Ask anyone if they could handle a huge setback or tragedy or death and they'd probably tell you no.
People have told me I am brave, strong and have so much respect for how I am handling my husband's death.
Well let me tell you: I am a survivalist, a realist and a hopeful-ist.
I tend to go into a mindset that when things are going topsy- turvy, I can solve the problem, I can work it out and I can make it better.
Put this way, any knot in your necklace, I can take it out.
I made Steed go to the Kaiser urgent care on January 1st to see what was going on and essentially saved his life. He went into a coma, mind you, but he got medical help. He was scared right before he was carted off to the nearest hospital for his eyes told me so.
After he was admitted and I was told he was gonna be OK, I wasn't scared. I just handled it.
I made my work schedule work around visiting him - even if it was at his bedside; I held phone meetings in the halls dodging nurses, texted clients from at the cafeteria and even had an argument in a Waffle House parking lot over bad grammar. I finally dropped the news that my husband was in the ICU with double pneumonia. That shut him up.
I had to travel to Rome, GA to see Steed for he was undergoing trachea rehab. The whole trip took 3 hours with the 100 miles round trip. I went the scenic way so I could have something to look at.
Six weeks of constant thinking of how I am going to do this made me really tired one Saturday that I slept for about two hours in a chair at the ICU in Marietta. It was a hiding place for me. No one knew I was there.
He told me all about his dreams he had while being under, he told me NOT to tell him anything from my end. He didn't want to know. Ignorance was bliss.
If Steed was really feeling low, I'd have to separate my mind from his to let him explore his feelings. I couldn't go in and paint the walls yellow for him. He suffered from depression and many physical ailments that were probably hereditary or as simple as mind over matter - where his mind was distraught and so his body. He would joke half way of course, about his condition. He told a cop as we went backstage in Macon, that he was a serial killer. I glared at him. I didn't feel like bailing him out of jail.
The picture above is the walkway from the parking lot to Kindred Hospital in Rome where he was for about 12 days. He fought the nurses to get home. He said he didn't like me being alone.
I had turned off the TV for six weeks. I have no clue still how to the work the remote. That was his domain. But I can rewire a lamp.
My visions of sugarplums often were sprinkled with salt.
I protected him with my life against all the elements around him, sometimes even lied so he wouldn't feel bad or worse. People would criticize me for it. I made faces at the phone while they lectured me. I had my reasons and some I was able to get to understand it and to others it was a lost cause.
At hotels and at home, he slept on the side of the bed nearest to the door so he could protect me from intruders. The last hotel we stayed in was in Athens - and I slept in front of him near the door.
A client of mine, told me once, about having bad days awhile back; "...sometimes you gotta crawl inside the sadness. Embrace it. Feel it. Then walk away." And that's what I am trying to do... maybe a few more 100 times than I anticipated....
I consider myself very blessed and lucky that I had him as a husband so that's what makes me strong, brave and able to take out the knot.