14 June 2012

The summer schedule is in full effect even though I almost missed my appointment with Marilyn today and I did not plan for any on-the-go meals for Julia.  Thursdays will be our crazy activity day.  It is not too much or too difficult but it needs planning which was what I did not do today.  Where was my brain?  I was taking vacation much too seriously.  

I am coming into the second anniversary of the last few weeks of David’s life and I feel myself preparing for the onslaught of emotion.  Last year was rough.  I don’t expect it to be as hard this year, but I don’t expect it to pass unnoticed either.  While Cheshire was waiting on my hand and foot in the first days after my small surgery, I recognized what a good job she was doing and that David would not have done such a good job nursing me.  The thought spun on.  David and I had really never been ill during the entire time we were together.  Yes, there were bad colds, extracted wisdom teeth, and David’s case of walk pneumonia, but our modus oprendi for illness was to push through, do more, keep to schedules, and take as little time away from work and ongoing life as possible.  The sad thought crossed my mind that we were not prepared for heavy duty recovery from a heart transplant.  I think that I was/am more gentle on myself than David was, but I followed David’s lead on his recovery.  I did not insist that he needed to slow down.  The night that I found him on the bathroom floor, he questioned me when I decided to call an ambulance.  I was sure that I was right but there was a small doubt in the back of my mind -- a small part of me that was steeling for an admonishment from David and some health care provider who would think me silly for coming to the ER.  
I don’t blame myself for not making David take care of himself.  I can’t.  We did not know how slow he should have taken it.  He had no idea that he could not push through the pain and the reduced ability this time.  This had always worked before.  We did not know how fragile he was and really how high the stakes were.  No blame, but sadness.  Would better care have kept him alive?  I have no idea.  Maybe, but who knows if his congenital condition was really taken care of with a new heart.  There is no way of retracing our steps, but every reason to learn from those mistakes.
And so, I am more than happy to have a good nurse in Cheshire and to put myself on the couch at least as long as the doc advises.  
The other David related thought that comes up is the way that ordinary things can trigger such emotion.  A few houses away from mine, there is a front garden with tall lilies growing.  Since we’ve lived in Madison, I have enjoyed watching those lilies grow and bloom.  I remember enthusiastically pointing out those lilies to David, one of which was the lily that I carried as part of my wedding bouquet.  I pointed out enthusiastically and David politely acknowledged.  He never developed any love for gardens.  I remember that those lilies bloomed right around the time that David was re-hospitalized and died.  I remember the scent of those flowers while I walked the dog on the days after his death.  And most strangely, I have no memory of those flowers from last year.  
The buds have formed now.  They grow and they will swell in the next few weeks.  And they will bloom and fill the air with their sweet smell.  And I will remember this year.  I will remember how beautiful, how sad, how awful, and how glorious a lily can be.  I will take note of the kind and color of those flowers and next year, or the year after I will plant my own.

I told this about the lilies to Marilyn.  Triggers that can come back year in and year out.  And then she compared it to what kids who have suffered trauma go though when their greatest fears or anger or pain is triggered and they (and their family) has no idea why.  Behavior the seems to come out of no where, but did a parent give them a doll, a bowl of rice, a new pair of shoes just before abandoning them?  And no one -- not the child who was too young or too scared to remember -- and not the forever parents -- who were given such scant information about the child that they have no idea of their experiences before they met -- have any idea of why.  That hearts heal is a miracle when pain is so deep.


chayadina said...

Suzanne, we're in town now. feel free to be in touch at 773.960.8078. Would love to meet you and Julia for coffee/breakfast, etc.

Take care, Carol

Traci said...

Triggers. Confusion. Pain. Walls. All of this is a part of our everyday world now. Sometimes she hurts so deeply that all she can do is hurt back.

I do believe, however, that she does have the capacity to heal. To be whole.

I'm eager for you to meet our K and I am so very excited to see you and Julia!!

What day will you arrive?