Saturday, August 16, 2014

Day of Change

A year ago today, our lives changed. I don't want to say for the worse, because that gives power to the stuff we've gone through, so I'll say that things just changed. Sure, it's a lot more serious now on many levels, but that's what life does/is sometimes.

What happened on this day was that our lives were irrevocably altered.  We discovered that we were mortal, that things could -and did- indeed happen to us. No amount of denial (trust me, I've tried) changes that. But along the way, I've discovered a lot. Some of it good, some of it less so. I've discovered the kindness of people who are practically strangers, in many regards. I've discovered the strengths within myself, as well as my weaknesses. I've discovered what love means in its purest form.

That first day, in the midst of it all, hearing the doctor say that Charlie would be somewhat akin to a vegetable for the remainder of his life... if he survived. Sitting there with him, holding his hand, doing inane things like turning on CNN for him (which I've always been annoyed by) even though he was unaware of his surroundings... seeing images in my head of our future. Feeding tubes, and colostomy bags. Unintelligible utterances. And knowing that no matter what, I would hold his hand , if only for my own assurance. Regardless of whether he knew I was there or not. Actually, in honesty, I think it was more for myself, the hand-holding. Feeling his palm against mine, closing my eyes, allowed me to pretend that none of it was real, that he was still the "strong one" in the relationship. The steadying factor. Hell, I still do it today.... take his hand in mine while we're practicing reading, or watching a movie, or whatever it is.... I take it, and I work his fingers into looseness and form them around mine and I pretend that the muscle contraction is him squeezing my hand back in a show of affection.

And at some point he will yawn (causing his upper arm to contract) or whatever, and he will be startled by our hands being intertwined because he hadn't felt it or noticed it before.

But that's not the point I was going towards. I was going towards what I thought our future would be. I'm easily derailed still, obviously. At that first point, I just didn't have a fucking clue. I suspect/suppose no one does in those situations. We're not trained for it, most of us. But we're slowly figuring it out, one day at a time.

Take a moment today and tell those in your life how much they mean to you, how much you love them, and remember how blessed you are even when things are challenging.