September 22, 2012

Thankful to be annoyed

"These are the things we beg for. A root canal, an I.R.S. audit, coffee spilled on our clothes. When the really terrible things happen, we start begging the god we don't believe in to bring back the little horrors, and take away this. It seems quaint now, doesn't it? The flood in the kitchen, the poison oak, the fight that leaves you shaking with rage. Would it've helped if we could see what else was coming? Would we have known that those were the best moments of our lives?" Meredith Gray

I remember hearing these words in an episode of Gray's Anatomy. It was late and I couldn't sleep. Michael was already in bed and I decided to go ahead and watch it alone. It's much more fun watching with him as he tells me which medical scenarios would happen in real life or he figures out a diagnosis before it's revealed on the show. But I watched it alone, knowing Michael was safe in bed. I have to remind myself of this when the house is quiet. I still have flashbacks of his illness. Sometimes I run into the bedroom and get behind him to hold him and hear him breathing. The sounds of his breath are soothing and validation that he is still alive.

But sometimes you start to forget the hard times. You're faced with annoying things like blood sucking ex-wives and noisy French neighbors and dog poop on the sidewalk. But each time I get annoyed I stop for a minute and ask myself this question: "Would you rather be dealing with these meaningless annoyances or sitting in an ICU wondering if you will ever lay behind your husband in bed and hear his breath again?"

I remember the day he called to say he was diagnosed with pneumonia by his friend at the hospital. I was on my way to lunch with my best friend and offered to come home. "Don't be silly honey," he said. "I'm fine." Within three days he was on a respirator fighting for his life.

Today we'll walk outside and hold hands and breathe in the crisp fall air. He'll give me that smile and I'll hold his hand tighter. And I'll wonder if it can get any better than this. But the little voice in my head will wonder if it can get any worse. So I try not to think about what might lie ahead, and for now, ignore the dog shit.


Posted at September 22, 2012 11:56 AM

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