Okay, Folks (to use one of Michael's words) here goes. You've told me you like it when I get real. This is just about as real as it gets. I cry almost every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. Well, more so on Mondays and Wednesdays... I think the joy of Friday in and of itself helps me to fight off the tears on Friday mornings.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings a woman comes to our house to get my husband up and help him in the bathroom. She's there for three hours. I hate this fact. I hate most of all that he needs this help. The fact that she comes makes me realize, over and over, each time she comes, that my husband is paralyzed. I hate realizing that over and over. I don't know how I keep managing to forget in between. Our life is very normal. We're very much in love, and we have so many moments that are just like everyone else. But Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings we aren't like everyone else. And it always feels like his injury just happened, and I feel shocked, like "What? Seriously? That can't be for real." Even though Michael broke his neck 17 years ago... half his life ago. He's been paralyzed ever since before we even met, yet it still smacks me in the face like it happened yesterday.
So, on MWF's, I get up and take care of chores and make breakfast and lunch and leave it in the fridge for Michael. I kiss him and lay his phone on his chest. Then, I go to my bathroom and get ready. I'm usually there when she arrives. We say good morning. I leave for work, and M shouts to me from the other room, "Bye, Sweetheart." I'll say goodbye, have a good day, I love you.
And I walk out. His wheelchair is usually in the living room, like this. So it's not in the way.
The door shuts behind me, I plug my ipod earphones in and start my walk to the metro or to the car... and that's when it happens. I cry. Sometimes just a couple of tears. Sometimes, it's an all out whaling breakdown. Then, somewhere along the way, I pull myself together, smile, and do my job. I wait to hear from him via text message, that he's up and at 'em. When he forgets to text me, I freak out! :)
It makes me so sad. Sometimes I feel mad, too. This is the part where you'll realize just how much of an immature jerk of a wife I can be. I'll actually be jealous. Can you believe that? I'll be jealous because while I'm getting up at 4:00 or 4:30, he gets to lay there until 7:00am when she gets there to get him up! Wow. Like I'd like to trade places? Actually, if I could, I would, sometimes. It does get really old watching the one you love struggle... even though Michael handles everything so gracefully and with such a cheerful attitude... Sometimes just the visuals are too much to handle and I wish I could make some sort of trade deal with God just so he can have a break.
Soon, we'll go back to a season where I'm handling all of M's care again. It's not ideal long term, but it's good for a season. Last night, we were talking about it and I asked M if he's dreading it or looking forward to it. "I think we're ready," he says. You hear that? "WE're." He's always so quick to stress that WE are in this together. I love that. I need that. Because it's awful lonely sometimes. Together, we can do ANYTHING! I truly believe that because I've experienced it.
There are a million things I never imagined I could handle, but I've done it, together with M and with God's strength. I hate being weak. I hate being vulnerable. I hate that I can't fix him. He hates that he can't fix me adjusting to all of this, and working through all of the grief and emotions. All we want to do is make it so the other one doesn't have to go through the tough parts. But, I suppose that's not the whole idea. I have to trust that all of this has a purpose.
I'm secretly looking forward to December... when I no longer have some other woman all up in my kitchen (major territorial issues there! haha) and when I don't have to watch him SLEEP IN while I'm hard at work! wink wink...