I have forever stories of what seemed to me as a cosmic conspiracy and proof that the universe was out to get me. Recently, I realized that I was feeling pretty self- important and in actuality I am fairly insignificant in the grand scheme to spurn an all out universal directive to ruin my life one day at a time. I am trying to work through this with faith, but I have to admit that it is hard sometimes.
Unemployed, unchallenged, unmotivated, and ironically...unimportant. I was literally brought to tears when my hubby suggested that he take time away from his business and focus on our family with a three day vacation. This was huge. I jumped at the chance and planned a jam-packed three day trip to Chicago.
Hubby decided against my train ride on Amtrak and insisted that we drive the nearly 6 and a half hours (extra time built in for two little girls with EXTREMELY small bladders). It was a nice drive. We spent some lovely time laughing and playing WABASH! (we look for semi-trailers with the Wabash logo, the person who finds one and shouts WABASH! can playfully smack the crap out of the other. **no family members were harmed in our redneck games**) Excitement was reaching it's peak as we drove into the urban sprawl and the city skyline began to take shape.
That's when the phone rang.
It was the daughter of a family friend, asking for the hubster. I handed him the phone. A dramatic series of "oh nos" and "let me knows" came from my husband. He ended the call, handed me the phone and advised that the friend had unsuccessfully attempted to take his own life. Complete tragedy 15 minutes away from checking into our hotel.
This man was no ordinary friend. In the vast expanse in the lives of our generations, families who are "blended" blur the lines, sometimes they lose boundaries altogether. The friend dated hubby's mom for several years and practically raised her children for a period of time. When that relationship ended for her, it carried on for my husband. He saw the man as a father figure, a mentor,and a friend. He served as a groomsman/usher in our wedding, always kind towards my children and myself.
Driving to what seemed like the answer to my prayers, had just taken a familiar universally bad turn. I was sad and angry. Sad for my husband, because it is an extremely important relationship for him and angry because in the sad and lonely desperation that one must feel to decide to end it all on their terms, he had not thought about the pain that would rip through the lives of people who loved him. Not just my husband and his siblings, but more importantly, his own children and grandchildren.
Upon our arrival at our hotel, we sat for dinner in the restaurant. I learned immediately upon hitting the city limits of Chicago that St. Louis, MO is NO big city. St. Louis is the perfect city, the perfect blend of urban sprawl, entertainment, night life, suburbs, and local farming communities. It may seem like an off-blend, but it works in a perfectly beautiful way. Chicago? We'll get to that.
At dinner, my husband sat sad and silent. I knew that there was a great possibility that he was going to suggest we go home. I had been preparing for it. I was not prepared for him to suggest that I stay in Chicago while he "catch a flight" home. I know that he was trying to "salvage" my vacation, but Chicago is like CRAZY TOWN compared to home. I am competent and independent, I am not traversing uncharted territory with two kids alone, especially when it requires me to leave the side of my hubby in a time of hurt. I quickly advise that if he is leaving, I too, am going home.
He asked me what I wanted to do and I told him that this was a decision he had to make on his own, because unfortunately...I have a dog in this fight. I have been fighting for time with my husband and family and it is in danger of being compromised, so the selfish part of me wants to scream, "NO". The part of me that is angry that someone would purposely make a decision to end it wants to scream "NO". On the other hand, the part of me that sees the little boy hurting, in the man I love is willing to set aside all of those things and follow him back. I sat and silently cried over my dinner. Real tears. I tried to stop them, but they fell just the same.
Completely alone in his decision...we stayed.
On Monday afternoon, his friend was taken off the ventilator and he passed away early last Tuesday morning. We stayed. I want to talk about all the good things that we did and all the fun we had, I wanted to post sooner, I want to post more, but I had to get over this hurdle first.