Usually, I need to warm up to new music, but every once in a while, I hear a song once and fall in love with it. That is how I felt when I first heard the song Budapest by George Ezra a few months ago. When I heard Budapest a few days ago while driving in to work, I wanted to be driving the opposite direction to the hospital. I hated not being with Randy. I heard this song and started to cry. Honestly, I was ready to cry even without the song, but for some reason, the lyrics tripped the tear ducts. I just missed him so much. I missed him even when I was in the hospital room with him. But for you, I’d leave it all.
When I am sad or scared or happy or excited, Randy is the person I want to talk to first. No matter how anxious or scared I am, he always helps me feel better. He is my safe place. He is my sense of security. He is where I find my comfort. That wasn’t going to work in this situation. I couldn’t stand at the end of his bed and tell him how terrified I was. I couldn’t say “I am so afraid you’ll die.” Seriously, when a person is ill in the hospital, the only thing worse than saying something like that would be punching the patient in the face.
I wanted to tell him that I was as upset for myself as I was about the pain he was in. That being afraid for me made me feel selfish and horrible. Usually I tell Randy when I feel that way and he talks me down. I couldn’t tell him, though. Hi sweetie, I know you are in terrible pain and you have been jabbed with needles so many times that you have track marks, but let’s talk about me.
I missed him so bad.
I feel tired in every sense of the word. I feel it physically in a way that makes me feel like I’m the verge of vomiting. I’m not hungry. I haven’t been eating right. When I do eat, it’s Lucky Charms, little powdered donuts and Cheetos. I feel tired in my brain and it won’t stop whispering to me. Every thought, every action, is overshadowed by these words “I am tired.”
I was afraid, for a while, that Randy wasn’t going to come home.
I know we all love who we love. I know many people, some of you, have felt the loss of the person most close to them in the world. I want to say to you that I’m sorry. I am so goddamn sorry. I won’t say that I understand your grief, because I don’t. I got a little sneak preview of it, though, and just that little bit left me shaken and with the belief that my strength doesn’t run as deep as I thought it did.
I know I’m not unique in feeling a tremendous bond to another human, I’m just saying that I don’t know if I am equipped to handle that loss.
I am tired.
I am writing this after finishing out my week at work on Friday. I didn’t put in enough hours and I produced very little. I thought that Randy would be coming home today. When a CT scan showed another complication on Thursday they told us he had to stay at least until Sunday.
I was at my desk when I spoke with the doctor about the results of his scan on Thursday. I was in my cubicle when I found out Randy would be there two days longer than we thought. I ugly cried at my desk. I cried in front of coworkers. Not only cried, I blubbered. I don’t do that, you guys. I don’t ugly cry in front of anyone but Randy.
I am tired.
I have been trying, though, to find silver linings hiding in the creases. It occurred to me, that I showed my pain and fear in front of other people and the world didn’t open up and swallow me. I am not even embarrassed and I am always embarrassed when I cry in front of other people. I think my emotional maturity might be kicking in.
People who care for me have been reminding me over the past few weeks to take care of myself. That I have to take some time for myself. They’ve reminded me that I won’t be able to keep taking care of everything if I end up sick. I know this is true. But I’m not convinced that it is true for me.
I stood in the shower a little while ago and it felt good. I wanted to stand there for a ridiculously long time. 15 whole minutes. All I could do was berate myself for not moving faster. He’s in the hospital you haven’t seen him since this morning. You have to go. You aren’t in danger of burning out. You don’t have it that bad. You are being selfish.
I know this is bullshit, but that voice speaks with such conviction.
I am burning out. Earlier this week, I stomped through the house grumbling that I couldn’t find my goddamn shoes. The shoes that were currently on my goddamn feet.
That night, after coming home from the hospital, I sat at my kitchen table and carefully went through a stack of papers. I looked intently through this stack of papers four times before realizing that I had no idea what I was looking for.
Which isn’t as bad as last night. When we got the news that Randy had a few extra days in the hospital, I left work. He was having a procedure done and I wanted to be there. I drove home first and changed clothes, then got to the hospital at 2:00 in the afternoon. I left at 9:00 that evening and went to my car.
It was running.
I left my car idling the entire afternoon and evening.
That one shook me up a little. That was when I had to admit that I was fraying.
I did take a long shower. Maybe not 15 minutes, but I stood there long enough to feel the muscles in my neck release a bit. I didn’t feel good about zoning out in the shower, but I did it anyway. Just because the voices in my head are loud and mean doesn’t mean I have to do what they say.
I found more than one silver lining over the past two weeks.
I had moments in the past two weeks that have been amazing. I will be forever grateful to a group of people whom I have never met that propped me up every single day. I typed all my fears to a Facebook group I belong to and without fail, my friends in that group cheered me on and held my hand. They railed against the universe with me. They sent their good thoughts. They told me they loved me. A few times, they even made me laugh. I got a few phone calls from some women in the group and had the chance to babble long stringy sentences that probably made very little sense. I learned that I can accept comfort from other humans.
My friend, Mountain girl. was tethered to my side. She might be hours away, but she stuck with me every single day. She made me laugh and she listened to me cry. I knew I could call any time I needed and I knew she really fucking cared. I can accept love from other humans.
My husband’s daughter stayed with us which was amazing. I know she was here because he’s her dad and she loves him, but having her take care of shit while I was at work kept me going. Plus, she is one of my favorite humans and her presence comforted me. I am proud of my family.
Even with this amazing support system, I had to process some things alone.
I have had to acknowledge the fact that one day Randy and I will go through this again. Maybe the roles will be reversed and maybe they won’t. But we will go through it. And one of us would have to continue on without the other. I hate this. I hate everything about it. I don’t want it. Not now. For all that is holy, not now. Not ever.
This is a time when I won’t get my way. I hate not getting my way.
I am tired.
I can rail against this. I can cry and scream and threaten and nothing will change.
How can I feel better about this? How can I not be terrified of the inevitable?
I can love my people. I can gather them close and love them because as long as we are alive this very moment, then at this very moment, we win. We have infinity in every one of these moments.
Please, find a few moments every day to pass some of your love to your people. Hug the neighbor’s dog. Smile at your barista. Call your mother, for fuck’s sake. Because we all have this time, right now.
Right now, time is on our side.
I screamed the lyrics of that song as I wrote this post. I am alone in my house. I will leave in a few minutes to spend the night with Randy in the hospital. I took this time to write. I took this time to empty some of this horrifying shit out of my head. I am okay with taking this time out for me. That is very nearly true.
I am tired.
I know this is somewhat incoherent. I hope you could follow. This post was hard to write. This one hurt.
I think we’re at the end of this particular shit storm. I will probably post this on Sunday. When I post this, I will know if Randy will be home with me or not. I hope so badly that he is.
I promise, I’ll be funny next time.
Randy comes home at Noon today.
I am tired. But I think I can rest now.