Learning to appreciate

The last years with her were so precious. I learned to appreciate and bask in the bits of her that remained to me, instead of focusing on all the pieces that were lost. So I could love hearing her call me darling or say “I love you”, which she did for quite a long while into her final days; I was able to appreciate her highly developed social skills, which stayed with her even when her memory of who the person was with whom she was exercising them had left; I could enjoy her sense of humour and fun around silly things like when she spit on herself instead of into

the little kidney-shaped bowl when we were trying to brush her teeth together; I could appreciate how good a companion she could be, watching her wave to me from her gurney in the medical jet we hired to take us across country to Tucson for what turned out to be her final month of life.

Deborah Huisken