Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Seven Days After
We were four hours away from home, in the big city. The days were long and the nights even longer. Steve has said that this week was the most difficult week of his life—worse than breaking his back. He said he's been dreaming about the army days—vivid dreams, full of color and texture and sounds. It's brought us both back to that time, that place that will probably always haunt us.
Steve came home yesterday. Back home. I feel like I can breathe again, like the worse is over and I can finally let go. My body is telling me to slow down; my jaw is sore from clenching my teeth, my muscles tight from worry, and my eyes puffy from sleepless nights.
We piled into bed last night, all with our pajamas and watched Penguins of Madagascar on TV. In that moment, I felt complete bliss, so much happiness, I could have burst because we survived. Because we were together again. Because I know how lucky we are.
I know that not every family in that waiting room has made it home—many are still there, filled with worry and sadness. I know many of them will be there for a long time because I was sitting there when the surgeon came in and said it was not good news, it was lymphoma and the size of a pumpkin—in his brain. I'm also thinking of the woman who died on Steve's floor the night of his surgery, 93 years old. I heard the nurse say that she was an organ donor but that her organs were not viable. I also heard her say there was no one to call. She was alone in this world.
So today, I am counting my blessings and then some. I am wholeheartedly expressing my gratitude to you for your loving-supportive words on this blog and the countless other messages we have received from friends who have reached out and told us we were not alone. I'm grateful for the surgeon who did what he said he would do and for the nurses who cared for Steve with respect and kindness.
He's sleeping. He's home. The healing continues, but I have again been changed by this experience, we both have. We have been to many painful and dark places this week, but I feel the rain has tapered off and I see the rainbow just over the horizon.
With buckets of LOVE,