“I was pacing the lounge room floor feeding Grayce when I heard a car door slam out the front. Just for a second, I thought he’d come home, that he had been out for dinner with the boys, that the last six months had disappeared.
It felt nice, for one second, like it used to be. I hope there are other fleeting moments like that. Because just for a second, I was in that other life and I remembered how it felt to be happy.
I lost my husband, Gary, to oesophageal cancer 19 days after we were married. Our third child, Grayce, was born four weeks later.
Though our time together was short we managed to fit a lot of life into those years. We also had lots of quiet moments, just enjoying spending time with each other.
He was very hands-on around the house and with the children. There was nothing he loved more than to potter around on the weekends doing the jobs he had listed during the week, fixing things and finding better ways of doing things and then we would have our coffee mid-morning sitting in the backyard.
We would email each other every day at work – just a few words here and there, or an interesting article. I miss all the little things that made our lives so much fun. The touch of his skin, a thousand gestures.
Gary’s battle with cancer started on the 2nd of July and lasted for twelve and a half weeks. As the cancer ate away at Gary, I thought he looked more beautiful. His spirit, grace and dignity shone through more with each passing day.
He was the perfect patient. He never complained and would try and help me help him as much as possible, even trying to lift and move his legs with his hands, and I would tell him off each time.
That’s why we decided to call our daughter Grayce with a ‘y’ – grace for how much of it shone through him during this battle. The four letters of Gary’s name are carried on in the name of his daughter.
That was his next goal, and what he told the doctors at his last oncology appointment. He wanted to meet his daughter.
In the end I couldn’t ask it of him. I knew he could hear everything I was saying. I lay down on the bed next to him and put his right hand on top of my belly. I told him I loved him so. I said, ‘I don’t want to let you go but I have to. It’s time for you to go.’
He opened his eyes and deliberately blinked at me for the first time in hours. Then he took two more breaths and went.
I still cannot bring myself to stretch out across the whole bed. It will mean finally admitting to myself that he won’t be riding his bike home and pushing it through the open door. That he won’t be bending down to hug the kids as they come running to greet him, squealing with delight. I know those things cannot happen but I still see them. I wish them. I live them in my head.
They say memories are golden. Well maybe that’s true, but I never wanted memories, I only wanted you.” – ACRF Supporter, Basia
We can’t bring Basia’s husband back to her but we can stand beside her while she continues to battle cancer through supporting research. To help her in her mission to protect others from having to go through what she went through click below.