Ok, I know I have not been writing in FOREVER. I think the winter, some depression and feeling so sick just took over and I succumbed to the illness. We have all been there. Blah, blah, blah – excuses, excuses…..Anyway.
In my efforts to claw my way out of the darkness, I have been in touch with some people that I haven’t spoken to in, what feels like forever. You know those friends you haven’t spoken to for a long time – no reason really just life – but you get on the phone and it is like no time passed at all. Well, that is what it was like recently with my friend Ruaridh (Rory).
While we were catching up, he told me about his husband Ben, who suffered a horrible accident. His injury left him unable to fully care for himself. Ruaridh quit work and took on the task of being his primary caregiver.
They have been through the usual Hell of a chronic patient; Dr.s appointments, tests, recovery, information overload and facing the unknown. When will he get better? Will he be the same? What the Hell is happening half the time? We chronic Painies know the drill. It is exhausting, taxing, emotional and hard.
Many of us have heard the stories of relationships being strained or breaking up but not often those that survive or even thrive.
While Ruaridh was telling me their story, I said that it must be hard for him. I can’t really empathize, but I can sympathize. I mentioned it was wonderful how he has stood by Ben and done so much to help him with is recovery.
After I had effused enough, he said (and I paraphrase). “You know, people keep telling me that. It is hard and how good I have been, but it hasn’t really been that hard. I love him. It is for better or for worse and this is just what it is.”
I think those are words, sentiments and feelings that all of us Painies ache to hear. That we really aren’t that much work, because we are loved. It truly is that simple. Ben is loved. Truly, deeply and completely loved. How wonderful is that?
It inspired me to write again, because I too am loved like that by my husband. He gets irritated with me and has to deal with so much, but he is still here. How, I am not really sure, but he is. I have to remember when I am sad, lonely, depressed and feel abandoned by so many. I – We – Painies have to hold on to those that are THERE.
While Ruaridh was telling me his story, he wasn’t looking for pity or even to vent. He was merely sharing his story with me. Maybe, I hope, I was able to lend a sympathetic ear, because there are some things that we can kvetch about.
The stunning realization that life can change on a dime.
That it takes you to places you never thought you would be.
That you have an appreciation for the ability to complete the smallest daily task.
That sometimes, those you thought would be there……vanish.
That you are able to appreciate people who…….appear.
That you must remember those who are……there.
That love, friendship and partnership take on a new meaning when the s$%t really hits the proverbial fan.
Ben is on the road to recovery and he is doing much better. He is lucky, they both are; because they have each other. Sometimes, I guess life has to give you a real kick in the pants to make you realize the small things are important. True love is not flowers, songs or date nights. True love is having someone there to feed you, sit with you and hold your hand through the worst of what life has to offer.