That’s my nice way of saying “Get away from me. NOW!” I’m not sure whose benefit it’s more for, yours or mine.
When I lost Joseph, I also lost something else. I lost the ability to accurately express my feelings…. especially anger. Why? Ask any widow or widower. I’m sure there are others like me. In losing Joseph instantly like I did, I never had the 5 minutes to right my wrongs and apologize for all the things I said or did in anger. That will haunt you. I still remember the times I yelled at him for leaving the milk out and the times he forgot to do something I asked. We all have those little bumps in our relationships, but mine haunted me. I’d give anything to have the 5 minutes to say “I’m Sorry”.
After his death, I vowed to never say words that I can’t take back. And I’ve pretty much lived by that motto.
This is where my famous words, “I’m overstimulated. I’m going to my quiet place for awhile”, have replaced me ripping into someone that I love. I can already tell you that my kids are seriously disagreeing with this! When I slip, it’s usually at them. And then the guilt consumes me.
When Preston and I married, we came up with a code word (WillyWonka) that we could use at any time during a discussion with each other. We agreed that once that word is uttered, the conversation has to stop dead in its tracks. This permits anything from escalating and allowing us both to cool our engines and come back to the table later and discuss any differences and find a solution. I’ve never, ever heard Preston say a curse word. I think that we’ve literally used the code word twice. But this old gal has been “overstimulated” hundreds of times and had to go to that quiet place to pack that anger away in that “box” that I talked about in a previous blog.
It’s worked for me. Ok, I’m lying. It worked until Preston got sick.
Dealing with a loved one that has a brain injury is no walk in the park. In our case, I still have my sweet Preston. My gentle giant who will move heaven and earth to put a smile on my face. He’s also a giant that has rages that can make mountains flee. He can sit in church and tears pour down his face when hearing an old hymn that jars something deep in him. One day, his laughter is a sweet melody. The next day, he can throw a tantrum that can make a two year old want to sign up and take lessons. Some night’s he’ll stay up all night worrying if he’s social security check will be deposited into the bank account. Two days later, you may find him sleeping until lunchtime. One day, he may walk 8 miles, the next day you can’t get him away from Dr. Phil. No two days are consistently alike. His “village” disappeared as time went on. I’m convinced that very few men truly understand the scriptures about iron sharpening iron. It’s so much more than a brotherhood meeting with a meal. Preston doesn’t have as many outlets as I do. But he is always my Preston. My gift from God. The one that God miraculously healed and let stay here on earth a little while longer.
We’ve been very blessed with the life we have. Easy? No. Blessed? Unequivocably YES. I lay my head down at night next to the man that would hang the moon for me if he could. He’s my best friend. When times get tough, all I have to do is remember a special moment during our wedding. In an intimate moment, I looked in Preston’s eyes, and saw my Father’s eyes looking back at me. My heavenly Father. When things get tough, I remember that moment, and I know that this is all a part of His plan. And if it’s His plan, that means HE has all the tools that I will ever need.
One of those tools is my crow, Megan. She has a 6th sense when that box is full of “overstimulated” moments. She’ll clear her calendar and will take me out for some girl time. Many times, words don’t even have to said about the circumstances. It’s just the presence of a true friend. And should words be spoken, she is my biggest cheerleader. Every marriage needs a crow. A safe person that understands the sanctity of marriage. Someone that never feels the need to give marriage advice. Just a shoulder and two ears.
That will empty that box every single time and put a spring in my step.
Again, I want to make sure that I don’t come across as disrespecting Preston. Preston knows that I adore him. I feel that there are many, many people out there in the same shoes we are. I’m tired of hiding behind the mask and making life look cosmetically pretty. God never said he was giving us pretty, perfect little lives. My life is beautiful because this is NOT my home. I’m simply passing through.
Until next time,