I thought today was going to be a good day … it wasn’t.
It started out good. In fact, my waking moments almost seemed normal. I awoke because bony elbows and knees were digging into me and I could hear your voice mixed with the children’s giggles. You were teasing the children about Easter Bunny stuff. It felt normal … for a few minutes. By the time I got you out of bed and ready to go for the day the moment of normal had passed. We were both reminded of the lack of normal in our lives as I helped you to the bathroom.
We stall the children with breakfast and the two presents on the kitchen table helped with the delay … briefly. You surprised me with a present too. This isn’t something that we have done it the past. Easter has always just included a few Easter eggs, chocolate of course. We never did presents for the children or each other.
This year is an extraordinary year. You want to mark it with something for me. A necklace. You said that it represented a new beginning for us. I am touched but a little worried that this extravagance will become a habit. Hearing these concerns started you on the downslide. By this time, the children were ready for the real action and they had been patient.
You didn’t want to watch the Easter egg hunt. You didn’t want to see the fruits of your labour from yesterday. I persuaded you to come down to the mancave where your friend the Easter Bunny laid the eggs. Of course the entire hunt was over in about 10 minutes. Tara found 23 and Quinn found 18.
The house rule is that the eggs are family property and are to be divided up evenly between the children. Tara and Quinn negotiate various swaps to get the egg colours that they liked the best. I enjoyed watching them work on their bargaining and diplomacy skills. All parties left the bargaining table happy. If only world peace were this easy.
You gave me a necklace. A white gold necklace. This was the surprise that you hinted at yesterday. Juanita helped you pick it out. It is simple and beautiful and even though I am not a jewelry magnet, I wear it with love. For the cost of it, you could have given me two large truckloads of compost, which I would also ‘wear’ with love … all summer long as I play in the garden. You said, as you gave it to me, “This represents our new beginning together. I love you.”
It was great to see so many familiar faces at the church service. You chatted it up with members of the congregation and seemed in a better mood when we left.
I tried to keep the children busy with kid and doggy play dates. Meanwhile, you hovered between sadness and depression. You take me along with you down these dark and scary paths with you.
There are times when your words make me wish that I had never said yes to the surgery that saved your life. Being so caught up in your despair makes it hard for me to see things from the right prospective. I feel like I am kinder to my animal patients then I am being to you. How could I put you through this hell that you are in?
I start to question myself and I lose it. I can’t even find the breath to talk. You pat my head and tell me that you understand that I didn’t know that it would be this bad.
If this is what’s it like on weekends, I worry about what’s it is going to be like after your discharge date on April 22.
Being an optimist by nature, I have always thought, throughout this ordeal, things will get better once you are out of ICU or when the tracheotomy tube is out or when you can talk or when you go to rehab or when you can walk or do stairs.
Now I live in fear of the future. I know that once you are home, it will take a long time for you to heal emotionally from this. There are moments when I don’t know if I can hold out that long.
Quinn has embraced the juggling skill and is moving on to other applications. I suggest that he try bouncing on a ball while juggling. We have a bouncing ball that is designed to do this. “His eyes light up “Cool, Mummy, I am going to try that!” He has the ‘I think I can’ attitude. I hope it is contagious to you … and me.