I am here, my love. I am sitting next to you as you lie motionless in your hospital bed. Tomorrow will officially be two weeks that you have been in a medically induced coma on a breathing tube. I keep thinking to myself, “but we were supposed to go to the mall and get dinner.” You always hear about people’s lives changing overnight, you just never expect it to happen to you. I am listening to the steady breathing coming from your lungs, but I know it is a machine doing the work for you. I am wearing a plastic gown that has become a part of my daily wardrobe. The sounds of the ICU has become just background noise. The first few days I would jump every time an alarm went off. Now, I can identify which IV drip is running low and I know medical terms that are 15 letters long (and can pronounce them). I have a newfound respect for nurses, who have treated your body with such respect and have treated my broken heart with such kindness.
An hour ago, you opened your eyes, staring at nothing. I tried to make eye contact, but you are so sedated, I doubt you are seeing anything. I put on a latex glove and held your hand. I asked you to squeeze it and you did. But like a baby who smiles when they have gas, I wonder if it was just a reflex or if you could really feel me touching you. I hate not being able to touch your skin without plastic between us.
I miss you so much, but you are right here. I go through so many emotions every day, I feel like a crazy person sometimes. When I am home, I feel guilty that I am not with you. When I leave the hospital, I feel guilty to feel relief. Why do I feel so much guilt? I didn’t do anything wrong. I have always tried not to play the victim card when it came to my dad’s alcoholism, but I was a victim of it, just like I was a victim of yours. I have to take responsibility, though, because I didn’t have a choice with my father. I did have a choice when it came to you. But, honestly, given another chance, I would still choose you. You were worth the risk. I saw all the good in you…so much good. People always say they have no regrets and wouldn’t change things in their lives because they learned from mistakes. I have regrets- I regret marrying my exhusband…I would have preferred to miss those hard lessons. I will never regret you, though, my love.
I tried to pour my heart out to your mother. I’m sure you can guess how that went. One thing I tried to explain to her is that when all of this is over, she will still have you as her son. When this is all over, I lose you. I will have to start picking up the pieces and find a new life for myself. I know it is the right thing to do, though. We could not have continued living the way we were. Well, I couldn’t. I just would not be able to see you do this to yourself again. Please don’t let this be in vain. I wish I believed in god so I could pray for you to survive, to get better, to get sober, to be happy. Other people who are religious are praying for you- that makes me grateful. I have asked my Mama for help. I talk to her and ask her to watch over you and to protect you. She was the toughest woman I know, but she had the biggest heart. She would say to you, “oh phooey- you wake up and get off those machines!”.
I wonder how long it will be before I stop loving you? Maybe never. Maybe it will just be a part of who I am. Right now it is hard to be angry with you for your lies and your betrayal because you look so weak, so helpless. But it’s not fair- I have a right to be angry with you. It has to wait. I feel like all I have been doing for the past two weeks is waiting (and you know I am not the most patient person). But I need to see this through- for you and for myself. Jess bought me a bangle bracelet as a gift that is just silver on the outside but on the inside it says, “keep fucking going…” And that is what I am going to do.