Six months ago tonight I could barely breathe. I could barely see. My eyes were red, dry, and burning.
Each time I got more news from a trauma doctor or a spine surgeon, or each time I had to tell another loved one about what happened, how he was, and the generic prognosis as we knew it then -- there came the salty tears streaming down my face.
Somehow, someone talked me into going home that night. I'm not sure how they got me to do that. Probably because he had an early surgery. And I needed to get "sleep" and shower before the long day ahead of us.
I think I slept all of 45 minutes, probably against my own will. Pure mental exhaustion.
I wanted so badly to wake up from a bad dream.
I wasn't supposed to be there without him.
He would never step foot back in that apartment again.
We picked that place together. We unpacked wedding presents there. We hung wedding pictures there. We talked about how we'd have dinner parties there and save up for cool plants and patio furniture for the huge balcony that was a good talking point.
I think we had just settled in.
I can't remember spending a ton of time there.
I do remember the day before the accident and all the things we managed squeeze into one day -- as if we knew.
We went to the pool at our apartment complex for the first time. Jimmy loves the sun and loves the water. Add an adult beverage and he's golden.
He was so happy floating in the water soaking up the rays in that first week or so of August.
We had planned a big Sunday dinner for when we got done. I was making crock pot macaroni and cheese, he was going to make a roast in the oven. I steamed broccoli so we'd have something green on our plates.
After dinner he dozed off on the couch -- possibly from the combination of the sun and his adult beverage(s).
I took that time to play on my phone with a new app I just discovered called Pinterest. I was newly addicted. It annoyed Jimmy that I spend so much time on that app. It was funny how he was annoyed by it, and still is, actually.
It was a good Sunday night at home with my husband.
The next day, on the way to work I got the call. Jimmy was on his way to an assignment in his work vehicle.
And like that -- our lives changed. Forever.
You just never know. You just never never know.
Be grateful for every breath you can take on your own. Be grateful for every step you can take on your own. Be grateful to be able to feed yourself and to eat with ease. Be grateful for an easy, normal life.
Jimmy and I will find our new, easy normal. We'll get there.
I'm reminded by my wonderful therapist that this is still so new. To which I responded, "I don't feel like this is new. I've had about four haircuts since Jimmy's accident."
The day after we got to the Shepherd Center, I chopped my hair off. Clearly a coping mechanism.
Poor Jimmy. He probably needed familiarity and I have a mini-meltdown and run to the nearest salon.
Jimmy and I have laughed and cried together a whole lot over the past six months. We're closer than we ever imagined we'd be.
Our mutual sense of humor that drew us together has remained and gotten us through some weird, uncomfortable and scary times.
We're still us. Just with a different set of circumstances.
We continue to grow as a strong married couple.