I can’t believe it’s been two weeks already.
Last night, due to everyone’s schedules and the fact that the kids missed a whole week of school last week, I went to visit Shawn on my own. It was so nice to be able to have some real one on one time with him again.
We talked about how everyone is doing, how my work is going, how school is going for the kids and how his day went today. Which, by the way, was hard. His chest is really starting to feel the after effects now of the half hour of compressions and the many times he was shocked. He says it feels like he was kicked in the chest multiple times by a donkey, and then an elephant came in and sat on it afterwards. Not fun. Not fun at all. But, he is still optimistic about being able to come home soon. Nervous, but optimistic.
Shawn was sitting in his chair last night instead of propped up in his bed. He took my hand and told me that his doctors have been filling him in a little more all the time of what he has been through. He says he doesn’t remember anything earlier than Monday of this week. Then, as we discussed what he knew from doctors and some gaps that I filled in, he looked at me and said “how have you been getting through this?”.
Typical Shawn, worrying about me. You see, thirteen years ago, almost to the day, I went through a similar thing. I was pregnant with our youngest and was in hospital. No one could figure out what was wrong, and then, according to what I’ve been told by my doctors and by Shawn, I simply…faded out. My heart slowed way down, and apparently, for about two minutes, I died. A nurse told Shawn – who was kicked out into the hallway, to prepare himself. As we talked last night, he reminded me about how heartbroken he was at the prospect of losing me, and our baby, at that time. It was terrifying. But, he reminded me, I was stable again very quickly and even though I had to deliver our boy nearly two months early just a few days later, we were never in the kind of ‘serious shit’ that he’s been going through. He said to me, if he had a hard time dealing with that, he can’t imagine how I’ve been getting through since the 19th.
Well, I cried. Because that’s what I do. I’m a crier. Because the truth is sometimes I am getting through okay, because I have to – I still have children and a home and a job – but sometimes, I’m not okay. Because when someone you love goes through a very serious illness, or almost fifty minutes of cardiac arrest, or cancer, or an accident, all you do is re-evaluate every second of your lives together. You play over and over again in your mind all the times you were awful to them, or bitchy, or mean or sometimes, willfully hurtful. You play those scenarios out in your head and question each and every decision that led up to them. You beat yourself up. It makes you fall into a self loathing like nothing else and it’s all I could do to try to cut those thoughts out of my mind. That’s when the images start. I was in the room during the whole ordeal and I saw first hand everything that happened to save his life, which also means, I watched him die first. Never in my life have I been so sure of who I wanted at my side, and never have I felt so damn alone. Even in a room full of people.
So of course I cried. He wiped my tears away and said, don’t be sad. But I wasn’t sad. I was happy. Because even though I’ve beaten myself up, cried myself to sleep, burried myself in my work and pushed through this to be strong for my kids, in the end, I’m relieved. I get to keep my husband. I get to take my best friend back home one of these days and we get to move on from this together, as a team, the way we do in all things we triumph in.
Sure, I’ll still be annoyed by his snoring and the way he leaves his socks half on, half off his feet at night. Yeah, I will probably hate it when he changes the lyrics of my favourite songs in the car and sings louder than I do. But I’ll also love feeling his hand run through my hair at night. The way he comes into a room and walks over to me for a hug. The way he rests his hand in the crook of my waist when we’re out in public together. The way he looks at me, unwaveringly, and tells me I’m beautiful. The way he truly listens to me when I tell him things and the way he knows just how to make me laugh.
We’re lucky. We’re not rich, we’re not famous, we can’t even go away together for our 20th anniversary like we planned. But we’re lucky.
We have each other.
**For those of you writing the thank you notes – I’ve already gotten the first one in, thank you Steph! – you can also request my email and I can print them from there. If you comment on this post with a request for it, I will reply to you. Thanks everyone!!