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Dare I write?  Dare I start down this path again with Lu’s second pregnancy?

I’ve had the urge to go back and read what I wrote about each of the stages of her carrying Silas, but frankly, I’m scared.  I’m scared of the innocence and naivety in my writing from that time.  I’m scared of being confident and cocksure that everything is going to go perfectly this time.  I’m scared of reading that confidence in my past posts now knowing how wrong I was.

I’ve considered putting this blog to rest altogether, and let it stand as is, as a testament to Silas’s brief time with us. Instead I could start a new one to chronicle these next nine months.

I’ve also entertained the idea that I shouldn’t write at all this time.  That perhaps the words themselves were the jinx that took him from us, and how dare I risk that again?

But I hate being afraid, and I don’t believe this blog was a jinx in any way.

I also hate it when I tell people Lu is pregnant and they say “Oh how exciting, you’re going to be a father!”

I want to correct them and tell them NO, I *might* become a father.  It could happen.  I hope more than anything that I do become a father.  But for now I’m just a potential-father.  A Maybe-Dad.  A hopefully-father-to-be, if the Universe allows it.  If genetics and nature line up just-so.  If we are as lucky this time as we were unluckly last.

For the last 3 nights I’ve barely slept.  My stomach was bloated and roiling and my mind could not find the path to quiet slumber.  Once I hit 4:30am and I was still awake, again, the knowledge that I was fucked for tomorrow made it even harder to still my thoughts and drift away.  Even pointless tv couldn’t shut me down.  Finally at 6am pure exhaustion took over and I slept for a few hours, but when I had to get up for work I was in slow-mo, and that stayed all day.

So much of our focus was just getting to this point.  Yet, it took so long, it felt like it was never going to happen.  I had to train my brain to think only of right now, of this, of here.  Now we are ‘expecting’ and I am terrified of expectations.  The stress and fear mixed with hope and love has me in knots.  In order to stay sane I’ve taught myself to be happy enough with whatever was right in front of me.  So that’s exactly what I’m going to keep on doing.

Today Lu is pregnant.  A tiny, beautiful heart beats within her.  Her boobs are bodacious and her skin has an amazing glow.  She’s been tired and off to bed early and I’m trying to make her take it as easy as I can, but she’s not one for slowing down for anything.  Today she woke up and felt like she might be getting a little cold, but that could just be her body reacting to the pregnancy.  After all, that happened last time, I checked.

I should close this blog.  I should shut it down and walk away.  Perhaps this place these words my chronicled expectations are the jinx that prevents me from becoming exactly what I want to be.

I’m dangling.  I’m done. I’m done wondering when I get to be a Dad.

Oh yeah sure I know I know how I’m Silas’s Dad and like it’s all okay because you know it’s just fine.  You’re strong, you’re okay you’re going to be okay you’re doing great.  All true, except the Dad part.  Not that.

Got home at 2am tonight.  Got a ton of shit to do tomorrow.  I’ll probably go to bed at midnight tomorrow night after finishing everything I need to do.  Not that it matters;  my schedule is mostly my own.  Lu works hard, too. All the time she’s on the go getting shit done to run her business.

We do it because we can, and because we have to.  There is no Silas to dictate our lives.  In our hearts he’s there of course, but we don’t have to do anything at all to hold him there.  Out here in the apartment it is just cats and work and time together to eat and sleep and garden and read.  It looks placid, but that is because we’re good at this now.

I’ll sleep flipping over and over and over.  I’ll dream and maybe remember snatches.  They’re always the same these days.  They are always about the unattainable.  The dreams are about friends I can’t see at concerts that never happened.  Complex interactions and events cascade through my sleep and I flip and flip and flip over and over and over.

I’ve learned how to not clench my hands when I sleep.  Everyone should try this.  When you sleep, lay your hands flat against the cool sheen of the sheet.  Spread your fingers wide.  Lay your hands between the pillow and the mattress.  Sleep with your hands wide open and flat because it feels good and right and smooth.

I lay flat and I flip from back to front to side to back again.  No Silas.  Not a Dad.  This page is a mockery of everything I want.  It is an affront to reality.  I’ve gone for the hope, for the belief, for the obviously easy because everyone around us is clearly okay to make and have babies.  To be parents.

Elm City Guy.  Elm City Roaster.  Now maybe Elm City Bartender but Not in New Haven so Not Really Elm City Either… Guy Who Does Lots of Things Besides… Well… You Know… Being A Dad.   Elm City Douchebag.  Elm City Fuck You.  Elm City Leave Me The Fuck Alone Because I’ve Got Shit To-Do!

Phew.  I’m glad that’s out there.  I hope that didn’t hurt anyone, but damn that felt good.

Maybe I’ll be a dad someday.  Until then this blog is named as it is as a hope for what could be.  If anyone is listening/reading that can do anything about this, all I have to say is seriously, stop fucking with us.  We’ve had enough.

I’m going to be a dad.  Lu is going to be a mom.  We are taking actions and steps far beyond what most people have to do, but we’re doing it because it feels right and because once it finally happens I’m pretty sure we’ll be pretty good at it.  And that’s not bragging, that’s hope.

Every day I make an effort to have a nice time out there in the World.  I’m not aiming for the stars, not trying to seize every single moment with fervor and gusto, I’m just gunning for good.  Good is enough if you can do it on a daily basis.

I sleep later now, every day.  I need an hour or so of semi-wakefulness to gear up and get ready for the chill and sunlight and this relentless, active life. I guess I still can’t believe, every morning, that this is the Universe I live in.

I am an Incognito Disaster.
You can’t see the mayhem only millimeters out, but it’s there, inside.

You can’t see my toes curl as I cringe when I re-live the day Silas was born.
Cars swerve around my thoughts as I drive.

I’m worn out.  Weary.  The hoops have won.  There are simply too many of them to jump through just to get back to normal.

Away in New Hampshire was the perfect place to hide.  I felt like if I stayed in bed, everything would stop.  Or the other way around, if I never went to sleep, I’d never have to wake up and face another day.

As always, the leaving was the worst.  I woke up at 5am on Sunday morning already rolling through my brain the tangy, bitter bubbles of worries and concern.  My stomach was frothing.  I made deep breathes unclench my hands, and then I fell back to sleep, for a little while.  But soon it was time for goodbyes and a drive.

Every mile brought decisions and responsibilities closer.  All of the uncertainty on the horizon made me apprehensive.

Instead of being able to just get up and get shit done, I now have to do a hundred extra things simply to return to a moderate baseline of normality.  The anniversary of Silas’ death became the foundation and backdrop to both of Lu’s recent car accidents and although we are grateful that she is fine in both instances, at the same time, we’ve had enough.

Unfortunately, the Universe is bigger than me, so my enough is not a fraction of what the Universe can put forth.  Why it has Its Malevolent Eye on me, I do not know but nonetheless, now and then, I still do manage to have fun.  For example, today, I was a guest on a show on NPR and truly it was a dream come true.

I have been listening to NPR for 10 years.  I cut my Public Radio teeth on WGBH in Boston and the Car Talk guys have kept me smiling on many a brutal weekend mornings this past year.  I would give up TV for the rest of my life provided I could keep NPR and the NYTimes.  The Internet is non-negotiable, though.

So then today on one hand a dream came true, and on the other, at the garage where my totaled Matrix is stored they had already stuffed it far away in the back even though I called to say I was on my way to empty it completely.

I want the tires, too.  I just bought those fucking things along with a clutch 2 months ago and the transmission last year.  Maybe it is best to be done with that machine and start over with a fresh Matrix I can drive into the ground on the roads of CT, delivering coffee.

So many hoops, though, just to get back to normal.  Finding the car, financing, insurance, title, registration, emissions DMV, DMV… D…M…V.  So many actions and requirements that must be executed before I can get back to anything at all like that regular-ole-shit-ass life I’ve come to know and love(?).

The Universe doesn’t stop, though.  And it’s bigger than me.

Right now, to be honest, I think It is being a bit of bully.

But whatever, I can take it.  I’ve got fresh beer from friends from around the World, and love from so many people.  Today I got to be on NP-fucking-R and I got to sound as though I know a few things about coffee.  And for today that wins out over the crumpled frame of my totaled car.

Fall is here.  The longsleeves and blankets prove it.  I knew it had arrived a year ago today, too, when I first cleaned out the birthing pool in the back yard as colored leaves dropped from above.

It is hard to believe I am same the individual that performed those actions and thought the things I did as I was preparing for Silas to be born.  The sweet hopefulness and naivety nearly sickens me when I read through what I have written.  Perhaps at some point today’s bleak despair will appear equally dated.  Only time will tell.

But Time is silent, and can only be discerned by the effect of its action on my mind and soul and the World around me.  I know time is passing because of how long I have missed Silas.  But Time is a trickster, too, because somehow it feels like I have always been missing Silas.  His absence fills my life, even in the parts before he was even a possibility.  He is gone from my distant past and my far future just like he is not here with me today.

There is a strange comfort to this time of the year for me now, though.  As the weather cools and fall slips in I am powerfully reminded of everything we went through at this time last year.  The raw shock and deep despair was suprising last year.  Now it is the invisible, impenetrable cloak I wear over my soul every second of every day.  This sensation is as close as I will ever get to my missing son.

This weather.  This light.  The feel of the chilly sheets as I slide into hiding, never to be seen again.  These are my thin threads of connection to him, to the time when he was near me.  Even though it is shot through with torment and loss, this time of year is his and I’ll take it.

I wish I could just crawl away with the cold snap of the fall breeze and huddle from the ravages of the Universe for a little while, just like I did last September and October.  I wish I could pull the Dead Son card, show it to everyone and just walk away.  I want nothing.  I want to be surrounded by love and left completely alone.  I want no decisions.  I want an easy ride.  I want to hide away and think about Silas and read and write and eat and drink and sometimes maybe go take a walk with Lu.

They must know that I’m not better.  I’m just better at hiding the ravages of losing him.  He is always not here.  That doesn’t change, so that place in me where he should be, that doesn’t change either.

I touch my tattoo every day and say to myself, “This is my son.  This is all I have of him.” And then I nod to myself sad and somehow satisfied that I found a way to pull him close and not break down and not fall apart and not shatter into a million razor shards every day, one more time, again.

September again and I’m calm.  Sad and fucked up, but calm.  Crisis and emergencies are scaled differently once you’ve had your son die.  There is nothing about work or money or any of life’s bullshit that comes anywhere near the level of emergency we dealt with last year and therefore, none of it is worth getting too worked up about.  Sure the anger is still there, and I do get fired up and pissed off, but they are small, passing events.  They have no bearing on the course of my life or the state of my soul.

Now, my soul is set to an impossible superposition where everything is the worst it can possibly be and yet often I manage to cruise through most days mostly happy within that envelope of sadness, somehow finding fun despite a pervasive, bone-crushing despair.

Missing Silas does not preclude enjoying delicious dinners fresh from the farm and garden.  Although my son is dead now and before and tomorrow, I have found that the only way to honor him is to not be consumed by the bubbling rage that sometimes burbles to the surface.  As much as I would love to hide away, I cannot do it.  I don’t have time.  There is too much work that I love to do, because autumn is superb coffee weather.  It warms me on the inside where I need it most.  And no matter where I go, Silas is always with me, silent in my heart.

For me, there are two kinds of Things in the World.

There are the Fixable, and the Unfixable.  And really, it is as simple as that.

This month begins the anniversary of the ultimately Unfixable.  Losing Silas is something I can learn to deal with or not, but I cannot ever change it.

I figure it is still essentially an even bet at this point.  Odds might be slightly leaning in favor of mental stability and longtime survival, but I’ve only had a year to assess, and conditions could change.

I expect this month to be awful, but it won’t be as bad as last October.  And at least I know what I’m getting into, on some level.  But life is full of surprises.

Even the mundane can be surprising.  That I can get out of bed.  That I have not slipped silently to the edge of everyday life.  That the sunset is beautiful every single time.

So I suppose I should not have been surprised when I got a call from Lu on Sunday morning that I could barely understand at first, because she was sobbing hysterically.  She was a in a car accident.  No one else was involved.  She was fine, completely and totally fine, but the car was not.  A spider had startled her and she veered onto the median and then spun out across the highway.

There was a period where she was traveling backwards down the highway, the driver’s side scraping against the right-side guardrail before being spun back out into the center of the road that is impossible to understand.  Even more impossibly no cars hit her and she missed all those around her.  She spliced into a wormhole and avoided unfixable disaster by an invisible thread of a spider’s web.

Should we feel lucky?  I think so.  Sure, it will cost some cash to put the car back together new, but really, who gives a shit?  I would pay any amount of money to ensure Lu will always be safe.  I would offer unimaginable sums to have Silas back.  All of that is impossible.  Fixing the car is not.

In a way I’ve become immune to the everyday bullshit that gets people down.  Lu still feels beset on all sides by dangerous forces.  She’s waiting for the good news to change everything about our lives.  I’m amazed she still retains that capacity for hope and optimism.  The very fact that she believes with all her heart that eventually things will get better proves that her spirit is unquenchable and forward-looking.

I don’t have that.  Somehow through my pragmatic realism (read fatalist/pessimist) I manage to stay rather content and at times now even happy.  But my baseline for success is extremely basic and direct.

My fundamental goal is to get through the day and not completely freak out because my son is still dead.  Every time I do that, I fucking rock.

If I can actually do my job and roast a sweet batch of beans, or find a new account or put another piece together that improves my business and career, well then get out the fucking horns and strobe lights ’cause we’re gonna have a party.

For Interacting With Other Humans Successfully Without Revealing Disaster I give myself a delicious beer.  For Making Necessary Phone Calls or Mailing Items At the Post Office I am rewarded with either chocolate or an hour with the paper, or both.  For Getting out of Bed, I’m owed a Nap.

I’m not waiting for life to get Lucky for me.  I’m have no expectations beyond more of the unexpected, all the time.  I don’t think it will ever be better.  There will be good times I’m sure, but I’ve seen the darkness.  I’ve felt it pervade my being with a terrible and helpless truth that I can never unfeel.

Life is not just what happens to us, but also how we deal with it.  I’ve learned, this year, that I can deal with almost anything, somehow or another.  I can hold on to the core of my being when reality itself is being torn asunder.  I hate the way it feels to be in this life, but it is pain made of up of truth and love and longing that is incredibly raw and real. I have to live extra because Silas could not.

That Lu came so close just the other day is beyond terrifying, beyond thought.  Is it appropriate to feel as though something or someone was looking over her the other day?  I don’t even believe in that in the least but I cannot help but think it.  Can I do that?  Can I put Silas in the spots where I need or want him?  Can I fill in the mysteries and rare magic with his impossible presence?  And once down that path, where does it lead?

Above all, though, there’s at least one thing more I have to know.  I can’t get it out of my brain, from the second Lu told me in hysterical shock, when she spun out on 91 and lived to tell about without a scratch or a bump.  I could not help but wonder…What happened to the spider?  I’m sure it’s still alive.  So is Lu.  So am I.  Some days, though, one year later, I really don’t know how.

My relationship to Silas has been changing.  Gathering our friends and family around and planting a tree for him, speaking about him, expressing our loss and grief formally, in front of everyone, it seems to have helped me.

I’m still gut-wrenchingly sad, but there just might be a glimmer of calm worming its way into my soul.

It could just be a defense mechanism, though.  Like the speck of sand in an oyster, I’m finding ways to surround and smooth over the rough pain of his absence.  I don’t know if this feeling will last, if there is a brutal plunge ahead, or if I am on my way to some sort of peace or acceptance, but I know I am changing.  For now, this calm is probably the result of exhausted resignation.

I can’t have him back.  He’s gone, that’s it.  There are no do-overs or second chances.

I’ve been living with this fact for 8 months now and I’m just completely fucking exhausted by the daily wrestling match between what I want and what I have.  So I’m trying to stop that internal battle and simply resign myself to the facts at hand.

Nothing can change what happened to him, to us, to our lives, so I have to find a way to live with it.  In the car when I blast music and blast down the highway, I twist and turn these thoughts like hideous alien gems, and I try to discern their facets and depths.

By staring at them long enough, I begin to pass through my sadness, into a realm where sadness is inherent in all the bits and pieces of reality itself, and that makes all the little good things shocking and bright.  I have been trying to live in the World I used to know, and every day I’ve been devastated to find myself flattened by tragedy anew with each awful dawn.

But flip it around, and my loss and grief become the unsurprising parts and everything else that is *not* sucktacular is the reward for simply getting up;  for allowing love to flow between us we still have each other;  for allowing for the possibility that there are still some beautiful sparkles faintly glowing amidst our shattered landscape we still find laughter and music and moments of happiness.  That any of that is still possible is what sometimes surprises me most of all.

I change and grow and re-examine myself and my thoughts every single day.  I reevaluate what I want and what I need once it becomes clear what I can actually hope to achieve, in any given instance.  With life and work I am constantly reworking plans to better fit the changing circumstances and facts at hand.

That I will never have Silas in my arms is something that will never change, though.  I will not see him grow.  I will never know him as a person, as my son, as a friend and peer in later years.

I can probably fix any screwed up relationship or misunderstanding from any point in my life.  I can find the cash to get my car repaired.  I can try again at nearly anything I have failed.  But I cannot change what happened on September 25, 2008.

He was here and then he was gone and the maelstrom of that event has blown me utterly off course.  And that is what he is becoming for me:  a force of nature.  For me, Silas has become a Law of the World.  Like gravity, like light’s speed, like fusion at the core of our nearby star, Silas is immutable, unchanging, unknowable.

I sort of ‘get’ what’s going on in the Sun to create that immense furnace of energy.  But I really don’t comprehend it in a true, literal sense.  I know what I’ve been told:  that hydrogen and helium are combining because of enormous pressure and temperature.  Pressure pushes those atoms together and even though they don’t really want to get close, they don’t have a choice.  When that non-choice is forced upon them, they are crushed together and break open, and immense quantities of energy are released.  I ‘get’ all that, but I don’t know it.  I can’t see the atoms combining one by one.  It is beyond my ken, just like Silas is now.

So his death sits there in the center of my being, and it just… is.  I can’t reason with it.  I can’t fix it.  No amount of tears or rage or depression can do a thing to dislodge that Absolute Fact and so the only reasonable response I’ve been able to summon is this:

It is up to me to change in order to incorporate this Law of Silas into my life.

Yes, he is our son.  Yes, he was a tiny, beautiful perfect little boy.  Yes he was the vessel of our hopes and dreams, the Everything we had staked our Everything Else to.  And with him gone, the Everything Else came untethered and blew away even before we knew it was happening.

In his death, he has been transformed.  He has become a force that acts on my soul and on my heart, but just like the wind, that force never changes.  Every day when I relive his birth and death in my mind, it is always the same.  But every time I do it, I am changed by increments etched with pain.

The trees planted for him, here in New Haven, up in New Hampshire and everywhere else in the World, it feels perfect and right.  Their slow growth and leafy branches are the correct expression of what he has become for me.  I can go to his trees and sit under his boughs and listen to wind softly whisper to me in a language I cannot understand with my mind, but it is one I already know in my heart and in my soul.

The sun warms my skin and then the breeze blows me cool.  The Earth spins, holding me close.  Missing my son empties me from within, forcing me to find Everything Else to put back in.

He is light speed.  He is fission and fusion.  He is the internal combustion that propels me forward through life.  He is the love I can still find to share with my wife and my friends and my family all around.

He will never change, and I cannot do anything else.

My post for May is up over at Glow in the Woods.  If you have a few moments, please check it out.

On Saturday we are having the memorial for Silas at the park around the corner.  Family and friends are coming in for the day, and we are planting a tree in his memory.

Part 1 of this post is how it all looks and feels going into this terrible day.  Part 2 will be how I feel after we have completed this necessary but nearly impossible task.

“Fine, I’ll leave you alone,” she says to me and then turns on her side.

“No!” I reply as I finally put the book down and reach for her.  “No, tell me.  I’m here.  What do you want to talk about?”

“Forget it.  You don’t want to talk about this now.  It can wait,” she finishes, and stays turned.

“Just tell me.  It’s fine.”

“It’s not.  I know you don’t want to talk about it right now.   It’s not a good time.”

“It’s fine,” I reply, again.  “You know you won’t be alright until you tell me so just go ahead.”

“And I know you don’t want to talk about this right now.”

The silence stretches and then she speaks.

We are both right, but she can’t wait.  She never can.  When Lu thinks of something she has to talk about it and it consumes her until she can get it out.  Not me.  I can take a thought or a discussion I need to have and put it in a box until a later time.  And it’s not like it eats me up until then.  I just put it away and ignore the mental itch until what seems like a good time to me.  Sometimes never turns out to be the right time to say certain things.

But both of us are good communicators and we trust each other completely, so it’s fairly easy for us to talk to each other about how we are feeling and try to figure things out.  Still, sometimes I am completely amazed and how differently we deal with the World.

I know that Lu spends every day thinking about how each day would have gone if Silas were here with us.  She thinks about child-care, about diapers, about whether or not we’d be sleeping or if he was going to be a screamer and night owl, keeping us up at all hours.  Her feelings for him and her powerful longing for her child are intertwined with her every waking minute.  She wants to talk about what she is feeling and how things went today, and she often wonders aloud how we would have juggled our lives, our work and our new son.

That is not the case for me.  Silas is a constant thought and constant presence in my life, but in a totally different manner.  I rarely consider how a particular moment would be different if Silas were here.  That happens at times, but mostly it is too painful and impossible to think about.  Instead, I think about where I am and what I am doing even though he is not here. That is a subtle and important difference, to me.  Our lives would be on such a vastly different trajectory that to attempt to insert him into this brutal reality is painfully futile.

Obviously I feel a need to understand and explore how I’m feeling, but it’s not something I can do all the time.  Often, I have to be simply in the moment, dealing with whatever is directly in front of me.  I think it is different for Lu.  I think thinking about Silas is the #1 thing for her and everything else is incidental.  “How does this affect me as a woman that lost a baby, and what would it be like if Silas were here?” is the constant refrain for her.

For me it’s:  “I’m a father whose son died and this is what I have to do, now.”  Work, plans, getting up, seeing friends, going family events, chores, stores, whatever.  Go, go, do it.  Don’t think, just get the things done that really need doing and deal directly with exactly what is going on.  Not the past, not what I think might happen or could happen or should happen, just what is.  Get those things done and put the pain of losing Silas aside for the moment.  Not him, never that.  He’s always there in my mind and soul and heart.  But the pain I can box away when I need to be effective.

The problem is I can’t do that all the time, either.  Whenever I take the path of what-if and should-be I have to burrow and hide.  All those minor things that still need to get done?  Eff that.  Dishes?  Eh.  Bills?  Fuckit.  Head outside and take or hike or maybe go to the movies?  Naw.  Don’t feel like it.  Just gonna sit here and feel lonely and… self-contained.  Friends and family can’t help that much.  Not even Lu can penetrate the pervasive aloneness I feel sometimes.

It is the sensation of my life as an ongoing disaster that just chugs along.  Losing Silas has transformed not only my future, but also my past.  Somehow I have to reconcile all the previous choices in my life to the place where I am right now.  And it’s not even a matter of looking back through everything to decide what I could have done different, but rather the fact that this is the way I’ve led my life and here it is where I’ve arrived.  This.  This disaster is all mine and I’ve got to figure out how to deal with it.

And what do you do in a disaster? You run and then you hide.  You take cover until all the flying pieces stop slicing through the air, the ground stops shaking, the fires are put out.  Then, once the dust settles and the smoke clears, you crawl back into the sunlight and start sorting all the destruction into piles of  “Useful” and “Garbage” and you get to work putting things back together again.

Unfortunately, every time I open my eyes in the morning it’s a brand new disaster to crawl out from under, and it is a harsh and blinding light that burns me in rays of unyielding truth.  I see my life amid the destruction and I am daunted by the sheer mess of it all.  I am staggered by the number of pieces around me, and the way I long for the shapes they used to form.

It is in all this sorting and reconstruction that I see the difference between Lu and I.  I’m rummaging through everything and with a cursory glance tossing it into one pile or another.  Friends that get how fucked up we are: Useful, people that forget that we are fucked: Garbage.  Couch: Useful, Bills: Garbage.  Rock Band: Useful, Traffic: Garbage, and on and on.  Lu, on the other hand, wants to pick up every single piece of her life, our life, Silas’ brief life and all the spaces in between, and examine each and every broken shard.  She wants to dig in up to her elbows and delve deep into the mess and figure out every impossible speck of this giant, catastrophic puzzle that used to be our coherent lives.

Before bed I need to read, relax and shut down every last lingering thought of daily life.  Lu likes to talk and figure things out and dissect her feelings.  Just home from work, sometimes I want to chill, collect myself and shut down a bit.  Lu usually wants to chat, to ask me questions, to tell me about her day, to ask me about mine.  Usually it’s totally fine, but sometimes I’m just stricken mute.  When pix go up online of new babies or toddlers Lu absolutely has to check them out.  I don’t go anywhere near them.  She immerses herself in the emotional stew of her life and the lives of others and I do everything I can to pull myself out of that whirlpool, to wipe both hopes and fears off of me, and to simply tread water, keep my head above the muck and breathe.

The thing of it is, we’re partners in this.  Which means that sometimes when all I want to do is stop thinking, read my book and drift away to sleep what Lu really needs is a back scratch and my arms around her and my ears tuned only to the sound of her voice as she tells me about everything she needs to.  I can do that for her just like she can step back and let me veg when she sees that’s exactly what I need.  We’re good communicators, and this experience has only made us more attuned to one another’s needs, even when the other isn’t sure at all.

Friday Lu had the day off.  She spent it clattering away on her computer for hours.  As evening rolled around and I yelled at her for the fourth or fifth time to stop working and relax I finally had to storm out of the kitchen, grab her by the shoulders, lift her from her chair, march her into the living room and shove her into the couch.  I tossed her favorite blanket on her and she was still laughing when I delivered the glass of wine.

Later on, in bed, I told her everything I was thinking and feeling that day as she read her magazine, and listened to my rambling worries.

“We’ll get through it, Chris,” she said to me.  “Somehow we’ll get through this.”  In her eyes was all the love and care and concern one could ever hope to see in another and it soothed me to stillness.

She flicked off her light and rolled over on her side and drifted off towards sleep.  Silas’ tattoo captured my vision as it always does, and then I burrowed into my book and shut out the World.  I had so much more I wanted to say, but I could save it for tomorrow.

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Kindness