February 14, 2018

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annie's bed in the living room

Have you ever heard the term, “A true love story, never ends.” Well, for some it’s true. I loved Annie from the day I met her. And today, seven years post death, I still love her.

However, as I’ve learned over the past few years, the heart is a small organ, but capable of holding an infinite amount of love. For those that feel lost in love after a death, be patient, new love will find a way, and your heart has plenty of room to store your lost loved ones love, while opening a door for the love, of another.

Be careful, with the love of another while grieving. One day, it dawned on me that I was looking for the love of someone just like Annie. I’m here to tell you, although not impossible, it’s highly unlikely. That’s your grief speaking to you. Giving you a task that only grief knows, isn’t a good idea. Grief would like for you to continually compare your new love to your old love, and you will. Of course, that sort of action will not end well. It can’t. And beyond that, it’s totally unfair to your new love. Your new love will not likely have those weapons to use in a discussion or argument, so don’t sow the seed of discontent by using them. It can only end in disaster.

Here’s a little story I think you might like. It’s about love and being loved.

The bed

This bed was created out of love for my beautiful wife Annie. It is and forever will be the bed of love, where she “made her last stand” in her battle with a deadly blood cancer, Multiple Myeloma. It was the bed where, when all treatments options had failed and we had nothing to fight with, we fought to the end with our love for each other.

Annie had a three to four week prognosis. However, no one knew of her tenacious will to fight in an effort to live, just one more day. She defied the odds so many times in the first two months, they started calling her their little miracle girl in the hospital and at the cancer center. During the 3rd week of Annie’s cancer, she broke both femurs, her right hip, and her spine collapsed. On top of that she had four broken ribs.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you are fighting the battle, never give up on hope, and love your loved one like there’s no tomorrow. I gave Annie 24/7 quality care, and my daughter Melissa was my wing man. We were a formidable caregiver team, with the attitude, you have to live, laugh, and love, to beat back a nasty cancer. Annie survived thirty months, and although it was very traumatic times, we’re so glad we fought just as hard for her as, she fought to live. Life, should be about love and being loved.

Of course, Annie had her new found spiritual awakening, incredible doctor’s, specialist’s, oncologist’s, and medical personnel on her team too.

With grief, it doesn’t matter how hard you worked, how loving you were, in fact it’s not relevant. Grief tells you, you should have tried harder, loved more, done better, and it’s not until later on in your grief that you know for sure, you gave it all you had, and did enough to pull off that final miracle if, the story had not been written. Peace

Note: The “bed of love” remained in my living room for many months. I just couldn’t let go of it. I feared the loneliness without it would be, too much for me to bear.

One afternoon I got a call from Melissa, who worked as a nurse at a family medical center. She started telling me about this young boy that had a serious motorcycle accident and had many broken bones. His family requested a hospital bed through their insurance company, but it was denied.

She rather gently asked the question, would I give the bed to the young boy.

Wow, that was like an answered prayer, I suppose. I had no idea what I was going to do with the bed or if I’d ever let it go. You see, I laid on the couch every night and watched her sleep at night, to make sure she was breathing okay. Then I’d drift off to sleep. In the morning when she woke up, I’d see her eyes searching the room for me, and when our eyes locked on, she’d say, hi, babe’s. Melted my heart, over and over again.

I told Melissa, I would love to give the bed to the young boy…Annie would want that.

When the gentleman came over to get the bed, he had his two small sons with him. I told them all about the “bed of love” and that their older brother was a lucky boy to get a bed that was so full of love and hope. Made me shed a few tears.

Her love in illness was, very captivating and penetrating. And I was finding that love in marriage, is love, but it becomes so much more during the journey to death, as all boundaries were dropped, and we came together as one. It locks one down in a feeling that’s hard to explain or understand.

“If you love someone today, try to live them more tomorrow.”

“Life Happens”

Written by Bob Harrison
Bob Harrison was raised in the heart of the Redwoods in the far northwest comer of northern California. The little town of Crescent City, California was located near some of the world’s tallest trees, with the west shoreline being the Pacific Ocean. Bob spent most of his time fishing the two local rivers where some of the finest Steelhead and Salmon fishing is located. He was also well known up and down the north coast as an avid motorcycle racer, winning several hundred trophies, and one Oregon State title. Bob graduated from Del Norte High School with the class of 1966, then spent a one year stint at the College of the Redwoods, before having a strong sense of patriotism and joining the United States Air Force. After three years of service, Bob met Annie, the love of his life, and they got married in England in 1972. Bob’s love of country pushed him on to what turned out to be a very successful career, retiring in 1991. Bob’s last military assignment was Wichita, Kansas, a place he and Annie decided to call home. Together they developed and ran two very successful antique businesses until the stranger knocked on their door and changed their lives forever; “Because of Annie.”

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1 Comment

  1. Very powerful Bob. Should have included a *tissue warning* with it! No to worry, they were mostly happy tears, for the bed of love. 😉

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