Sunday, April 19, 2009

What do I want?

What do I want? In answering this question for myself and then taking actions that are in line with my wanting, I have been absolutely amazed at the remarkable changes that have taken place in my life. A little over 2 months ago, my ex-husband was in the hospital, diagnosed with terminal liver failure from chronic alcohol usage. His family decided to place him in a nursing home because they did not feel they were able to care for him at home for a variety of reasons. After only 2 days in the nursing home, he was deteriorating very rapidly. He would wake up soaked in his urine because he was too weak to make it to the bathroom or to even use the bottle at his bedside. He would not eat the food there because the smell of it made him nauseous. He was very confused at times, not even able to figure out how to put clothing items on the right way. His doctor asked me to have him fill out the do not resuscitate papers because he was near death.

While driving up to the nursing home on the second day, I was listening to the Empowering Yourself CD (from The Option Institute). The last thing I heard before turning off my car was the question - What do I want? I knew exactly what I wanted. If these were indeed his last few days on this earth, I wanted him to spend them sitting on the back deck of his own home, enjoying the beautiful view, surrounded by people who loved him and having access to his favorite foods! If, though, he was not finished with this life, I could not think of a better environment to place him in to begin the healing process. I found his family, told them of my plans, and asked if they were willing to join me in creating this for their loved one. The answer was yes, yes, yes!!! So I told the nurse on duty we were leaving immediately (against medical advice), I re-opened our empty house that had been for sale the past 6 months and our lovely families brought over a bed and a recliner , a cot and some lawn chairs, a card table, sheets, blankets, towels and dishes. And , of course, the food. Week after week, the most awesome dishes were delivered to us!

And currently my ex-husband ,who I now claim as my newest dear friend, is doing remarkably well! He is no longer confused at all and is getting stronger every day. At his last doctors visit, we were told that if he continues to improve at this pace, in a few months the diagnosis may change from end-stage liver disease to cirrhosis. Amazing!!! And me, I am feeling so blessed to be able to witness the incredible healing taking place in my new friend! I am also so thankful for my fellow Option Institute mountain climber and amazing friend who was there to ask me questions so I could figure out why I was choosing to be unhappy when my ex-husband was grumpy and discontent. She also reminded me to consider asking him about his wants. And that question I asked of him made such a huge difference in his disposition. He shifted from grumpy and discontent to kind and patient since then. I am once again blown away by the power of such a simple question! Another Option Institute loving amazing friend was there to ask me questions when I stressed out over finances, since we are now facing the possibility of foreclosure due to his inability to keep up the house payments and my decision to take the house off the market while he is recuperating. Through these questions, I too am getting stronger every day. I am so incredibly grateful for these questions and for the teachers who love the questioning process so much that they dedicate their lives to teaching all of us who want to learn!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Tracee, Holy Moly, what an inspiring blog. You rock!
    Your blog really demonstrates the power of the gift of a question and also the incredible power of love. What you did for your ex-husband-best friend is wonderful. See my previous blog on Greatness. This definitely qualifies as an Act of Greatness. Thanks so much for sharing this. I'd love to hear other stories demonstrating Great Acts from people who have learned through programs at The Option Institute to Act Great.
    Much love, Clyde