We have lots of family here. Brian’s dad and grandma arrived Sunday late and spent the day with him yesterday. He has good moments and bad moments. There are blocks of time where I feel like he is moving further and further away from us, but then later on he comes almost all the way back. At this point, its all very subtle. If you aren’t close to him you might not even yet notice the fluctuations that feel so dramatic to us.
Brain cancer is particularly horrible because it takes your loved one away from you now before it takes them away from you forever. But it doesn’t always take them away from you now, just intermittently. Its hard to describe if you haven’t experienced it.
I felt bad for Ashley in particular yesterday. She looked really defeated when I saw her. She told me Brian was trying to dry the dishes with a gum wrapper until she handed him the towel. Its those little things that put your heart through the shredder when you know him as he truly is. Brian is intelligent and resilient and responsible. He’s so annoyingly meticulous. He’s a micromanager as a husband and as a brother. Its what we love the most about him. Its also what annoys us the most about him.
Its in the small things that I can tell he’s still him. The way he pats my butt three times at the end of a hug, how he always says he loves me back, even if he hasn’t answered my previous string of questions. Brian’s uncle and aunt brought us a bunch of stuff for the house. Like paper towels, napkins, plates, and toilet paper. Its softer toilet paper than I buy. So I gave Brian a little test. I asked if he wanted to finish up our stuff or use some of the new stuff. He said, “finish up the stuff we have.” And I said, “aha! you ARE still in there!” He laughed. So practical always. But I still put the softer stuff in the downstairs bathroom and moved some of the others to upstairs.
Ooops, and I just realized as I am watching him, that I didn’t button the top button of his polos that I hung to dry. He hasn’t said anything, but he is fixing them. I think today will be a good day for him.