The subject of this blog post asked that I take it down based on the personal backlash he has received. I have chosen to edit the post accordingly, since he had no idea what he was stepping into.
What a weird and terrible day for my heart. Many of you watched it unfold on the interwebs. Throngs of you responded, in words, texts, comments, responses, emails, and essays of your own. And I love you for it.
A few nights ago, Tuck was experiencing such severe breakthrough pain, so named because it breaks through all the barriers meant to keep it away, that I spent a a couple of hours alternating between holding my writhing son as he cried in pain, describing his symptoms on the phone with the ER nurse, and trying to decide at what point we should wave the white flag and go in for morphine and oxicodone. When I spoke with our doctor the next day, thinking maybe there is something far greater going on and I’m not doing enough for him, he responded, “Actually, this is to be expected. Don’t forget – his foot has just recently been put back together.”
I’m in a place of missing Robb and mourning the life that isn’t in ways that I just can’t articulate. But maybe it’s because my exhaustion is so fierce in this sleepless summer of the broken foot, this summer that’s not what I was planning, this summer of fulltime care and endless sacrifice, that most of my heart seems inarticulate. I wonder if I should call my doctor, if I should adjust my medications, if there’s something far greater going on and I’m not going enough for myself and my family. But, so similar to the words of Tucker’s experts, mine have said, “Actually, Tricia, this is to be expected. Don’t forget – you have just recently been put back together.”
The poet Jack Gilbert wrote that marriage is what happens between the memorable. We often look back on our marriages years later, perhaps after one spouse has died, and all we can recall are the vacations and emergencies, the high points and low points. The rest of it sort of blends into a daily sameness. It is that very blurred sameness that comprises marriage. Marriage is those 2,000 indistinguishable conversations, chatted over 2,000 indistinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel. How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to someone, so utterly well known, and so thoroughly ever present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?
When you lose an invisible necessity, you can’t wrap your mind or hands around what is so big you could never see its entirety at all. And this magnitude can’t be measured, not in its grandness, its absence, or the timeline of its recovery.
Some things never stop being. People are one of these things. Heartbreak is another.
Thanks for loving me well today, my friends. You’ve got my back. Thank you for believing in the courage of sadness, the strength of grief, and the beauty of being sad.
Blue is a beautiful color.