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.