Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I'm married to a man who loves me. His love is evident and I am his priority, that I should be sure of. But I can be insecure and needy, I can question his love for me. I have a saying when I'm struggling with this, "I need some Markie time." It's a true craving I feel when our connection has been weak. When we've been running the rat race and not spending quality time together. When my soul needs to reconnect with the soul I need the most to make me feel whole. I don't always see his love as clearly as I should when he is trying to balance work, family, his life and me. Jobs and the almighty dollar often rules people's lives. You need it to survive and it also helps us to live. Vacations, times out on the town, activities with loved ones are all memory builders that need money. Sure money can't buy love, but there is no denying it buys things to make life and love more fun. Mark and I have not made many decisions in life based on getting ahead and making more money. We have done what was right and we have done what would help our family the most. That may mean what brings the most peace and or stability to our challenging family. We have chosen what was the best moral path for us. We have chosen the mentally healthy path for all our family. When life gets to me, Mark is who I seek. He calms my frazzled soul. His presence gives me strength. His words are often wise. I know he always comes from a place of caring. Mark has no hidden agenda with me, he is my rock and he loves me unconditionally. I sometimes question if I am as good as he is? I am much more opinionated. If I strongly take a stand, Mark will always back me. This can be frustrating though. I have heard myself call him a martyr. He rarely pushes an opposing side to mine. I cannot get his own thoughts on a problem or a decision that needs to be made because his words are the same "whatever you want, I want." In many ways his indecision makes our life easier because we rarely disagree. In some ways it makes life harder for me. Much is on my shoulders, I carry a lot of the weight and if I take us down the wrong path, I own it. I struggle with making many decisions alone and often seek my friend's opinions. Those who are married to opinionated men are jealous of my easy going husband. Mark is sweet, kind, loving and thoughtful. Our friendship is strong and it has an incredible ease to it. My niece recently asked me if I knew from the start that Mark and I should be together forever? I did, I felt safe with Mark. I felt cared for and loved beyond anything I had ever felt. The immediate ease of our relationship was like we had been together forever. Our friends commented from the beginning on how natural and comfortable we seemed. I am not sure what I believe in when it comes to afterlife. I believe in a heaven, but I have also thought that Mark and I must have been together some time before this life? I think about past lives, our growing and learning from them. Maybe we acquire different skills from each life to take to the next? Maybe it is our failure at a skill in a past life that we try to learn in our present life? My dreams sometimes feel like windows into those lives I already lived. What are my lessons in this life? Did I need to learn compassion, letting go, trust? Mark says I think too much, he's probably right. Maybe I just need to live in the presence and have faith it's all in God's plan, just like Mark believes...
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The anger and sadness hurt so badly I felt like I was losing myself. I wanted to run, this was too much and I wanted to be done. Parenthood should not hurt this much. Other parents didn't experience this level of pain, did they? It would be years before I would connect with families who also understood this pain. I would never be happy for their pain, but the understanding made my life so much more tolerable. But this was not the day I had expected to have. It was October 21st, 2005, a Friday. That night a long time family friend's daughter was getting married. It was their only child and it was sure to be a beautiful wedding. I love a wedding, I love sitting through the vows while holding my husband's hand and thinking about our own special day many years ago. I love that our love is so strong and the meaning of the ceremony is so much more powerful to me as we age. I took it seriously as a young bride, but today, in our relationship, in our marriage, I feel even more blessed and even more in love than ever. We have lived much happiness and we have lived much pain. There is some truth that what doesn't kill you, strengthens you. We have grown together, learning from life and one another. We have loved each other with a strength that builds. Often when I say "I love you," Mark responds "I love you more," but it doesn't stop there because I believe "I love him more" to which he always replies "You obviously don't understand the meaning of infinity." Infinity, that is what makes our marriage, we are here for each other forever. When we said those vows many years ago, maybe we did not understand how committed we would be to each other? As I age, I see our marriage as not only solid in love, but also a firm commitment to each other and our God. Sure we have had hard times, moments when the grass looked a little greener on the other side. We worked through tough times because, let's face it, the grass still needs tending and mowing in the neighbors yard too. As I let go of the fact that we would not be spending the night celebrating a new marriage, we would instead spend it hospitalizing our daughter. I realized our marriage was even strong enough to get through this crisis. I packed Teale, struggling with what to send to a hospital where she would know no one. I filled her suitcase with favorites and hoped I wasn't forgetting something that she would want. I called our friends to let them know we probably would not make the wedding, leaving a small opening, just in case. My sister was disappointed and was in touch much of the night, just hoping I would pull myself together and come, even for a short time. I just couldn't though, my heart ached so much I felt like bursting. I had cried for so long my eyes were swollen and red. No make up could fix me, celebrating would be impossible. Who besides Mark could understand this pain I was feeling? I have faked joy through many tough times, but this time I just could not do it. I felt like I would be a downer at an event where no one should be. My Mom, my brother and a few close friends came to comfort me. All their words were few, their compassion and care was evident though and that meant more than words. Afterall, what could you say to a Mom in this much pain and uncertainty? My friends stayed with me while Mark went to Teale's school to get her and take her to ER. He would need to insist on a pediatric psychiatry admission. Dr Tom called ahead to the hospital. Dr Dave supported Dr Tom's advice, Mark and I needed relef, we were failing too. The unknown was killing me as I waited for a call from Mark. I had Gwenn and Beau and quite frankly I was a basket case. It was decided it was best for me to not go with Mark to the hospital, leaving my Teale would be just too heartbreaking. No matter how much I knew she and our family needed this help, I just couldn't do it. Thank God for Mark, he was strong, levelheaded and loving. I trusted he was doing the right thing and would not leave my daughter, our daughter, someplace unsafe. I had to trust or I might lose more than just sleep. Teale's seizures are never less than 45 minutes long and they have been close to two hours long. I could not be responsible for her having a big one that caused her more brain damage or even death, I had to trust the help was going to work. I had to trust Dr Tom, Dr Dave and Mark. I had to let go of my anger and pray for relief. It would be hours before Mark could call me and let me know how things were going. My friend stayed with me and let me cry and talk and sit in silence. Those hours were torturous, but in the end it was one of the best things we ever did for Teale. ~to be continued~