Ultimatums and Death

I’m not one to set down some concrete statement that defines my actions. Therefore, ultimatums are not often part of my “Modus Operandi“.  I recognize the futility in these ultimate statements of intent. However, there are always exceptions, as my teeter-totter mindset is abundant with dichotomy.

More than once I have succumbed to the attractive ideal of the ULTIMATUM. Often, I can faintly hear the snickering of the ancestors. What nonsense is this? they whisper. Yet, I, in fact, uttered the words, and tis not at all surprising that the results were just as ultimate.

For in October of 2010, I found out a whole wealth of facts that overturned the fictions Tim had been feeding me. Truths of such substance, that I left him. Upon my return, I made the statement that my return was temporary and completely dependant on his for once telling me the truth…or right back to the Homestead I would flee.

Right from the beginning though, my fate was sealed. Regardless of what I had said, it was pure in the hollowness of the words. For Tim, I now believe by that time was incapable of telling the truth. He had spent so many years lying to himself, that lying to everyone else was natural. He had developed this complex fiction about himself, and day by day, he contributed one more block to the wall of lies he had concocted.

I’m not sure what I would have done though if Tim had not got sick. Would I have left him? Probably. However, that was not to be; as the tumour that would rob him of life, was about to make its presence known.

And so the next stage of the journey unfolded, and by spring of 2011, leaving was far from my mind. By then it felt just horribly wrong, even before we knew of cancer, to leave him at that time. More than that though, he had changed. There was a fear there now in his eyes, as he faced the reality that underlying this pain he was experiencing was the real fact that there could be something else behind it. Something more sinister, then either Diverticulitis or Fibromyalgia (both early diagnosis made by his Family Doctor).

ul·ti·ma·tum:
a final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations.

I have to acknowledge that at some point, it’s like my life became in service to some other cause, some other purpose. I can’t say when…maybe my very first meeting of Tim was fated…I have no idea. I believe though that some aspects of our life are fate, and others are free will. We can’t ever know, until afterwards with time to mull and make something of these sagas of circumstance and chance that define our past.

I recall that day in 2011 when I finally sat down and googled what they had to say about the life expectancy of those with Pancreatic Cancer. I remember sitting there thinking that I should keep these facts to myself, and leave Tim with atleast a small measure of hope. I later, on second thought, tried to make him see these facts. A few weeks had gone past, since his diagnosis, and his good old gift of lying to himself had kicked in. So in a way, the very trait that had almost destroyed us, was what kept him positive.

The ultimate truth though, well that loomed far off (or so he thought). Yet with so many of his lies, this reality too was going to make its presence known, and as so often happened, he was crushed in the aftermath. Oh, you have no idea how I tried to make him see. To see how avoiding the truth is but a temporary thing, as in time we must face it, and better now than in some distant time you have no control over. Here and now you have the choice and leisure of awareness, what if in that distant never never land you are far less prepared? What if you’re weakened by circumstance? What if the truth is more painful because it has had time to fester and the eventual stench of truth is overpowering?

God, I will always remember that day he called and told me the truth I had always known. I got off the phone, and the weight of the sadness dropped me to my knees, and I wept. Oh, how…how…how? How could this be? I remember my sisters’ first words at this news…” he must be so scared”. How cruel is truth.

I thought had looked at death and seen it with my own eyes. I had watched as it stalked our Mom, and I saw and knew the pain of this enemy of life. Though I also saw the inevitability of it and the acceptance one must have with it, for it will not be denied.

Inspired by: The Daily Prompt

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