Archive for November 3, 2010

X1- November the last- Chris Ritchey

November, the last full month of your life- 30 days hath November and I relive every one of them, over and over again. I have been dreading NOVEMBER coming- no mattter how I gear myself November has come and with it a flooding – I wake in the early hours of the morning with the memories , I go to sleep with them – I relive every moment of November- no matter how hard I try not to.

I relive the news as we sat in the Drs. office at MD Anderson that November 6th when they said there

“….there was no trace of the cancer- SGN 35 was working” ,

I relive the look on your face, the way your shoulders heaved as you let out your breath of relief, eyes hidden behind mirrored glasses which showed only a reflection of life about you.

I relive the mention there was

“an issue with your lungs, they wanted to look into “


I relive the fact I should have begged harder to your wife and you to stay in Texas, I should have insisted- and dismissed her her pronouncement of

“We will get it done “in network” in Cleveland”

I relive the fact I didn’t do more to impart to you my abject fear of that drive back you were planning.

I should’ve been stronger, I should’ve been me and not deferred to her . I am sorry my son I should’ve …….

Could I have changed the ending? I don’t know- probably not- but I should’ve tried no matter how uncomfortable it made the situation with your wife. You knew that everything we ever did was with YOU in mind. even deferring to her when everything screamed within us NO! this is wrong…..

November I watched you dying- the only time I was alone in that damned waiting room was “Thanksgiving Day” – there was no one in that place that afternoon I was sent there when something went wrong with you on the vent – The nurses and Dr. made me leave your side.
A Dr. Anderson came out to me and asked

“Do you want a clergyman?


Why would I want a clergyman what was happening? Is Chris critical?

“Yes! he has been!”

Is my son dying?


I didn’t know what to do I called your wife and let her talk to the Dr. I didn’t understand , blood gasses, carbon dioxide??????????
My mind in turmoil-

“This can’t be right, dying, NO! no one said anything about dying? Where was everyone , what was I supposed to do ??? How can I tell Nikki – My God , how can I stop this , No he can’t die – this isn’t supposed to be happening…..”


Then they all descended, the gypsy caravan of control, the people with their pumpkin pies, cold mashed potatoes and dried up turkey – swapping recipes with others that waited trying to shove food at one another and at me.

” Here you have to try some of this nut roll/pumpkin bread”

I felt like I was in some crazy house of mirrors at the fairground…….everything was distorted, unreal some Danse Macabre – a weird circus full of painted faces, mouths mouthing nothings. I felt removed as if part of a hallucination.

Then you rallied, Nikki had raced to your side, flew into your room , you calmed at her voice, you squeezed her hand and gave her a thumbs -up. She sat with you and talked to you going against all the recommendations she shouldn’t due to the H1N1 and her nursing her baby.

She had to drive the hour home by herself – strip off in the garage , scrub herself down before holding her child, and she did that time after time , because she would have done anything for her brother.

November the last time I heard your voice, the last time you spoke – I heard your last words- I saw the last tears as they fell down your cheek- I knew how scared you were.

November I watched the last movie with you , cooked your your last dinner , heard your fear and witnessed your bravery and held my breath.

Another week passed from that damnable Thanksgiving Day and November closed and with it our hope…………

And now above what remains of you a piece of granite- a monument to selfishness, control, vindictiveness and lack of humanity- does not honor you – my son- it only confirms their wicked actions toward your family!

I keep reminding myself that we are lucky in the fact that the place it marks is just a few pounds of calcium phosphates salts of sodium and potassium, and NOT my beautiful son .

You aren’t there I know that -we all know that logically– but in our hearts the idea of what they have done and do causes so much distress and it is hard for us Chris to think of any part of you locked underground and no one of yours to say a final goodbye………. you would hate it – you told us how you hated that place December 2008- what you thought of the “ceremonies” .

I know that – just as I know you disliked yellow gold, stained glass and plastic flowers and being locked in. Everynight you went to bed your door was always propped open- even in Texas, I knew why you always had to have the room with the balcony.

Meanwhile another November date that brings more pain with it.

I should’ve …….. I know that now
and Wild Horses


and WILD HORSES………..











November 3, 2010 at 2:43 am 9 comments



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November 2010