I have yet another reason to hate this freaking issue with my heart. Other than the obvious, exhaustion, discomfort, blah blah blah. It is the emotional pain.
When I first went to Mayo and learned I had to have the LVAD put in, I was devastated. Seriously. I manned up, I did it and then I went to stay at The Gabriel House at Mayo. That place changed my life. Literally. I don’t know if I would have survivied without the people I met there. I lived with those people and I came to rely on them for the love and support they offered so freely, even though they were sick themselves.
I met lots of people, but a handful came to be more important than others. One such couple were the Jusicks. Mike and Valerie. Mike struggled every day with caring for Valerie and helping her keep her spirit. Little did he know that Valerie willed herself to keep on living because she wanted to be able to care for him. He worried and she so did she. They nurtured each other and they spread a special kind of joy to everyone they met. It was a delight to be a part of their lives. Sadly, Valerie lost her battle with cancer very recently and the world lost a beautiful sunbeam.
Another such couple were Sandie and John Guerrero. John had undergone a lung transplant and then was hit by cancer again. He soldiered on and I do mean soldiered on. He was ruthless in his fight to survive and to maintain a positive attitude. I don’t imagine it always worked, but I never once saw him when he didn’t offer me a smile and a kind word. He teased me mercilessly about my endless pursuit of “talents” and his encouragement helped keep me going.
John also had a special gift. As part of his own personal therapy, he taught himself to draw with colored pencils and the results are nothing short of extraordinary. See for yourself.
John passed away last night.
I love the people I met at The Gabriel House, but at the same time I hate that this stupid heart of mine has subjected me to the added emotional trauma of having come to love people who die. I can’t help but think that if I had never gotten sick I never would have met them and I would not feel such horrible pain at the loss. On the other side, without this damn heart I never would have experienced the wonder of knowing these people.
It just sucks. Really and truly sucks!!!!