What I learned

This month long ordeal we lived through last month taught me a lot.  Here are a few of the things I learned.

I love my husband.  So, that’s not so much of a surprise, really.  I have always loved my husband. We are both very much aware of how lucky we are to have each other. We don’t take each other for granted, ever, and we both tell each other every day, verbally and non-verbally, in big ways and little, how much we love each other.  But the reality of mortality hits hard, and it rather got shoved up my nose how much I like, love, respect, and appreciate him, and how  much my world would change and I would miss him if he didn’t make it.

I’m stronger than I thought I was.  It was hard, but I did it.  I managed the house, made sure the kids were fed, the house was safe, the laundry got done, and I was with the Beloved when he most needed me.  I gave him both physical and emotional comfort, and I became a walking Merck manual.  I managed to update most of the friends and family who cared, and a few who didn’t, apparently.  I even managed to shower on occasion.  I made it til he got home.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to.  Yeah, you do what you have to do, until you can’t anymore, and I’m grateful that I never reached the “I can’t” stage, though I came closer than I’d have liked.

I learned my husband is a fundamentally good person,  right down to the basic level.  I pretty much knew that too; I did, after all, marry the man and carry his child.  It was really nice to see how caring he was about the people around him, the nurses and doctors and techs and even housekeeping; he noticed everything everyone did for him and he really was grateful.  And kind.  Even when he was in pain, and exhausted, and had every reason to be cranky and unpleasant, he wasn’t.  This is a lesson I need to learn, as I’m forever apologizing to people for being irritable when I don’t feel well.

I learned I need friends.  I felt very alone.  I’ve never been much good at making friends; I’m shy and awkward and not the greatest at picking up social cues, and ADD makes me very bad at feeding friendships, so people often think I don’t care when I do.  I have really only had two real life in person type friends that stuck with me through thick and thin (excepting the Beloved, of course, he’s special!)  My best, asbestos, amazing friend is Barbara, still back in Massachusetts, who was admitted to ICU there the same day as Peru, and I’ve sort of lost touch with the other,  just exchanging the occasional email.  I don’t have close family either, and no ties to a religious community.  I used to go to spinning guild, but it’s too far away and I always feel like an outsider anyway.  I need to work on becoming less isolated.  There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody, but I think I’ve taken it too far.

I learned that people are surprising.  The people that did show up to help were people I would not necessarily have expected to help, and there were a few I would have hoped would help that didn’t.  I learned that family can be complicated, and that things are not always what they seem.  I learned I’m glad no bridges were burned in the past, and that keeping an open mind can be rewarding.

I learned that virtual friends really can be comforting.  I belong to an email group for fiber people.  It’s called Sheep Thrills.  It’s always been the most rewarding group I’ve ever belonged to; the diversity of culture, experience and personalities in the group is amazing.  Intelligence, humor, support, and a wide variety of discussion always gives me something to think about.  There are members all over the world, and it was very comforting to know that these people gave a thought, a prayer, a candle, or a knitting needle wave, all that energy being directed towards us with a positive emphasis.  There were times when that thought was a comforting hug right when I needed it, and I thank all the Thrillers (and all my other people!) for their energies on our behalf.

I learned I need to downsize my life and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) a lot more than I do.  I’ll be working on that one for a while.

Tomorrow I’ll go back to blogging about diet and (non-dietary!) fiber; one of the things I want to do this year is catalogue all  my UFO’s (unfinished objects, for the fiber arts deficient) and finish just ONE lace project completely.  I did want to get some of these thoughts down now, in case I need reminding later.  I expect I will.  I’m only human, after all.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. asbestos
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 16:40:38

    You learned, or re-learned, some important stuff. That’s the silver lining of that horrible cloud! And the fact that your brain cells are able to learn or even think about things is pretty impressive.


  2. Cherizac
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 16:43:38

    It’s hard not to learn the lessons when you’re being beaten over the head by them… But I am grateful. As is so often the case, some good came out of the very bad.


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