As I start this it is December 31, 2015. By the time I finish it will likely be January 1, 2016. Everyone seems to doing the year-end review, and while I tend to dislike looking back, this year is different. This past year has rocked my very existence. So this what happened…
A year ago when 2015 started, things were looking up. I was still recovering from surgery the previous October, and I was steadily mending and getting stronger. Day by day, week by week, progress was being made.
As I wrote in June, I improved enough so that by March I was able to try out and get a part in a musical at a local community theater. The rehearsals and the performance were exhausting, but I made it through. What’s more, I became a part of a community. The people I met during the production and since have become an extended family for me.
While this was going on, something else was afoot. My wife had been seeing a new pain management doctor. She was spending more and more time in Sarasota getting treatment for her back. In 1998 before I met her, she had a fall in a concrete parking structure and injured her back. It was a chronic thing which we had been dealing with throughout our relationship. The problem is that the pain was getting worse.
By September, we came to the realization that her situation had substantially changed. The level of intervention required to bring the pain down to even a reasonable level was unprecedented for us. We were in new territory.
We were still considering options in October. We had been to the theater the night before and we were relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. I was taking a nap and she was doing yoga, her favorite thing. Her daughter was with her watching TV. When I came down, I thought she had fallen asleep in a child’s pose as she had so many times before.
After a few minutes, I realized something was wrong. I don’t believe I need to go into details, but the fact was at some point she had quietly, peacefully slipped away. She was gone.
Nothing in her medical history had prepared us for this. There had been no indication it was coming. I was left trying to come to terms with the loss and trying to understand why.
I have posted previously about things I learned from my own near-death experience. We choose when are born and to a large extent we choose when we die. Not in the conscious part of our brain, but deep down in the subconscious, deep in the part of us that transcends this life, down in that part of us which is commonly referred to as the soul or the spirit.
I think in that part of her being, she decided that she had accomplished all she could in this life. With the prospect of only more and worsening pain, she decided that those of us who would remain would be able to get along without her. She decided it was time for her to go.
There is one truth I know about my late wife. She never knew the impact she had on those around her. She never knew how much she was loved. She never understood how her life had given so much to the people who knew her and loved her. It is sad that she left this world not knowing this, but perhaps where she is, she can now understand.
Now I sit here poised on the brink of a new year. For the first time since I was 22, I am facing the new year alone. I started this blog two years ago as an exploration of life limited by chronic illness. Now I am looking at a complete reboot. My wife was a part of every thought in my head. Now I have to build a life without her. It is a new adventure.
I do have some things in my favor. I have my friends and my theater family who have been amazingly supportive. I have my music and the dreams I have yet to achieve. I will try to document my journey in this blog, because this is about constructing a life, and it is time for me to construct a new one. Wish me luck.