Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Call Me Cake

Holidays are no cake walk, post-injury. In fact, they're so much tougher now, on an emotional level.

And I'm not sure why.

Maybe because on a day like today, Jimmy would be feeling that societal pressure to make reservations, spend his hard-earned cash, get me something sweet, etc. I'd make a comment about it being our 'first Valentine's Day as a married couple' just to rub some salt in that wound. The point is -- we'd probably do something. We'd probably do something fun and eat something good.

This morning I woke up in a funk. I had a headache and I was grumpy, and truly deep down -- I was selfishly expecting something out on the counter.

I think I got spoiled all those years of waking up at home and finding Valentine's goodies left by Moms and Pops.

It started to feel like any other day. I experienced this on Christmas Eve. Jimmy's morning routine doesn't change just because it's a holiday. But it makes it tough for me. I like those different, special days. With subtle surprises and goodies.

I watched a few chick-flicks while Jimmy napped this morning. It of course made me sad(der), so I made myself get up and shower. I knew it would make me feel better.

There were a few errands I needed to run, so I went out for a short while. My last stop was Publix where I saw a handful of guys carrying out bouquets of flowers before I could even get in the front door.

I walked in and the massive display stopped me in my tracks. I wanted flowers.

So, I picked some out for myself.

And I didn't stop there. I got myself a white chocolate raspberry heart-shaped mini cake that read "Call Me."

I was getting an idea.

On Valentine's Eve, Jimmy got extremely emotional about not being able to go out and get me something. I brushed it off and told him it was really okay. We'd order in dinner and watch a movie and the day didn't have to be about gifts.


I clearly needed the gifts. The moment I saw the peachy/orangey/yellowy roses -- they were mine.

And why shouldn't I have a Call Me Cake? I deserve a Call Me Cake.

I got Jimmy some stuff for V-day, too. I got him a bunch of sweets. Lately, that's a sure fire way to get a good mood out of him.

I walked in and said, "Honey, you didn't have to do that!"

He said... "What...."

"I said you didn't have to get me these beautiful flowers and this awesome heartcake. But you did!"

He really did. I used his card to pay for it.

He was happy that I was happy. Win-win.

Earlier in the day, we ordered a steak dinner from a restaurant delivery service. Our steaks came, I set up a candlelit dinner and put on some jazz. It was perfection. We watched a movie and then I turned off the TV while we talked about the day, and how it turned out.

This morning I thought it would be a really crummy day. I got off my butt, showered, and put a little effort into making it a memorable Valentine's Day. As much as I pretended I didn't care about the day -- uhm, lie.

It turned out to be really good and silly.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Six Months

Six months ago tonight I could barely breathe. I could barely see. My eyes were red, dry, and burning.

Each time I got more news from a trauma doctor or a spine surgeon, or each time I had to tell another loved one about what happened, how he was, and the generic prognosis as we knew it then -- there came the salty tears streaming down my face.

Somehow, someone talked me into going home that night. I'm not sure how they got me to do that. Probably because he had an early surgery. And I needed to get "sleep" and shower before the long day ahead of us.

I think I slept all of 45 minutes, probably against my own will. Pure mental exhaustion.

I wanted so badly to wake up from a bad dream.

I wasn't supposed to be there without him.

He would never step foot back in that apartment again.

We picked that place together. We unpacked wedding presents there. We hung wedding pictures there. We talked about how we'd have dinner parties there and save up for cool plants and patio furniture for the huge balcony that was a good talking point.

I think we had just settled in.

I can't remember spending a ton of time there.

I do remember the day before the accident and all the things we managed squeeze into one day -- as if we knew.

We went to the pool at our apartment complex for the first time. Jimmy loves the sun and loves the water. Add an adult beverage and he's golden.

He was so happy floating in the water soaking up the rays in that first week or so of August.

We had planned a big Sunday dinner for when we got done. I was making crock pot macaroni and cheese, he was going to make a roast in the oven. I steamed broccoli so we'd have something green on our plates.

After dinner he dozed off on the couch -- possibly from the combination of the sun and his adult beverage(s).

I took that time to play on my phone with a new app I just discovered called Pinterest. I was newly addicted. It annoyed Jimmy that I spend so much time on that app. It was funny how he was annoyed by it, and still is, actually.

It was a good Sunday night at home with my husband.

The next day, on the way to work I got the call. Jimmy was on his way to an assignment in his work vehicle.

And like that -- our lives changed. Forever.

You just never know. You just never never know.

Be grateful for every breath you can take on your own. Be grateful for every step you can take on your own. Be grateful to be able to feed yourself and to eat with ease. Be grateful for an easy, normal life.

Jimmy and I will find our new, easy normal. We'll get there.

I'm reminded by my wonderful therapist that this is still so new. To which I responded, "I don't feel like this is new. I've had about four haircuts since Jimmy's accident."

The day after we got to the Shepherd Center, I chopped my hair off. Clearly a coping mechanism.

Poor Jimmy. He probably needed familiarity and I have a mini-meltdown and run to the nearest salon.

Jimmy and I have laughed and cried together a whole lot over the past six months. We're closer than we ever imagined we'd be.

Our mutual sense of humor that drew us together has remained and gotten us through some weird, uncomfortable and scary times.

We're still us. Just with a different set of circumstances.

We continue to grow as a strong married couple.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Helping Myself To A Hug

What a weird, emotional, learning-of-family-drama kind of night. I needed nothing more than a hug from my husband after crying my eyeballs out.
I took Jimmy's arms and put them around me.
Nothing. Like. It. In. The. World.