In October, I wrote about my husband's brother's 10 year war with cancer (beginning with male breast cancer), in this post: http://paintedmaypole.blogspot.com/2007/10/my-pink-ribbon.html (I can't do a pretty link because my friend's computer apparently refuses to make the greater than symbol needed to make the html link).
On Thursday, February 7th by brother in law lost the final battle.
We had been talking for several days with my husband's sister, a nurse, who told us that the end was very near. My husband was able to talk to his brother on the phone. This is not a big surprise to us, as frankly we've been expecting it for well over 5 years, and things took a definate turn for the worse this fall.My husband went out to visit at Thanksgiving. Good-byes were said then, as, frankly, they were every time we saw my brother in law. This long war has taught us to always say "I love you" before we part.
On Thursday we were at Disneyland. My sister in law called and told us it was a matter of days. My husband decided to try to get a flight to Michigan, in hopes of making it before the end. He did not.
We girls stayed on and greatly enjoyed our Disney adventure, and I have many tales to tell another day. Tomorrow The May Queen and I have changed our flight - instead of heading home we will be flying to Michigan. We haven't a thing to wear.
Last night before I fell asleep I breathed my brother in law's name up to God, and paused, not quite knowing what to pray. Then a huge smile came to my face, and I laughed. He's with You, I thought, no need to worry.
I did pray for my parents in law, who had to watch their eldest son die, and will be burying him next week. This is not the right order, it is not how things are "supposed to go." But things do not always go as we had planned. I prayed for my husband, who hurts more for his parents than himself. For my 2 sisters in law, one who has lost a husband, the other a brother. For The May Queen, who has lost her uncle.
But my brother in law? Things are much, much better for him now. This much I know to be true. And I am ever so grateful for that.