a middleSage publication

If Wishes Were Horses…

I said to somebody the other day that being straight-forward and outspoken is both my strength and weakness. I have learned, often the hard way, that I just can’t say everything I think. As my husband’s caregiver while he’s fighting cancer, I’m sad about the way his adult kids are responding to his illness. In calling out the kids, my wishes are that they get what’s going on. There are better ways of getting my point across than looking somebody in the eye and telling them they’re full of shit, but right now, I’m needing to do that.

We wish to have everything we want. What I want, at this time in my life, is the cancer to be gone from my husband. I want him to feel good, to be finished with the nausea and extreme fatigue from the treatments. I want him to be able to do the things he likes, when he wants to do them.

I wish I could take away the nervousness he has for his upcoming surgery. I wish I could take away the grueling 6-10 week recovery he faces. I wish we could know for certain that after all the treatments, after the surgery, after the recovery, that we will have many more years together. I wish, for his sake, his kids were more involved in his journey.

If wishes were horses…

…I would take away the hurt and disappointment he feels at the lack of concern his children seem to have for his treatment and well-being. He thinks he is not important to them. That he is out of sight and out of mind.

He hears from one child once in a while in text or in a comment prompted by a new post on his website…but never a call. Another has never asked his dad how he’s doing. Not once. There are infrequent texts completely unrelated to his dad’s health but no calls. Ever. Thankfully, he consistently hears from one of the three.

So many people, both family and friends, have constantly offered help. People regularly call to find out how he is, offer to be here to help during and after surgery, offer prayers, send cards, cry with us. There are some significant calls and concerns that are missing. His kids. What they don’t realize is nothing in life is guaranteed – the days are long but the years are short. You never know when the last time you talked to somebody WAS the last time you talked to them.

I’m profoundly sad and disappointed at the kids degree of self-absorption; their deplorable lack of empathy and concern for their dad’s health and life.

My husband chalks it up to “they are what they are.” He is moving forward. He is learning to let go of hurt and disappointment to concentrate on the family and many, many friends that support him.

I wish the kids were among those people. I wish they understood that his perception IS his reality. I wish the kids would make a real effort to show him they whole-heartedly, unequivocally, love and support him. Tomorrow’s a new day. I wish with all my heart this helps them know better so they will do better by him.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.


  1. Sue Shoemaker

    20 December

    HI Lee,

    I read your post last week and I wanted to respond.

    First…I am so glad to “see” you and Barbara writing posts again on Middlesage. I missed both of you. When you were dealing with the aftermath of the flooding in 2013, you needed to take a break (understandably).

    I’m (selfishly) hoping that your recent posts are a “sign” that you’re back.

    Thank you for having the courage to “speak your truth.” I am married to a man who survived prostate cancer treatments in 2002, back surgery in January 2015, hip surgery in January 2016, and is currently planning shoulder surgery next month. He is an amazingly strong man who has farmed for his entire life…and his joints have taken the brunt of lots of hard, physical labor…so we deal with them one by one.

    Thank you also for clearly stating the seriousness of of your husband’s condition, the difficulty of his treatments and the fragility of life. I know that my husband’s health challenges have given all of us a better concept of what really matters.

    Please remember that grief and loss “show up” in different ways for each of us.

    33 days ago, my older brother who was two months shy of his 71st birthday, did not wake up in the morning…we just don’t know the day or the hour.

    Please, take care of you, as you take care of your husband. Your message is clear. You have done and are doing your part…the rest is outside of your control.

    • Lee Aldrich

      20 December

      Sue –

      Thank you so much for the incredible, thoughtful, response to the post. I appreciate you sharing your husbands health trials.

      Since Barb and I last posted in 2013, Ive moved from Estes Park, Colorado to Park City, Utah. We decided it was time to get back at it, and we were face timing this morning when we saw your comment come in on Barbs post. Both of us were thrilled to see your name pop up.

      We’re back at it, have lifted the lid on what we will write about – it will be about anything that has to do with our lives – and we’ll have a grand time doing it.

      Thank you again, not only for your thoughts and comments, but for your faithful readership.


  2. Sue Shoemaker

    20 December

    You’re welcome, Lee. I wasn’t sure if you would remember me.

    That’s a BIG move west. You sure have lived in some scenic places!

    Since 2013, I have gone from leading student tours to working with adult tour programs through ROAD SCHOLAR…and I LOVE IT!

    I look forward to reading your future posts!

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