Remembering Carol

Born Rochdale Lancashire in the UK on 17th December 1950.

Died in Buderim Australia on 24th February 2021.

Hello friends.

In June 2019 the Oncologist told us that given the spread of the Prime Cancer from Carols Lungs, to Liver,  Spine and Pelvis, he expected Carol to live between 4 and 6 months from the original diagnosis in April. 

Given that news, we didn’t expect Carol to still be with us for Christmas 2019. Radiation treatment was given to ease the symptoms of pain, but also to try to prevent Carol from losing her mobility. Sadly, we were too late to do that. Carol was confined to bed. She was not in a very good place at this time, suffering a lot of pain and with no ability to lie down or turn on her side in bed.

It was an emotional and difficult time to see her suffering in that hospital style bed at home. Her face showed the strain and the pain of the cancerous lesions on her spine and pelvis. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to remember her looking like this and I decided to create the picture above. I re-created the artwork of this album cover at high resolution and added the pictures I liked from happier times.

Originally, I kept the creation of the picture to myself. It was to be my memory of Carol in better times. We met and grew into adults with the music from this Beatles album and it holds great memories for us. I intended to have it printed and framed after her passing.

I was worried that if I showed it to her, it would just add more stress at a time when she had enough of that. She would have known why I created it. 

What was happening to Carol had been her lifelong nightmare, long before she got sick.This sort of scenario haunted her when she was fit and well, but here we were, living that nightmare. As I sat in her room in the evenings, I wrote the poem below. I was at a low emotional ebb at the time. It was very hard thing, to watch what was happening to her and know there was nothing I could do to prevent it.

When I did show my daughter what I had created some time later, she convinced me to have it printed and to present it to Carol on our 50th Wedding Anniversary in March 2020. I am glad I was persuaded to do this, because Carol loved it.

I could not bring myself to show her the poem, but I’ll show it here. The poem will be printed and attached to the back of the picture that hangs on the wall. The framed picture is 32in square and it has a presence when displayed on the wall, like the person within it.

A Hard Days Night

This picture I’ll keep as a memory of life, for a partner a friend and a lifelong wife.

This music we found in our younger years, back in the days before these tears.

The days when our lifetime was still to unfold, plenty of time, before we got old.

When I see this cover, I’m taken back, to times that were better, the time before cancer

Away from the nightmare of end of life care, the sickness, the pain, Carols despair.

It’ll replace a dark time and fill it with light, remember the good times, not that terrible fight.

It tested my character, how did I do?  With the stresses and strains of what she went through.

Frustration at times when I struggled to cope, the pain, the anger, not much hope.

Emotional turmoil became our new norm, it’s what you do to weather the storm.

Tell Me Why her worst nightmare, just had to invade, to sour this time and the life we had made.

Her leaving turned into a terrible fight, with cancer and heartache, our Hard Days Night

Her limited time gave Carol the blues, she struggled to cope, such devastating news.

How would I cope, had I been in her place, I’m really not sure till it’s something I face.

I Should Have Known Better, she endured it all, she’s no longer with me, she’s not here to call.

The words of the song says I’ll Cry Instead. It was hard not to do that with her lying in bed.

But I’ll look at this picture and ignore all the bad, it’ll stir just good memories, not leave me sad.

If I Fell into sadness as she lay there in bed, it was knowing the turmoil she faced in her head.

Kids came to our aid in our time of need, without them I thought I would never succeed.

It’s hard on them too, now their mum has passed, but they all came quickly without being asked.

2021 stretches out ahead, the sickness is over, enough has been said.

This Boy and life will move on,  but here are my memories, like an old favourite song.

And I Love Her

Barry & Carol