It is hard to describe.
My wife has had a remarkable turnaround from her post-chemotherapy condition thanks to her Mom who rode in and saved the day with great food and greater care than I could provide. Mommy-magic is very real no matter how old the child may be!
I am so grateful for so many things. My wife’s humor and intelligence are shining through as if she never endured chemo at all. This is the exact answer to my prayers. Seriously, this has been my single prayer over the last eight weeks, and I’ve been overwhelmed by seeing her rise from the shadows. This is the very definition of a life-changing event, and it humbles me.
In spite of all this, I still am sad, empty. It’s as if I inhale a minor chord and exhale a diminished sense of self, a lesser person.
One friend of mine suggests that I am experiencing post-traumatic-stress-syndrome. Considering all we have been through for EIGHTEEN months non stop, this does make some sense.
However, I feel as if I should be feeling something, some sense of joy, some sense of accomplishment that we’ve made it this far against some exceptionally nasty odds, but inside me is only an empty desert with a gentle wind blowing tumbleweed slowly over the horizon. Nothing is dead, but nothing is alive.
This may be purgatory, spiritual purgatory. Nothing dies here, but nothing thrives here, either.
It’s not like I don’t think that babies are cute and puppies are precious; I do, but feelings are more distant; they take more effort to reach if I can reach them at all.
Ironically, my purpose has not changed; my determination to her is unshaken. If anything, it’s as concrete as it’s ever been, but there is a “thousand yard stare” element to it that disturbs me. I don’t want to be a care giving robot, but some days that’s how it feels.
Until I can find my way out of this purgatory my creativity is postponed. My identity is shelved until such time I can feel deeply again.
At the end of the day, it’s OK. I know I will never earn a Pulitzer. I will probably never find a publisher that will risk money on my words. If this is my life’s sole achievement, then I’ll take it.
I may die knowing that I helped save a life more worthy than mine.
Take my word for it, it’s worth it.Tweet