Friends and family members ask me a very simple question all the time. I’m adept at skirting the question though. I have a thousand other pieces of news to report in response to “How are you?” without actually answering the hardest question in the world.
When your world is turned upside down by a catastrophic accident, it’s easy to become single-sighted. In my defense, with a little (a lot!) of help from my friends and family, I have managed to get my children to all the places they’ve been expected or required since my husband’s hospitalization and rehab. My “single-” sightedness is maybe more accurately single-family sightedness. Everything I’ve done since May 7 has been done with the goal of meeting Tom’s and the kids’ needs first.
I’m physically spent, knocking out my step goal every single one of the forty-one days since the accident. For the first time in a decade, I’m actually sleeping well. Annihilating exhaustion will do that to a girl, I guess. My brain, the hub of our family’s organization scheme, is numb from overuse.
Though my brain and body are in constant motion, I’m forced to admit my brain is not necessarily firing on all cylinders. I realized two weeks ago how very egocentric, or only MY family-centric, I’ve become. But life doesn’t stop for the rest of the world just because mine has been dealt complete upheaval. As the saying goes, life goes on. It does, and ours is not the only story in which bad things happen.
To my friends who have lost dear, dear aunts, grandmothers, and mothers-in-law since May 7, I’m so sorry. I’ve sent cards and expressed my sympathy to my friends, but not in the timely way I’d have liked.
To my friend whose mother’s health scare led her to the emergency department, and was subsequently hospitalized only to emerge with a cancer diagnosis, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for your mom, for your family, and for you. I should never have unloaded my own tale of woe on you. Even though you asked, it wasn’t MY time;it should have been yours. I’m sorry.
To my friend who moved, I’m sorry not to have offered a helping hand or SUV. Moving is extremely stressful, even if it’s good stress, and I could have, at minimum, offered to help with your son, but that didn’t even occur to me until it was too late.
And to the boy who says he is fine, but is clearly struggling in one highly visible, very public aspect of his life, I’m sorry. As soon as I can, I will do my level best to help you get back to your “A” game.
I don’t own all the sadness in the world right now. Some days digging out from under is unimaginable though. My husband’s recovery is underway–he’s been home a month now and in a major victory, I’ve caused no further harm or injury to him. He has such a long road to travel though. I worry just how long I’ll continue to wear my “accident blinders.” Then a second later, I worry about my return to work. I’ve been off of work nearly seven weeks and haven’t not worried about my husband for one single second–how on earth will I be able to continue to manage my husband’s needs and work my full time job?
We have the tremendous good fortune to have received love and support from around the globe since the news of his accident broke. I sincerely hope that each of my friends forced to face their own overwhelming or sad days of late feels the love and support that we have. I’m sorry I’ve not been 100% up to the task, and though I feel rotten about that, my fingers and toes are crossed in hopes you understand.