Well the condo is looking pretty good these days…wish I could say the same about myself.
It all started when I was on a ladder in the shower painting (a lovely shade of very pale gray, if I do say so myself.) Because laziness is a basic necessity while painting; I tend to stretch and paint rather than go up and down the ladder creating unnecessary stress on my knees. It would appear at my age that this type of thinking is a big mistake. For as I was reaching far further than the span of my wings; I fell backwards off the ladder and as I did, my armpit went over the door frame to the shower, while my body went forward. Ouch! Okay, it felt worse than ouch it was more like OUCH!
All week my shoulder and arm hurt but I kept thinking it would feel better soon. The next weekend I decided to be playful and tried to wrestle my husband on the beach. He promptly flipped me over like a grill master with a hamburger and as he did he accidently pushed down on my shoulder. OUCH!
And so for the past two months I have been in pain. Pain sleeping, when putting on my seatbelt, when reaching up, etc. Constant unrelenting pain that I have grinned and bared with grace.
Finally, I decided to go to the doctor who promptly sent me for an MRI which confirmed that I had a slap tear to my bicep. This would be fine except for the fact there is nothing that they can do but surgery in which they cut the bicep in the back, place a screw in your shoulder and re-attach the muscle into the screw. If you choose not to do the surgery, eventually that tear starts fraying and ” sawing” into other areas in the vicinity creating even worse damage resulting in a more comprehensive surgery with even more down time. As it is I will be in a sling for 4-6 weeks as this muscle kind of grows into the screw.
Surgery is set for November. The same weekend B and I were to go away together. Instead, I will be snoozing, with the help of some pain pills, in bed by myself. Another weekend shot. But I am okay with that because I am “re-inventing” myself and plan on telling everyone that the injury was due to my incredible 100 mile-per-hour fastball pitch which sounds much more impressive than falling off a ladder. Even better, I will be stronger both mentally and eventually physically after mending and maybe this ole’ dog might even be able to learn some new tricks!
Life is good even when its not!
This weekend was fabulous. Well, any weekend is fabulous if you are at the beach…how could it not be? We hiked the cliffs and just enjoyed spending time together. I worked in my garden, watched a few sunsets and sat on the back deck watching the marine layer slowing edge its way to shore. Our raven visited carrying a huge egg in his mouth which he promptly cracked on the shed and ate. Several furry antlered bucks grazed in the woods and I heard the wild turkeys in the hedgerow. Oh… and the seals were out with their babies zipping through the water…first here and then there as slippery as can be. Really, it was lovely especially after last week with B which I will probably go into later this week.
We were heading home and for once the kids were not fighting in the car. The sun was setting with the pinks and oranges filling the sky. Then in the blink of an eye everything changed.
I received a text from my best friend. It read:
Mary is at the hospital. Her husband is in ICU. He was in an accident and cannot feel his legs.
Mary is my niece. Seems her sweet husband was out on a four wheeler which flipped. He has broken ribs, vertebrae and possibly paralysis. Surgery in the morning.
Now I am not a big prayer because I think God knows what is needed but if you are so inclined I am sure a few prayers would be appreciated for this young man and his young family.
In the blink of an eye it can all change. We all know this but when it comes home to roost it makes you remember just how precious life is and just how important it is to love and be loved.
And so I leave you with this quote that I read earlier this week. I cannot think of anything better.
“The purpose of life is to convert time into love.”-David Roberts, Puyallup, Washington
What shall you do with this second and what will you convert it into?
B is away on business for the week. While away, he had dinner with an old college friend and he told K that we had been having marital problems. When he told me this I reacted in a way that surprised me…I was crushed. I wasn’t upset that B talked with her for we all need someone to talk to and to help us gain a different perspective. In addition, we all need someone to just listen when the tides of life are out so far it seems they will never surge to shore. And even though I understood his need to discuss recent events I was still disturbed.
What bothered me about this entire situation was something simple and honest. It is this… Just how long are we going to continue to define our relationship by the worst point in our lives together? How long are we going to continue to act as if our marriage is on terribly shaky ground? How long will this rough patch be our main identifier of all the things we have accomplished/survived/created over the past 29 years?
This is not to say that we still don’t have important issues that we are trying to resolve. This does not mean that we don’t have some distance to travel to make our way back to one another. And this certainly doesn’t mean that there still isn’t a chance that things will not work out the way we have planned. But we are moving forward with honorable intentions and the belief that we can make this work. Because it has become apparent through therapy that being separated from one another would bring much greater agony and suffering to each of us then any of the pain we have endured in the past three months, let alone twenty-nine years.
Thinking about all this after B’s conversation got me contemplating our marriage and our family. We’ve had six children and have watched them grow up and some grow out of the house. And upon reflection, I realized that marriages are much like children reaching puberty and going through those horrible and painful growth spurts. In fact, much like teen-age growth pains, for the past year or two our relationship has hurt and ached. It had stagnated and was no longer thriving. Then finally new growth has occurred and we’ve growth taller together and flourished. This growth spurt has stung, ached and produced much anguish but now we are growing in the same direction at the same time and I want to preserve this sense of wonder and repair. I also want to act in a restorative manner and take a protective stance in regards to the many incredible things we had done to make this relationship not just survive but blossom.
One of these ways is acknowledging that we have come a long way in 29 years:
- We put ourselves through college without debt
- We have moved 15 times as B advanced in his career
- We survived serious and hurtful family issues
- We went through IVF four times in our attempt to become parents
- We have three home-grown children and adopted three more
- We’ve had three of our parents die
- We have two boys with autism which has stretched our relationship almost to the breaking point, not because of them but because of all the extra expenditure of effort to get them what they deserve
- I’ve had numerous surgeries, one kidney donation, and the intense pain of fibromyalgia
- We have had issues that easily would have torn others apart
- We have had job loss and loss of a potential business that we adored
- We have excelled at what we have created in both work and play
And yet we have survived. Sometimes even thrived. And in that miracle I no longer want to feel concerned, scared or hurt by my worries about my marriage. I want to rejoice in it and the man whom has made it a mostly incredible, exciting and truly meaningful relationship for almost three decades.
So there. I’m done. And in trying to restore all that is good about this life that I share with a man who I love, I am thinking about changing the name of this blog. Maybe it will be myhusbandwantedadivorceovermydeadbody, or Are You Kidding Me? or maybe just ?.
Whatever I decide, I know the change will be for the positive…just like those growing pains that have improved my marriage and my life.