I had a manicure today and right now you’re wondering why I think you need to know. After all, it’s a common thing for many of us. You look down and see your polish is chipped and off you go. But not for me. Even the thought of one hasn’t crossed my mind in quite a while.
2 years ago these hands held onto Mike for dear life as I tried to comprehend what my brother was saying. Caylee? Murdered? How was that possible?
1 year ago they again held onto Mike, this time trying to keep him with me. As I sat for hours and read to him, anything, everything, just so he could hear my voice. I held him as his heart stopped three times, as one thing after another went wrong with his body. As I prayed for a miracle, to see him open those blue eyes, smile and wink at me so I would know this was a bad dream.
With all the prayers from all of you, I got my miracle. He’s still here. He’s better, yet I am afraid to trust it. I feel like every time I think we’ve come through the worst of it, something else happens, another heart attack, C-Diff, internal bleeding, surgery to correct it, dialysis. Yet when we go a few months with things just plugging along I am still a wreck. Still sit and watch him sleep to be sure he is breathing. I don’t know that I will ever think this storm has passed or that we’ve come out the other side.
With everything that’s happened, I’ve lost something. Me. I am not who I was before life went to hell. I was mom, Grammi, wife, daughter, friend, a hard-working person, loyal to a fault and in many ways fearless. The things that scared me most, well I was working on them and making progress.
My new title as a caregiver supersedes everything. Yet that doesn’t seem right. There has to be a way for me to still be me. Yet how? The only way I’ve been able to get through the last year has been to forget me. Forget who I was, what made me me. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Take one more step, remember to take the next breath.
As Mike slowly, ever so slowly, gets stronger, I find myself wanting “me” back. Most days I feel like she’s gone, never to return. With all her faults, all her weakness, all her strength, she was kind of cool. At least I’ve been told she was 😉
I’m not sure who ME is anymore, but I am going to find out.
So I had a manicure today, and I am so glad I did. Because sometimes a manicure is not just a manicure. Sometimes it’s a start.
A huge thank you to Karen from Baking In A Tornado. As I struggled to put my thoughts down, I went to Karen time and again. In addition to her wonderful editing skills, she helped me see that while it’s normal to mourn what was, what I’ve lost, I can’t let it be what I become.
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