MY HUSBAND HAS A HEADACHE
My husband, my beloved husband, has a headache.
A very, very bad headache.
He has had this particular headache for six months, twenty four hours a day. There is no relief, only that on some days they are especially painful, and other days are just painful.
He had the first headache about four years ago, and it lasted for 16 months. We pursued a pathway of medical intervention, primarily seeking alternative (a bit woo woo) advice, and then ‘normal’. I will not bore you with a catalogue of what we did, the lengths we went to, the people we saw, the things we did. But finally, we found a practitioner in another State, who found the source and relieved his pain. For two whole years.
Then the headache came back, for no apparent reason.
We returned to ‘our man’ 1000 kms away, but this time, the treatment didn’t work. And since then, we have visited everyone you can think of, and some you cannot. All of those recommended and all of those who ‘had heard’ of someone ‘who did great things’. We included balloons up his nose, and more recently in our quest, blood letting, which we realise is bizarre but a demonstration of our desperation to find a solution. Everyone wants to help, and provides evidence of family or friends in a similar situation who have found relief, and who and what - or not - made a difference. We followed most, if not all, of those leads. But the headaches persist. So I hope you can hear me say whew are willing to try anything, go anywhere, do anything. And to date, I do not think we have left a single stone unturned.
Give me another stone. I want to unturn it.
But this story today is not about that. This story is about emotions, and what I think and feel and fear.
This man, My Beloved and I, have been together for 52 years. And he left me today. Just for a few days work, but I feel 'left' and fearful.
He drove to Sydney for to work for the company he served faithfully and very successfully, for forty years. He was there last week too. As he packed up his car, and kissed our doggy and me goodbye, my heart cracked, I cried, I didn’t want to, I know it upsets him. I had woken in the night, concern clutching my heart. What if this never gets better? What if he has to live with this pain forever? What if we are focussing on the wrong things? What if the scans and MRI’s and x rays have missed something? Something awful, something sinister? What if? What if? What if?
He drove off to Sydney, and our doggy Cino and I drove to the beach for a walk. I thought a lot. We are old – not THAT old, but old - let’s face it, even though our hearts and spirits are young. In the journey of our lives, we are nearing our destination. So. Why do we continue to do things that separate us when we are at our happiest together? Why do we concern ourselves with what people may think when we decline invitations? Why would we choose to spend a SINGLE moment away from each other? We don’t say yes to many things, because simply, we just want to be together. Us two here, in our beautiful home on The River. With our Cino. Oh, our Cino, we love you so much! The birds, and the riot of sunrises and sunsets. Me cooking meals I know will delight him, and he washing up endless sinks full of dirty dishes. Him filling our glasses with a wine he discovered, our morning meditations, our delight in each other’s bodies – and minds - and our conversations, our few but fierce arguments now quickly resolved, which was not always the case. The movies he selects for us every evening and presents to me with a flourish as if he had personally pdirected them. The love of our home, the beauty of where we live, our shared childhood in Africa, his 40 years with IBM, our coaching, our shared passion and the source of many discussions, and our peculair and enduring sense of humour. All that we shared for twenty years with World Youth International, and the heartbreak at The End – (but that is another story) and our travel all over the world, our many adventures. How we know each other, and how passionately we pursue the things we love, ‘jamming’ as he likes to say, every single thing into our lives that we can. How our phone rings every day with someone seeking solace or advice, and the joy we get in contributing just that. The ease and familiarity of being with another human being who knows everything about you and loves you all the same.
How together we inspire others with our love and how we honour couples and relationships and children and family. And still, at this age, the pleasure I still feel when he gazes at me and still sees my body as I once was, and tells me I am beautiful. Our beach walks with Cino every day, and finally getting him to yoga after 43 years of asking and how he to yoga four years ago, and how he immediately loved it. Our conversations filled with pride about our son and who he is and what he does, and our dreams for him, wondering what his dreams are, wondering if he will marry, have children, and a favourite, will we be grandparents? Our fervent wish every day that our son was close, and that we knew him more, that we shared more intimately in each other’s lives. The conversations that only he and I can have with each other.
His solid presence and comfort and love and patience with me always, but most especially seven years ago when I lost both my parents within six months. The safety and reassurance of his love and the strength of his arms, his mind and heart, his gentle rocking and stroking of my hair when my grief threatened to spiral me into a kind of madness that was only steps away.
I am fearful that something awful will separate us, and I know it is inevitable one day. I want to soak up every second, I do not want to miss a moment, I want to hold on to every conversation and heartbeat and touch, I want to hear his voice and hear him snore, I want to see him tucking into my food with relish, I want to smell his special smell and see his eyes light up when they see me.
I feel selfish in asking, as we have had so much joy in our lives, but I ask God and the Universe to grant us many more years of loving, he and me and Cino.
NOTE TO MY BELOVED:
I did not want you to go today, Gerald, There is a wound in my heart when you are in pain. There is a wound in my heart when we are apart. You are My Rock, My Beloved, I want you home here with me. So I will count the hours till you return on Thursday.
I want to tell you that if you should die before me, I will follow you shortly, as my mother followed my father.
I have had a Truly Glorious Life, and you made it possible. I am so grateful.
I love you Gerald Groom xxx
Sunday May 14th, 2016.