I hope this entry finds you all well and recovered from New Year’s Eve if you celebrated with the spirits as I did! I spent New Year’s Eve with some family and friends, taking a much needed break from what has become my life. I had a wonderful time reconnecting with my older brother and his family and am grateful to have had fun.
I am back in Richmond now, sitting in my husband’s hospital room and listening to him softly snore. He has always been a day sleeper, night owl type of person, and it seems no matter how his doctors try and reset his internal rhythms, they don’t succeed. I believe that some things just are and he will ever be thus, one of those people that stay up all night and sleep during the day. No amount of medication, no pleading, no stating facts or bribery will change that. Not even with the damage to his brain. HIs body, his mind and his spirit will always be most energized at night. I mention this because I have come to realize that some things just are, it’s as simple as that. Some things just are…
I didn’t want to move to Richmond. It just is what I had to do. I don’t want my husband to be different, he just is. I don’t want to live alone, I have to. This event has chipped away at the foundation of our lives as we knew them, and in the cracks of those foundations we have to fill them in with something different. Three months ago I would have tried to fill them in with positivity, light and love, but I fear that I am letting hurt, frustration and doubt become filler. I push back against fear everyday, against rage, against doubt. I fail more than I triumph, I crawl more than I walk and I cry more than I smile, but I do meet each day with a grateful heart. My beloved is alive, and for that fact alone I am still thankful. I remind myself many times a day that I could truly be alone now and I am not. I am loved by the man I married, and if that’s all I have moving forward, it’s more than enough, because in that love is all I need. It’s because of that love that we have a daughter that loves us, sons-in-love that add so much to our family, and grandchildren that are the hearts that beat outside our chests. This world would have all of us believing that life is always hard, the world is wrong. Life is hard, of that I have no doubt, but life is beautiful. Life is hard, but life is worth the effort it takes to find the moments of joy that make it worth living. I promised myself awhile back to actively seek joy filled moments every day. Every. Single. Day. I have. There have been days when I haven’t seen, felt or heard joy make itself known, so I am learning, again, that I have to seek it for myself.
I didn’t want to keep being the bearer of bad news for my family, though it seems at times this is all I am. I didn’t want to have to tell my daughter that her Daddy was never going to be the same, that he wouldn’t be able to get down on the floor and play with her babies, or not be able to read to them, throw a ball with them or even watch a Disney movie with them. I know there are people out there that want to hurt others, I am not one of these people. I have never been. I know now that I have to say things that I know will hurt her heart, not out of meanness, but out of love. She is an adult and I know that she knows I am not trying to hurt her. She loves her Daddy, she has a right to know. She also needs to know I am hurting, but that I am trying to move forward in my own life. I hear all the time that I am strong, I really didn’t have a choice but to be. Life changes happen to all of us, regardless of who or what we are, it’s in the aftermath that we learn what we are truly made of.
I didn’t want to see my husband become diminished in the eyes of the world, nor in the eyes of those who know us. He is different, not diminished. He is challenged, not diminished. He is physically weaker, not diminished. He still has a lot to offer, and the greatest thing he has to offer is love. He is fiercely protective as he has always been, he is much more vocal than he has ever been and he is still just as funny. Stroke patients change based on the degree of injury to the brain, and he is vastly changed, not diminished. His changes have affected much change in me as well, I have become quieter, more apt to want to be alone and less trusting. I was already struggling with trust issues when this happened, it now seems the volume is deafening on those issues. Something else to work through.
I’ll end here for today with a grateful heart for the blessing of another day where I am able to see and love my husband. Life is precious, and for those of you reading this that need to be encouraged, know that you are not alone. Life stomps on us, beats us up and leaves us in the dust, but by the grace of God we can get back up and fight back. Keep fighting…