Last photos

I was working on a photo project today and ended up in tears.

Partially from looking at healthy photos of John and hating how melanoma took away his life.  It changed him from a strong active, healthy man into a very weak, tired, pale, very sick person.   John was somebody who had done 100 mile bike rides and fought fires all day.  As his cancer worsened he had to use a cane, then a walker, then a wheelchair and towards the end needed assistance to get out of bed.  FUCKING CANCER!!!!

And then I ended up crying from looking at the sick photos of John.  He looked so pale and weak.  Cancer sucks… sucks the color from your body… sucks your energy away… sucks the weight off your bones… sucks the life from your body… CANCER JUST PLAIN SUCKS!!!

Anyway, I came across the last photos of John and Nathaniel and John and me.

John & Nathaniel, June 23, 2009

John & Nathaniel, June 23, 2009

John & Nathaniel, June 23, 2009  Nathaniel was playing a game with John- something to do with making silly faces and silly noises.

John loved his boy, so much.  When John was too weak, he loved for me to put him up in bed with him.  But we had to be so careful.  Nathaniel was so strong and John so weak.  If Nathaniel got to squirming or crawling I had to be super careful that John didn’t get hurt.  John had been drinking fruit punch and his lips were so red in these photos.

John & Mary's last photo together at the Team Smitty Fundraiser at Stan & Joe's on July 11, 2009

Poor John just looks wiped in this photo.  He wanted to go so to Stan & Joe’s so badly, but he was so very, very weak.  He ended up getting a transfusion shortly after.  It’s odd to see John in a baseball cap.  He almost never wore one.  They had it made up for the fundraiser.  John said to me, “It’s probably so people will know who I am.  So if somebody asks they can say, “he’s the guy in the Team Smitty hat.””  John still had his sense of humor.  It’s one of the things I miss so much.

I guess in my mind, I’ve separated the bad memories of from when John was so sick and weak and pale (and worst of all- yellow) and I remember John the way he was before he was so sick.  I think I have to for sanity.   After his mother died it took months, if not a year to remember her before she was sick.  I had memories of her gasping for air and writhing in pain and I couldn’t separate them…  Maybe I can remember the good memories with John because we fought so hard and never gave up– John went out fighting.  While we were fighting I did everything in my power to hope and believe and fight and claw and pray that we’d get our miracle.  So maybe I “ran” through the bad times and skipped them– like running through a storm to miss the raindrops.


At least I have wonderful memories… cancer can’t take that away from me… I’m terrified over time that they’ll fade away and I’ll forget John, but only time will tell…

About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
This entry was posted in Annapolis Fire Department, Events in honor of John, Life after John's Death, Nathaniel, Stage IV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Last photos

  1. Angela says:

    Mary~I am so sorry. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing that phrase, but I just ache imagining what you go through daily. These photos are beautiful to see and I appreciate you sharing them. Cancer does suck and so many people know that firsthand. Nathaniel will always know his Daddy was fighting for his life with Mommy by his side. The memories will not fade because you are too amazing to let that happen. Thinking of the three of you as always. . . . (hugs)

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