Wednesday, December 29, 2004

First Baby

My friend just had a baby. Her First Baby.

When I met her, we were 18. I was going to be an actress. I was fueled by a passion for the stage that I never thought could be equaled by anything else, least of all some mortal man. She was going to be a poet. She was going to live alone with words and a cat. We were going to be clichés, and we were so looking forward to it.

A long, exhausting illness paused my theatrical career, and when I was strong enough to return to it, I no longer wanted it. Instead I wanted comfort, peace, and the presence of someone I actually loved more than Shakespeare and Brecht. She never gave up poetry, and her work is some of the best I have ever read. Her solitude never did happen, though. She met a playboy who was all too willing to reform (and keep cats) for her.

In our little circle of college friends who still get together to remember backstage antics, hours of Greek Theater and Biblical Literature, the occasional embarrassing sexual anecdote, she has given birth to the First Baby.

When I met her, we never could have imagined him, either of us. Parenthood seemed a lifetime away. Now we are 25. Hardly a lifetime.

I’m looking at pictures of her son. He has her nose and mouth. He’s little and pink. He’s beautiful.

I don't know if his existence makes me feel old, or if it makes me excited for my future. I do know that, while I am so very happy for her, I am aching with jealousy for something...a baby of my own, or maybe just that wonderful feeling of fulfillment that she has. Probably both.

This little kid is totally blowing my mind, and he's only been here for a couple of days.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

With all the things my family has gone through this last year, all I can think is that today is Jesus's birthday, my husband is feeling okay, I don't have a hangover, and I have an entire week off from work.

Life can be pretty good.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Simple Pleasures

About a year ago, I had to start thinking about my husband's death. Not just think about it, plan for it. I sat down with my mother and discussed funeral arrangements. It was scary as hell.

I realized, though, that there is something scarier.

Should this latest surgery not work, should my husband die, I am still going to be here. Probably for another 60-70 years (people in my family live to be nearly 100).

That means that someday I might be okay. Someday the constant tears would stop, and I'd rejoin society and have to function.

I had a conversation with my husband. I broke down. I sobbed and told him THAT is the one thing I cannot do. I cannot be okay without him. I cannot be okay with his death. I cannot be okay.

He calmly sat up. He looked at me and told me that someday I have to be. It's natural, it's good. Over time, though some pain does not go away, we do heal to the point where it isn't overpowering. He loves me, and does not want me to spend the rest of my life in mourning.

When I kept protesting he said

"Maybe I am going to die. Do you want the last few months we have together to be full of sadness?"

I don't.

So I am treasuring the little things. A scrabble game. Watching TV while we both write. Holding his hand while we sleep. If it has to end, I'll mourn later.

And someday, I guess I'll be okay.

Thanks for the title, Dr. Pauly.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Christmas Party

I went to a party last Saturday night (no need to insert Lita Ford). Every year at Christmas time, my college buddies throw it as a little reunion. Now that we live all over the country, this is (for some of us) the only chance for some of us to see each other for an entire year.

I can't believe how one party with people I've known for slmost eight years be equally so much fun and so surreal. So much of it was just like college. The apartment had much better decor, and one of us was massively pregnant (not me), but it was the same jokes, the same stories, and that same relaxed laughter at things we thought we had forgotten. Things we hoped our ex significant others had forgotten.

It was the closest to normal I had felt in so long.

Friday, December 03, 2004

The Unavoidable Truth

I can't do it anymore. I wanted to, I tried. I tried to pretend that I actually had some kind of self outside of the disease that is killing my husband. I tried to find some sort of purpose and meaning in my life, but that is impossible, because I no longer have a life.

All that is real is what I felt moments ago. My husband is suffering. I am powerless.

This disease has consumed our last two years. It is going to consume any future we may have together. I am so tired of fighting the insurance company, of putting my hope in doctors who keep feeding him drugs, keep promising some kind of relief for him. I am so tired and so alone. I have friends who say things that sound so empty. They pray for me, but their prayers aren't doing anything. God doesn't seem to care. I am alone and my husband is going to die and there is nothing that I can do and this is the only thing that I am. Almost a widow. Stuck in this horrible Purgatory. Desperately hoping for one more day with him and so badly wanting him to go, just so he won't have to suffer anymore. I am guilt and grief and that is all. And I am alone.