Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wheaties in a Cup

I left the coffee on the warmer all night and didn't know it. I could stand a spoon in it but instead I have added my sweetner and creamer and am drinking it. I haven't eaten yet and I find my eating habits have diminished considerably. But since I may need to chew the coffee, I may be able to forego the wheaties all together. I actually hate Wheaties.

I woke up after a dream in which I was talking to someone. I don't know who but I stuck my fingers in my ears and said, "I am not going to listen to this. I'm not going to listen to this." It seems I was in a pleasant mood in the dream because I woke up at that point. But I have no idea what they were trying to say to me or who was saying it. I felt as if there were two people talking to me. And I want to know what they were trying to tell me. I believe in dreams. King David did, too, and so did several prophets. That's good enough for me.

Then, I got up and felt normal. The house is still empty, vacant, waiting for Jerry to come home. But no one is here with me. My sister had to be at work by 7.

Once up, I walked around talking about all my marriage. To no one? To God? To Jerry? {shrug} Don't know. Thirty-five years is a long time and over all, it was a happy life. Yesterday I broke at the memory of the birth of our children. He was there both times and who will I share that joy with now? The trips we took? Our cruise down the Rhein River when I was so pregnant with Mike and "Ring my Bell" was blaring on the lower deck so loud we had to sit top-side to avoid going deaf. It was freezing cold and I didn't have a jacket because the day had been warm. I curled up close to him and tried to stay warm and stared into the dark. I have no memory of our conversation, just a boat cruising along a German river in the dark disco music floating on the breeze.

We did have several bad spots about mid-way through th emarriage. Very nearly divorced about 1980, came very close indeed. But I prayed and fasted and I believe the Lord saved the marriage. Yet after that, we couldn't go back beyond that point in many ways. We still loved each other but the relationship was somehow different. He blamed himself and I blamed me. Still, we put it behind us and had wonderful times together. Until he began to get sick in 1989.

Gradually, his medical problems grew. He lost the job that made him proud and gave him dignity. He lost physical abilities that humiliated him. He couldn't get a good job - so much for taking care of Vets and giving them self-esteem. The VA and you employers out there, you don't give a tinker's damn and never have about the dignity of these men who served you and your country. My husband lost dignity after dignity until there was nothing left for him but a cashier's job we were desperate for. And finally, his health affected the marriage in sad or painful ways that neither of us knew how to deal with and he couldn't face. He had to wear a machine to breath in his sleep... he hated it and stopped. He simply lived in pain from all of it, he in silence and I in anger, hoping to see Sarah grow up. He kept saying it the last two months. Did he know? I begin to think he did.

And I lost sight of it buried beneath an ever increasing weight of responsibilities that had once been shared. I didn't understand what was happening since his back surgery three years ago. I was misdirected by pain medications prescribed by a pill pushing idiot. Pills that probably mask the symptoms of a heart crushed by disappointment and life.

If you know someone who had been on pain meds for more than a year without a serious illness, get help now. That is NOT normal. That is addiction and will kill them. Remind them that pain felt means they are alive. Pain unfelt is death. These medicines affect the heart. Sleep apnea is a death sentence. If you live with a snorer, stay awake and listen to the breathing. If they have brief periods where they stop breathing, get help now, even if you have to threaten divorce. It will kill them. And if they are diagnosed, do not allow pride to stop them from using the machine. If you love them, fight every step of the way. And pray.

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