I am walking down the long hall, faux marble floors shine under my slow shuffling feet. We have a slow rhythm my companions and I. One is in a wheel chair, head bowed down, perhaps admiring the floor too , the other pushing the wheel chair ever so gently.
The wheels are squeaking, another tempo to observe and interfere with my reverie.
I am thinking this is like an odd wedding cortege.
He hardly aware of the world, she to much aware of the what if's.
Towards the end of the hall we go, no alter, no clergy no I do's. We turn around.
The march now faces the shiny doors marked with all sorts of warnings.
Do not bring in a cel phone! Wear a mask when you sniffle! Do wash your hands!
Visitors under 12 not allowed!
Rules, rules, rules.
I have been married forever to the man in the wheelchair and last Monday we all thought it was his last day in this earth experience. I had been devastated when I saw the sunken in face , the ears glowing with the heat of a fever, the eyes now deep into the sockets barely opening.
I did not know how much I still loved this guy until it was going to be over.
I did not know how to let him go.
I thought he was taking me with him.
I cried, I sobbed, and yet I kept thinking of the many times I had wished it was over. When he started to hit. When he started to tell me to get out of his bed. When he yelled at our son like he was a stranger. When he no longer knew that I had been there all these years.
During the moments that he looked mean, cantankerous, and lost then I thought that he would be so much better off when in total rest.
Now that I looked at that sad figure on the bed I was full of remorse.
How could I have thought that this is what I wanted? How could I be so cruel?
People tell me all the time that I am so courageous to take on this task, keep him home and watch over him. Blah Blah Blah. Wait, people! Wait till you see the mask removed, then you will know what I was thinking. Courage? me?
forget it. ........
all of this is playing in my head.
The male nurse comes and tells me that I did a good job, I try and remove the mask and I tell him: You do not know what I call him when I am angry. I call him an asshole.
I wait for reaction, now the man will know who I am!!!He turns to me and laughs :"I bet you do, I would too".
That is his answer. Did he not hear me?
I am the monster who wanted him death last week , I am the one who now is weeping and it is too late.
I can't have him back...we are talking rules....resucitation....rules...funerals...rules.
the next day, he perks up! He even drinks a bit of Ensure. He smiles.
Gads! he smiled like he knew us and then went back to sleep.
Oh! that felt good! Oh he might just fool us all and make it.
As he got a bit stronger, started to eat something and started to respond I felt like I had been given my husband back.
What a joy!!!
Not so fast, Jeannot.
Remember the tantrums? Remember the hitting? Remember the daily wash? Remember the rejections to both of us in the house? Remember the many "unseen" friends you have to chase out of the room.? Remember how tired you are and he roams around and you can't take a nap?
Be cautious what you ask for Jeannot.
So now we are home.
He fell out of his chair this morning.
The horror of a broken hip played out in my head but before I could get to him I
picked up my precious lamp he had hit in the fall. -Oh so I am back, the wicked witch of the West is back.
Son helps me to pick him up, he is fine, he got entangled in a shawl he had on top of him. He does not want to eat- so I worry- hates the milk (suddenly)- hates the Coke (suddenly) hates the oatmeal- what now?I worry and worry, what if he becomes to feeble??What if??What if??
I am exhausted from emotions.
I need a good shrink. Not Dr Phil do not think he is a qualified one, not Dr Ruth too late for that now, oh! I know Dr.Mc Dreamy from Grey's A.
What did you say? He is not a psychiatrist? Who cares, he will do fine.
I am on my way to Seattle......