Words From My Wife Gloria

I’ve often wondered what people might say about me at my funeral.  I went to my first one when I was in Junior high school.  An older girl who I did not really even know had lost her mom to some horrible fate and I guess I just wanted to intellectually experience a funeral, so my mom let me board the school bus with the others.  From then on, I noticed the glowing things that were always said about the cold, stiffly made-up corpses so peacefully lying there in their open caskets.  Was everybody else always SO wonderful as those things so generously recalled at every single one of them?  Of course, maybe I’ve never attended a funeral of a really bad person, but I can only think of one exception to the accolades in all these years, and that being so mildly stated it might just as well have been a compliment - but it was not lost on me!  Of one poor stiff cancer victim it was said, “She was giving to a fault.”

Now THAT resonated with ME and ever since, I have to admit, I’ve worried a little about MY funeral when the real truth about me could possibly come out!  Maybe I had no big need to worry as the real me has been kept neatly hidden from all those who don’t really know me very well.  They’d surely say all those nice things about me, but what about the ones who really do know me?  What might THEY say about their late wife, mother, sister or close friend - the one that’s been so “nice” that she’s been nauseating at times to live with?  The one they longed to get close to but she was often too busy “taking care” of them to need anything from anyone else?  The one who’s closest childhood friend had finally “had it” one day exclaiming.  “Why don’t you let somebody ELSE be the good guy once in awhile!”  It’s pretty sad when your loved ones don’t even know what to get you for Christmas because you don’t have enough of your own interests for them to have a clue what you’d like and like a “nice girl” you would probably just give it to someone else, anyway.

Since my life took a serious turn and I’m now on disability, battling cancer and really COULD face such a scenario (sooner than later), I’ve had lots of time to reflect on life’s priorities and have decided to stop “shouldering the world”, playing the martyr and smiling all the time.  I’m going to try really LIVING for as much time as I might have left on this old earth.  Of course none of us really knows when that time might come, but for me - it’s really been brought to the front-burner for the past year and a half.

So, here it is - my newly developed committment to myself and to all those who really know me.  Starting here in Germany, where the emphasis in health care is on the whole person instead of just a body part, it’s “goodby Mr. nice guy” (or in my case “nice girl”) and “hello” to the unique but special person - warts and all - that God intended me to be in the first place.  I won’t promise to come home transformed and am warning you that I’m definitely in that ugly, awkward stage of metamorphasis, but you won’t mind because I know in my heart you’ve all been waiting and hoping for a very long time to see this happen.

One Response to “Words From My Wife Gloria”

  1. Debi Pedersen Says:

    Dear Gloria,

    I knew you are in Germany for cancer treatment, but it had not “clicked” what you are truly going thru. Reading these entries (especially this one) makes my heart go out to you. I understand where you are coming from, as I’ve gone thru a similar transformation. Mine was triggered by my mother dying from cancer. I’m not the same person I used to be. I keep telling my husband that I hope he still likes/loves the “new me!” When you want to talk or email, I’m here! Let’s get together when you get home and do something fun! You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

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