Thursday, July 7, 2011

Awkward homecoming

There was a Seventh-day Adventist church, the church I grew up in and had been a pastor in, who had been helping my mother throughout the week. They asked me to speak briefly on Saturday morning and here was a guy at the lowest energy level I could remember trying to be the charming, well spoken witty guy I was known to be. I stood up and said something I’ll always stand by, that I appreciated their prayers and that I was glad that it looked like this wasn’t going to kill me but that I still was going to die anyway at some point and that we should live with that perspective in my mind.

So the next day I got to fly home and was very excited about seeing my wife and my daughter. I had brought back a few bottles of rum and various souvenirs from Barbados for the people who had and who would continue to be helpful. My energy was so low that to go to the next door neighbors house was pretty exhausting but it was good to see them. It was depressing to not be able to pick up my daughter due to the weight restrictions which could literally tear open muscles and scar in my head (with my great rule following etiquette I tried it a few days later anyway and it hurt like hell so I would not try it again).

Nonetheless, I got home and talked to my wife and told her how excited I was about getting the tattoo of our family and the conversation turned awkward quickly. I couldn’t figure out what was going on; here was the woman I’d fought to stay alive for and she seemed incredibly distant. I told her I needed to make some changes and readdress some big and small issues about how I’d handled being a father and a husband. She came off as very close to the idea, suggesting that she’d rather not. In frustration, I simply asked if forced to choose if she would rather take the door or stay here. She took it (and it’s not hard to imagine) as me saying my way or the highway and like any smart person, she said between those options she took the highway. The evening calmed down a little and we went to sleep but it was not a warm homecoming.

I went to bed scared but hoped it was stress or fear or something driving this and that as we started doing stuff around the house she had always wanted to do: planting a garden, updating her and Kiana’s bathroom, fixing the fireplace that this would just be one of those rough patches of marriage which I hadn’t perceived. I even would write a few thoughts down that maybe how well the surgery had gone and how badly this seemed was simply all just one gigantic hallucination. I’d switch those two results in a hurry.

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