Yesterday was probably the healthiest I have felt since some time in 2009 after we found out that David needed a transplant. I was driving around yesterday after having met with my mentor from last year, Barb, and I was struck by the notion that I always knew/perceived that David would die before me and that I’d have a whole second life on my own. Now, truthfully, I don’t believe that I always knew that but perhaps living in the present, as it is and not as I wish it would be, have given me this insight.
Of course, that was yesterday. Today, I was waste on wheels! For a good part of the day, I did nothing useful at all, and instead of just taking the day as a fun day -- finding a movie or a good walk, I avoided all forward action. It was afternoon before I got in gear and then I did some useful work. But it was not about useful work, it was about a good day. And somedays I can do it and others that I can’t.
“I been afraid of changing because I built my life around you.”
The line has been running through my head all day today. When this happened a few months ago, I was in tears the entire day. Feeling weak and dependent. The whole weakness thing is rather amazing to me. Last week, when I went to Waisman, I walked from the hospital parking ramp to the center quickly and without any trouble. Walking back to my car, I remembered doing this walk last year, especially last fall, and wondering whether I was going to make it. I had no stamina. It scared me at first, but then I became used to it. It was a elderly feeling, elderly without being that old. Reflecting last week, I wondered if it was just part of grief. That grief that sucked the life right out of me. That reminded me of how that last infection, the gall bladder infection that took David’s life, left him so weak during the week before he died. His weakness scared me, as mine did not. I have no idea if his weakness scared him.
When I was walking last week, I was not feeling incredibly strong -- something I would like to feel during this year -- but my legs were not shaking, my breath was not short. Was that just and solely grief? How powerful is that?
“I’ve been afraid of changing . . . “
Last year, it was a painful cry. Today, it was more of a prayer. A fact. A warm remembrance. I was the person who was afraid of changing. I was the person who had built a life around David. And now, I remember that person and still carry parts of that person, but I am changing. Afraid or not, I am changing.
As I walked through the hospital parking ramp and through the hospital as a short cut to Waisman, the walls of the place seemed to whisper. Yes, yes, I wanted to answer. I remember. Of course, I remember. Coming there day and night, for weeks, during different months, in so many emotional states. I remember bringing Julia and having part of her ninth birthday with David bedside. I remember every day suppers and playing games, and trying to keep Julia from disturbing David too much. I remember it all. And I am not going to stop walking through, taking a short cut, or even remembering. I am doing something to make myself strong when I casually make that place part of my life. I am not sure why. But I am learning strong.
Yesterday was so physically beautiful. Just breath taking and more. The leaves, although not at their peek, are in glory, with the yellows and reds broadcasting light. The morning light is later and the evening dark earlier so a bit more intensity to the day’s light is appreciated. The sun was hot yesterday, drying leaving that were on the ground. Every year I fall a bit more in love with autumn. The messiness of fallen leaves piling in corners, softening right angles, the overblown and half dead flowering plants, the browns mixed with greens, and my roses. I inherited a few rose bushes when I moved here. I’ve never really liked roses and reading about their care has always made them sound like more trouble than they are worth it to me. But these buses in my garden beds are pretty self-reliant and they bloom far into the autumn when other perennials are finished. I don’t trim the buses more than once a year and so by fall, they are oddly shaped and spindly. I don’t care. I am amply rewarded for any care offered at all by a delicate white bud or a red
I still need to resist the urge to always write and say we. “We” is okay to use referring to Julia and I, or about the family, but it is funny how I’ve used we so long when referring to things like when I moved to Madison, or what I did on the weekend. We were a couple who enjoyed each other’s company and claimed that enjoyment. At least, I was. I didn’t notice if David used “we” as much as I did. But how could I? Notice, I mean.
Julia is still picking. For the last few days, I’ve wrapped a leg and an arm with bandages and then bandaided the rest of her body. It breaks my heart that incapacitation is the best that I can do. But for now, it is my only weapon. I did not bandaid a few almost, almost healed scabs on one arm last night, and by the morning they were bloody again. We have an appointment with her pediatrician tomorrow morning to rule out any physical causes. I need to talk to her meds doc about examining her ADHD cocktail. And we talk and do strong sitting and do EFT. She wants to please me, she wants to stop, she promises me she will stop whether or not I ask for those promises. She cannot seem to stop. And so, I incapacitate.