My sister-in-law, Laura, writes a popular blog that encompasses everything from makeup to motherhood to mental health. In addition to writing her blog, she hosts a Facebook page dedicated to it and also presents at blogging events around the country. Last week she asked me if I would be interested in sharing my writing in her space. My gut reaction was, “Heck no. I am the world’s laziest writer. My writing is not polished. Even if there is a typo or grammatical mistake in a post, I rarely go back in and edit it.”
However, later that night, I wrote something to post here but instead sent it to her. I decided that even if my words impacted only one person in her audience then it would be worth it. In order to provide some necessary background information, Laura wrote an introduction and then shared the entire thing on her blog.
(I have included the part that I wrote below.)
By the time I crawl into bed, he has already been there for several hours of restless sleep. I am quiet and careful as I hunker down and let my pillow and mattress absorb the weightiness of the day. In the darkest dark I listen to him breath, and I wait. He will reach for my hand and tell me he loves me – a brief connection that will happen several times during the night.
As he drifts back to sleep, I will reflect on events of the day; the kids, work, changes. Regrets. He has been sharing these lately.
“I feel like I have let down the team.” I have tried to talk about this to friends. I want to say that it’s crazy. That he has fought for almost three years and put himself through hell to try to beat this. But I can never get the thought out before the tears come.
“I wish I had gone on them sooner.” He’s referring to Zoloft. For much of his life he has battled some pretty significant mood swings. When living with cancer added a heaping pile of stress to his plate, he agreed to give it a try. I reassure him that I am glad that he went on them when he did as it has made him much happier.
“I hate that the kids have to go through this.” This one makes me catch my breath. But we have come a pretty long way. We used to talk about how hard it will be on the kids when he is no longer here. Now we talk about them being resilient and what we can do to help them on their journeys. He reminds me that it will be my job to tell them that it is okay to be sad, to cry, to feel crappy but that they also have to leave room for happiness to come in too.
Yesterday, as we were leaving the doctor’s office, he said, “I don’t know what I would do without you.” And I thought, “Me too”.