Q is for Questions and Quagmires: #atozchallenge Day 17 (belated)

Places in Time

There are so many things that can trap us

There are so many sucking places

Places we wanted to go too

Places we had to go

Go to the emergency room and to chemo

Go to the bathroom when he needed help

Help him to live with some kind of quallity

Help us to understand the journey we’re making

Making space for both living and dying

Making some of it up as we went along

Along the route time pulled us along

Along parallel but diverging paths

Paths that can’t coexist

Paths we’d once thought we’d share

Share as we once shared a bed

Share as we once shared a life

Life can sometimes hold quicksand

Life sucked away by cancerous quagmire

Quagmire of emotions and time racing by

Quagmire of problems and questions

Questions medicine could answer and

Questions for which there are no answers

Answers can’t bring us back together

Answers won’t tell us why

Why this man’s body devoured him

Why we three must go on alone

Alone without mate and father

Alone in a truncated marriage

Marriage ended with deadly certainty

Marriage that defined life for so long

Long for the hope we’d grow old together

Long conversations and years still ahead

Ahead now stretches a long time alone

Ahead was the direction we were looking

Loking into the mire for the reasons

Looking there can be more than futile

Futile time wasted pulling against the suck

Futile straining to create something new

New reality demands it be taken as it is

New loneliness the quagmire that wants to pull me in

In the darkest smallest hours the suction is strongest

In those lonely empty hours the questions haunt

Haunt with the sound of his not breathing

Haunt with the shape of him not in our bed

Bed shared for so long will never be just mine

Bed that belongs to the marriage and a place in time

Time must move forward and the quagmire must end

Time will be as it will and give no answers



I know – the Q post was due on Thursday, and it’s Saturday now.  It’s not something I intended; just a week that was crazily busy with my 13-year-old daughter’s blossoming social life, a Meet the Author event, and the adoption of Magnolia (whom we’re calling Noli Canoli Ravioli Stromboli, because we’re silly like that).

I’ve been scrambling all week, between traveling to social stuff and the shelter, both half an hour away, and taking down the bed Jim built for us (it was massive and he made it to last; it took Miah and I about 5 hours to dismantle it) and setting up the new wrought-iron sleigh bed (that took only about an hour and a half). Then there was the added rearranging to make sure my room could also be a “den” for Noli…

And, since last evening, life has been about her adjustment. She clearly had a family at some point in her life; her manners and ease in the house are too good for her always to have been a stray.  But she is still quite thin despite gaining a few pounds during her two weeks at the shelter, and she’s apparently in even greater need of snuggles (if you’ve never known a pit bull in person, you might be surprised to know that these “toughies” absolutely NEED to be close to people). I know she was getting lot of attention and affection from the shelter staff, but she needs lots more here.

Not that I especially mind…I’ve been a bit starved for snuggles myself, these last few months.

So, while this post was supposed to be about the questions and quagmires of terminal illness and death, but I think I kind of got lost instead in the quagmire of adjustments and aftermath….

Join us later today (I hope!) as we explore a settling reality.

On a quest for more Q posts?

Magnolia (Noli) on her first night in her new home, snuggling in.


  1. No matter how long we love another, saying goodbye and continuing on is the most difficult process — especially finding ways that honor the past and yet affirm new directions for the future. May you find joy in memories and the future.

    • Thank you, Beth – and your words are so, so true! It’s a little like a dance marathon with very intricate steps, and no real rest periods.

      Joy is definitely my goal – for me, the children, and everyone else whose life I can touch in positive ways.

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