with Fran. She was easy to be with. She probably held back on her meds so that she’d be alert enough for us to go riding. She had to give up her driving – a really big deal, but she did it. She was brave and so dear. I drove her van. We went to the shore – the sound, the bay, and on good days and when Jim was free to come, we went to the South Fork to see the ocean.
I tweaked her big toe. “I’ll see you soon, Baby Doll,” were my last words to her when Jim and I left the hospital on Sunday. I spoke with her briefly on Monday. “I love you very much,” I told her on Monday afternoon. “Who said that?” She responded on the other end of the line. “DeAnn,” I said. “Tell her I love her very much too.” “I will,” I said. She was confused from all the morphine, I knew.
On Tuesday morning I called her. “I can’t talk right now,” she said. “I’ll call later, Sweetie,” I said. When I called she was asleep.
On Wednesday, I waited and called the nurses’ station when I knew they would have checked in on her. “She’s resting comfortably.” “Thank you,” I said.
At 11:20 A.M., Dr. Emanuele called, “Fran went to heaven at 11 this morning.”