Tuesday, June 1, 2021

On the Death of My Husband

I guess I thought he was invincible.  He had been through so much for so long and always survived it.  In the four and a half years since the diagnosis, death had shown itself more times than I can recall.  Yet, it was always defeated, until it wasn't.  The finality of it all is surreal.  We will never see him in the flesh again.  Bit by bit, I'm internalizing that thought.  Then, some days I can't.  

In truth, I still expect him to walk through the back door returning from one of the numerous appointments that filled his calendar.  I realize he won't. To expect him to and know that he won't--what a conundrum for the heart and mind. 

So my husband--the father of the three daughters we conceived from deep love--is an ancestor now.  I'm thankful for his life and all that he gave and showed.  I'm grateful for him that he had a chance to experience, see, know, and understand so much in his lifetime. The man was incredible, and he lived a FULL life, and I do mean full.  Hawai'i was his settling down place.  He always said this is where he wanted to die and his remains to rest.  "Don't send me back to Alabama," he said.  I laugh as I type that.  Alabama to Berkeley/Oakland to Hawai'i and numerous places around the world in between.  Country, progressive, earthy/tropical all at once. We vibed.  He is me, I am him.  His experiences made for a rich existence.  I loved hearing his stories.  I love him beyond and beyond.

Although he wouldn't want me to be, I'm sorrowful.  He would hardly let me cry as I sat at his bedside at the hospital in the days before he passed.   I guess I felt this time might be different, despite my mind not letting me think it.  We talked and laughed the way we always had right on up to the end.  It's crazy.  He still had his deep, intelligent, clear mind until the very end despite the physical ailments.   What a blessing for us both.  


***

We've got three banana flowers bringing forth fruit in our banana patch, a construct in our yard that is a product of his experience, knowledge, and ambition.  Plus, I needed a shady area in a yard that lacked trees or other structures to keep the intense sun in check.  He said we'd create some.  Started with one small banana plant from the home store.

We've never had two flowers at once, let alone three.  In the weeks prior to his passing, he had asked repeatedly if we had a new flower yet.  "We should.  It's been a few months now since the last ones," he'd say.   He had been too weak and fatigued to even set foot in the yard for some time.  A flower never came.  Then, the day after he died, it did.  And another then another.  We'll have at least 150 bananas in the months to come.  And thanks to the confidence he instilled in me to wield a machete, I'll be right out there chopping them down.  



He harvested bananas last November.  He was determined to do this despite my efforts to get him to rest.   Such a dignified human.  

*Note: Since I wrote this post--two more banana flowers have come.  All five of our mature banana plants have a rack growing.   What a joy!  

*****

For more than a decade my husband used Facebook as a means to share his love of culture, geography, plants, and more.  It's actually where I first "met" him years ago. :)  He had many people who enjoyed his teachings.  Given that he always put so much work, effort, and research into his posts, I'll be leaving the page up as part of his legacy.  You can visit it at https://www.facebook.com/kwaku.nyamedua. I believe it's set to public, so if you're on Facebook and log in, it should work out.

Peace.


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