When people used to talk about how they could not wait for their children to leave the nest, my husband and I were puzzled. We thoroughly enjoyed our children, and we enjoyed their friends, as well. We certainly did not count the days until they left, but we did give thought to it. After the children had flown, we would be a twosome again. We planned to travel, to explore the world, and return to the joys of being a couple again. I learned the hard way that things do not always go as planned.
As the last chick flew off to college, everything began to go wrong. We had a marital crisis brought on by my husband’s astounding dishonesty…astounding because his honesty and integrity were the very qualities I loved most about him. His dishonesty put strain on our financial security, put me in the position of learning that I had been lied to for years, and that, unbelievably, I would be deposed in a lawsuit in only a week’s time. To say I was shattered is an understatement.
Hard on the heels of these disclosures came the news that my husband was ill….seriously ill, possibly terminally ill. I was in a tornado of loss, anger, devastation, fear…I knew I could not leave, not with a looming illness, but a part of me wanted to. Part of me wanted to kill him, and part of me wanted to help him. I then lost my father. I spiraled into a deep hole of depression…and I stayed there for a long time. I am still climbing out.
I sought both counseling and medications which helped to stabilize the volatility. I tried to act as if the world was spinning as it always had. I did not fully succeed, one friend told me that I appeared to have had my soul ripped from my body. Intuitively, I knew that description was completely accurate.
It all kept spinning down, my husband’s illness was growing worse, and it was entirely possible that he would not live more than a year or so. My young adult children were just in their early twenties. They knew something was wrong between their parents, they knew their dad was ill. None of us expected the medical crisis so soon, and it has gone on over a year now.
My husband is still with us. Being positive and holding out hope that he will make a full recovery is something we choose to do every day, and we have had many good days. Life can turn on a dime, and we all learn it at some point in our lives.
I have learned this: be positive, and know life does not always turn out the way you planned. Seek out joy. Let go of the past and the future, there is only this moment. You are here now, so live now.
“Waste not fresh tears over old griefs” Euripides.