This One is All About Me.

A couple of things before we begin: This title is far from correct; no one lives in a bubble, and even those who do must rely on someone else at some point. But this post reflects my feelings about a situation that goes far beyond my life. It was also written earlier this week but as you’ll read, I was reluctant to hit the “Publish” key.

I have reversed that decision.

It is seven a.m. on a quiet Sunday morning that will soon be anything but.

In a short while, the hordes shall awaken from their alcohol-induced slumber and begin to crawl closer, ever closer to my station. Mistress Fate never fails to amaze/disappoint me with her offerings, and my faith in her never wavers. I know whatever is coming will be both dark and terrible and enlightening and joyful.

But I am ill-prepared for the coming onslaught, to say the least.

Sleep eludes me.

Peace of mind is not to be had.

My form aches with the many signs of mortal weakness.

There is little I can say without invading another’s privacy, but suffice to say, someone who has made my life worth living is being threatened by one of the most powerful forces in all of creation: the unknown.

We cannot fight the unknown, for it has no form.

We cannot understand the unknown or begin to fathom its motivations, for it has no tells to study.

The unknown cannot be tracked or hunted. We cannot face it head-on for we never know when it will strike or in what form. We cannot defend against it or truly prepare ourselves for its onslaught. All we can do is wait in quiet horror.

Tomorrow I will accompany the love of my life to a cold, sterile lab where she will be studied like an object rather than a warm, loving human being with hopes, dreams and plans for the future. I will hold her hand, smile brightly and tell her everything will be all right. I will do this because in my heart, I truly know that she will endure.

She has to.

I could ramble on about how she makes me feel whenever my mind fills with thoughts of her quiet grace, her angelic smile that fills my soul with peace whenever I gaze upon it. I could bring you to tears with tales of each of the moments her love has saved me from my own despair. I could even tell you of her endless moments of unassuming heroism – believe it or not, tending a man’s home and raising his child while he works is the greatest act of heroism one can display, in my humble opinion – but I won’t.

I simply want, no, I need to tell you what I feel at this moment. In the digital age some people seem to consider bearing their souls a badge of honor. Lost, damaged souls like Amanda Bynes take to Twitter and disclose their sexual fantasies. Others use their blogs to share their struggles with clinical depression or substance abuse. Angelina Jolie shares news of her double mastectomy and the world calls her a hero for inspiring women to step forward and take control of their medical destiny.

I don’t know about any of that. Personally, I suspect Jolie’s admission is motivated as much by the desire of her PR team to draw positive attention as it is by her genuine desire to help others. In the eyes of the world she is no longer the woman who made out with her brother or stole Brad Pitt away from poor Jennifer Aniston. No, she is a hero whose reputation cannot be tarnished by any of her numerous mortal failings.

For my own part, I am writing these words to free them from my consciousness, as they have been rattling about in there for two of the longest weeks of my life. I have discussed my feelings with friends and of course, my wife, but in the case of the latter, I’ve had to remain a pillar of strength, unwavering in my devotion to a single thought: There is nothing to worry about.

The truth is this: all my love and support means nothing when my wife closes her eyes to sleep at night. Ultimately, she will be alone when she steps into that lab. This is her fight, her trial to endure.

Even now, my fingers waver as the mouse hovers over the “Publish” box. I can only hope she understands the therapeutic nature of writing, the healing that comes from sharing one’s pain.  These words are the result of a selfish man who merely wants to ease his own suffering and so they must end with the thought that has haunted me for some time and will continue to do so until I know for certain my instincts have been correct all along.

I cannot lose my wife.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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126 Responses to This One is All About Me.

  1. Kayjai says:

    Very eloquent words, Hook. Best wishes to you and your wife….

  2. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Robert,
    Holding you and your wife in the highest light.
    Cathy

  3. mairedubhtx says:

    A beautiful post, Robert. I sincerely hope that everything turns out all right for Jackie and for you. My prayers are with you.

  4. xdanigirl says:

    Hook, you and Vampire Lover are in my thoughts and prayers! I’m so very sorry for what the two of you are going through. I send all the internet hugs I can in hopes that they are of some comfort. I hope all goes well!

  5. Pixie Girl says:

    This is beautifully written, and I can only begin to imagine the suffering you must be going through. But you paint the picture so well that even beginning to imagine hurts.
    I wish both of you all the very best and strength and health to your loved one. Your support will be invaluable right now.

  6. I’m glad you shared this…for your sake. I hope all goes well with your wife. She is lucky to have your love to lift her up and over a hard time.

  7. I’m so sorry that you and your wife have to go through this. The waiting is horrendous and our imaginations tend to go to the worse place. It is a wonderful thing that you felt able to share with us so we can…well…just be there. Having been on both sides of the coin I found it far more difficult to watch my loved one go through serious illness than it was for me to go through it myself. Just know that you are doing what she needs you to do. Loving her and being there for her. I will be thinking of and praying for you both.

  8. This is one of those posts where it’s so hard to find the right thing to say. I completely understand that internal wrestle about whether it’s right to “go public” by reaching out and expressing your deepest feelings. As you say, some people’s blogs are all about doing that, but some of us keep our blogs generally light, and it can be a big decision to bare your soul. But hopefully you can get some strength from knowing how many people are there for you, even if they’ve never met you, and that includes me. Love to you both.

  9. vrbridge says:

    I’m sorry to hear about what your wife and you are experiencing. Unfortunately, many things in life are not in our control. Life can suck sometimes. I hope things work out in your wife’s favor.

  10. Hook – my heart to you and your wife – I’ll be thinking of you both.

  11. Katie says:

    Hook, from the bottom of my heart, this is one of the best things of yours, and in general, that I’ve read. When you write a mostly-humor blog, I think it’s easy to forget that the armor the author wears doesn’t protect them from real life. I wish you and your wife all the best. I’m confident you two will provide strength to each other.

  12. "HE WHO" says:

    Best wishes and good luck to you and the missus, Hook. Especially the missus. Stay positive.

  13. Coop says:

    Robert, I know that love that you feel for your wife, intimately. Trust me when say: together, with the love and support of one another, you two can and will do amazing things! My wife was my pillar last year and I will never be able repay her, I can only give her my undying love…
    You and your wife will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  14. Chatty Owl says:

    I send the most positive thoughts your way. I can feel your pain. I really wish you and your wife all the best. All the very best. From the bottom of my heart.

  15. You never cease to amaze me. You’ve brought me to tears and warmed my heart with your powerful words. There is nothing but pure, true, raw love here. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’ll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. We may only be cyber friends but that may actually help when you need to pour out your deepest fears. We all have them. I’m here for you. You got this!

  16. Thoughts and wishes are with your wife, Hook. Stay strong.

  17. wisejourney says:

    YOu are not a selfish man. You are a man filled with love for another and her pain is your pain. You are a brave man to share as you have and I salute you and wish you the very best of all you need to find within you at this time

  18. Michael says:

    I don’t know what to say, because of course nothing feels quite right at a time like this. Your post was beautiful and so profound. I really do hope things work out for you and her, and you’ll both be in my thoughts.

  19. Beautifully written! I agree that writing can help, even be therapeutic, in hard times. I will be praying for your wife (and you) as you venture into the unknown. The unknown is very scary but do not lose hope! Stay strong and remain positive! Prayers and love to you & your family! 🙂

    • The Hook says:

      Thank you. My family appreciates it.

    • bfg666 says:

      @playdough: I don’t understand people who say they’re afraid of the unknown. To me, only what has already been experienced can be scary. But I have somewhat of an explorer mind that sadly most of mankind lack nowadays.

      In this particular instance, I believe it’s more the expectation of the worst that could happen, rather than the unknown per se, that is scary, because you know such tragedies have already happened and you project this knowledge over the situation Hook is experiencing. I’d rather see the cup half-filled, thank you.

      With that said, @Hook, my thoughts are with you and your family. Be strong and don’t let fear grind you down.

  20. tteclod says:

    Reblogged this on A Life Un-Lived and commented:
    Hook can crack a man’s frozen heart.

  21. Beautiful. Stay strong.

  22. Nothing like the cold to make you seek some warmth and shelter from the wind.
    “The truth is this: all my love and support means nothing when my wife closes her eyes to sleep at night. Ultimately, she will be alone..”
    It’s true, but while you are not “there”, always know you are. And that’s important. (My husband is living with cancer – 7 years, halted not gone. You just put one foot in front of the other. And know each day is precious.Keeping you and yours in our thoughts and prayers.)

  23. twindaddy says:

    I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m sure your wife will be fine. Sending positive vibes towards you both.

  24. JackieP says:

    With a name like “Jackie” I know she is strong. You will be strong also. I’ve been there. Sending light and love to you both.

  25. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Wow, yeah, I echo the words of the other commenters. Best wishes to you and your wife during what is clearly a very difficult time for both you. Sending good healing vibes buddy 🙂

    Rohan.

  26. All I can think to say is: XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX!!! Good luck and love and light ❤

  27. …all about her, really huh? Just keep one and only thing in both your minds: hope and a big smile.
    All will be well. Sending you and your wife my warmest wishes!

  28. Beautifully written and expressed, and I agree that the unknown is a force to be reckoned with. I am sending lots of positive thoughts your way, All will be well……..

  29. Robert: Such beautiful, quiet writing. I am holding you both in the light. Peace and health and strength, my friend.

    • The Hook says:

      Thank you. Leanne.
      I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and comment. I know your schedule is pretty packed these days. Thanks again.

  30. djmatticus says:

    Thoughts, prayers, and positive energy all headed your direction.

  31. Ink Pastries says:

    You and she and your family are in my prayers. I just watched Shawshank Redemption and tried to see our bodies as a limitation, like a jail cell, but that doesn’t make it any easier to lose them or lose others who have made it easier to be here, waiting for the inevitable. We all die. How we handle it is the amazing thing, and how we face illness, too. Again, you are in my prayers. May you both sleep as peacefully as possible and may God be with you.

  32. Robert, my friend…you just wrote a few hundred words of a masterpiece. There are probably 10 million men out there, myself included, who wish they could say exactly what you just did. Poignant, eloquent, from the heart…unbridled love. My prayers will be with you and your wonderful bride until The Unknown is a faint memory. God bless you two.

  33. Lady Lovely says:

    Love and hugs. Love and hugs.

  34. The Cutter says:

    Best wishes, and here’s hoping that you both emerge from this ordeal well.

  35. Hope you will have many MANY more years together. This was beautifully written.

  36. iRuniBreathe says:

    Kind and loving words. Focus on what you want and deal with whatever varies from that. I’m keeping you and your wife in my thoughts.

  37. Honie Briggs says:

    Robert,
    What you’ve said here about the unknown, truer words were never written. Go with the known. You know your wife – her value, her strength. You know your own. In this moment, this is all you need to know. The unknown will not change that.
    Every peace and comfort to you both.
    Stephanie

  38. moi says:

    Well written, as usual. I wish you both well… *man hug*

  39. artsifrtsy says:

    Beuatiful – My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

  40. Hook, you have written about the most important thing in life: the people we love.
    It’s not TMI and your piece is a tribute, not a whine.

    As for the recent celeb soul baring I am guilty -or shall be-. Except for the celeb thing. I’m only world famous in Reno.
    Think it’s in the air right now. Great excuse to deny your own mistakes, whether they were made at the height of an illness or not. There are quite a few people out there who have a legitimate illness to consider (not blame!) for their foolish past actions.
    What is MY part in past idiocies? That is the question!

    Angelina Jolie, What’s-Her-Nuts that you mentioned (the one I had to Google), Robert Downey Jr and Catherine Zeta-Jones are making me kinda pukey. PR machine is EXACTLY what they are baring.
    I may have been the butt of life’s jokes and experiences but it doesn’t mean they weren’t learning experiences. Believe it or not there’s a lot that my dark little heart and class-clown heart will never share. Perhaps in tertiary and non specifics at the most.

    You spread the love of your beautiful wife, your happiness and your fear as well. You’ll get that care back one hundred fold 🙂

    I am sending my love and positive thoughts to you and your wife. Be well, and may she be healthy beyond her wildest dreams!
    xo

  41. denmother says:

    Oh no. I share your agony over the learning and processing and treating. No road map for this one. Love helps!

  42. Cameron says:

    Keeping you both in my thoughts.

  43. The not knowing is the worst part I think. Good for you for sharing. This is not the kind of thing that someone can handle on their own.
    Praying for you.

  44. Thea says:

    I was a spectator once many years ago, so I know how devastating it is to watch from the sidelines and be powerless to do anything about it. My hero won her battle. I sincerely hope yours does too.

  45. Jennifer says:

    My thoughts go out to you and your family at this time. many hugs and good wishes.

  46. TBM says:

    My thoughts are with you and your wife.

  47. Best wishes my friend

  48. Melanie says:

    You love is palpable in this one. When she steps into that lab, and you sit in the waiting room for her return, she will have you in her heart, as you will have her in yours.

  49. >I can only hope she understands the therapeutic nature of writing, the healing that comes from sharing one’s pain.
    – She’s still married to you, oui?

    >These words are the result of a selfish man who merely wants to ease his own suffering and so they must end with the thought that has haunted me for some time and will continue to do so until I know for certain my instincts have been correct all along.
    – Thank you for sharing, Hook.

    Ever since you mentioned turbulence in your life recently, I suspected something of this nature. But I did not probe because I chose to respect your choice to not share it with the world. Until now.

    Thank you for sharing this, um, bump with us.

    >I cannot lose my wife.
    – You know why that won’t happen.

    Somehow these words came to mind when I read your post.

    “I am conscious of a soul-sense that lifts me above the narrow, cramping circumstances of my life. My physical limitations are forgotten – my world lies upward, the length and the breadth and the sweep of the heavens are mine!” ~ Helen Keller

    Storm ‘em heavens, Hook!

    Kate

  50. Jeanne Heuer says:

    Sorry to come to this late. Been away from the blogosphere for a bit myself. Stay strong friend.

  51. Ashley says:

    Beautifully stated. The thing about love is that it’s all-enduring, and she has that with her no matter the physicality of it all. All the best to you and your wife during this time.

  52. I didn’t see this post until just a few moments ago, Robert. I pray things went well for you today, and I’m adding you and your wife to my prayer list. Thank you for telling us so that we *can* pray for you. xoxoxo

  53. rarasaur says:

    *big hugs* I’m sending waves of positive thoughts and love to you & your beautiful wife and family.

  54. Like Rarasaur, I wish you and your family well. A very moving piece of writing

  55. Diane C says:

    Wow Robert, you actually brought me to tears. I’m so sorry that you and your wife are going through this struggle. I will be keeping you both in my prayers.

    • The Hook says:

      Don’t cry, Diane, we’re doing much better now!
      We have to keep a close eye on the wife’s health, but I’ll keep people informed if things take a turn for the worse.
      The wife is very private, but we appreciate all the good wishes and prayers.
      Thanks again.

  56. 1jaded1 says:

    Hugs and thoughts to one of my favorite bloggers and your wife.

  57. beautifully and honestly written. Good luck and lots of love to the Hook family as you all go into the unknown.

  58. I’m so sorry, Robert, for both of you. ALTHOUGH – you probably know that the survival rate from breast cancer is very high now. So I think she will be ok – but she’ll need all the love and hugs you can give. Thinking of you both 🙂

  59. Sometimes we just have to get those feelings and emotions out, especially the fear. We need an outlet, we need to write it, transfer it from our head–our gut–to paper before it poisons us and drives us insane, but sometimes that’s not even enough, sometimes we need to share it with others, to connect. No amount of private journaling can ever compare to, after baring a vulnerable piece of our soul, another human being saying, “I hear you.”

    I hear you, we hear you, and I’m so grateful you and your wife received positive news.

    Sending sunshine, Christy

  60. Big, big hugs, and wishes for ongoing good news.

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