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It's Only the Store...


It’s Only the Store…

A little over a couple years ago, as I witnessed an illness overtaking my husband. I’d wondered what his thoughts were in those quiet moments when I wasn’t in the same room as he. Recently, I considered it was too overwhelming to put into a paragraph, or pages. It was constant lengthy thoughts. Self-talk. Perhaps prayer of some sort. Or meditation, allowing thoughts to flow in, out and about.

Thoughts that many of us most likely don’t regularly address daily, much less monthly. Perhaps not even annually. Thoughts I have had most of my adult life. Some I’ve had all the life of mine I could remember—and daily.

 My mother wondered who I was—she’d asked what was on my mind. So many times, she got it wrong. Even seeing my diary at ages eleven and twelve, she was perplexed. However, it was not her fault.

With my husband, I went in the opposite direction. I didn’t ask. I just observed. For one it was personal. Two, dying is too intense to express all that fills one’s soul prior to a nearly knowing of one’s departure date. Yes, there was hope. However, we just knew. I knew that there would be no surprises. I have always believed in miracles. But when you know—you know. There’s just no denying such.

We humans are complex. Months and years before all this occurring—I’d sit late at night in my office before arriving home. I was either waiting for a surgeon who was late coming from the hospital to see me for themselves. Or I’d be finishing up typing notes on people I’d treated recently. A tear would arrive. I’d hear my office door chime go off and snap out of it.

After, I’d come home from work, knowing the not knowing. Yet deep down sometimes I knew who was going to die and when. I rarely said anything to my husband.

 Just about eighteen years ago—nearly out of the blue—my brother had walked into my office. I gave him a hug and knew he was vacating this life. I felt his death. Neither he nor his wife knew. No one knew. I told no one, until seven weeks later when he was on life-support and in a coma.

I’ve had a few friends ask me to tell them what I felt. Yes, some in the medical field. I hated it. I reminded them, “Seriously? You know I don’t diagnose. It’s only my feelings. Know I may not even tell you exactly my read.” I said that because it was and has been the truth. I’m never too certain. Even if it’s with 92.4% certainty of feeling. I still need to be ethical. So, I leave it lay.

Once I came home and told my husband someone I was treating was going to die on Memorial Day weekend. “They’re not going to see June 1st Honey.” I remarked.  Ten weeks later—Memorial Day weekend I got the call. Before the call, I felt the torture of waiting. I was going through my own personal torturous time. I told my husband, “I think I need to roll with some guys on Memorial Day. It’s open matt. Is that okay? Like at ten in the morning—Memorial Day?” He replied, “Oh yeah. You need it.” I nodded.

That Memorial Day, I kept mark of time rolling with different people on the matts. Glancing at the clock on the wall here and there. I just knew. At five minutes before noon, I said to one of the guys, “I’d better get going—thanks for the roll.” We shook. I departed. I got to the locker room; a call had just come in. Death had arrived earlier in the morning. It was the death; I’d witnessed dying ten weeks before. There are many signs of death—when it’s about to arrive. You just must be honest about the read.

A physical tell-tale sign that someone is realizing the end is near is their spending habits. Not always, yet what I’ve witnessed usually.  It’s as if they’re saying, ‘It’s only the store…’ The store—its only the store they’re giving away. They know now that their physical inventory no longer matters. You don’t need pockets in death.

Some people clutch to their money as they’re dying. Many don’t believe they are dying. Or don’t want to believe that they are. It may be hope. It could be out of fear.  My husband was the kind of guy, who was scrutinous with his donations in monetary form.  Then upon his realization that death was eminent, I saw him give away more. It was all good. He realized; death holds no pockets. I was the one who had a propensity to give away the store. I’ve done it more in time and service because I didn’t come from money.

These thoughts have come to me so often as I watch people in the news who will never want for anything in a monetary sense. What I’ve seen is perhaps their discontentment. I ask, ‘why do they need to divide, conquer, harm, un-peace people?’ Pissing on the bliss of most humans.  Aside from mental illness, what is that about? Why is it we allow for this?  

It’s called free-will. For the most part, we all know better. Yet, it’s not how we act. I stand here in my nearly always taper-down what I have moments. I know what I need to live. I know what it’s like to starve. What I strive for is the science to have a quality understanding—it’s the quality in the store, while it’s here. Once we are no longer physically here, we don’t need the store. That’s why we begin to part with it. It’s only the store. And nothing more.---Jody-Lynn Reicher


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