Thursday, December 24, 2015

Fair is Foul & Foul is Fair

When Lincoln got diagnosed just about 6 years ago now, the husband and I weren't connecting all that much. We were in a phase: We were both working nights, we were both resentful of our predicaments, I wanted to rest, take care of my 16 month old better. He wanted a gig that gave him more time, money... We both wanted to be in better shape. We had too much to do separately (or so we thought) for us to be grooving on the same page, riding the same wave, licking the same ice cream cone.

We knew something was different with Lincoln, but we didn't know what. Stress. Ruby was struggling with bullies and bullshit. Stress. Penelope must have been a struggle too, she was so often a struggle back then. Stress.

Wash, rinse, dry, repeat. Try not to fuck it up. Get through it. I remember feeling that way. I remember not having a lot of sex, or nights out, or inside jokes. It wasn't awesome.

Then, we got the call: Please come to the office so the Dr. can go over your results. It wasn't going to be good.

And from there, from that moment, my marriage tilted like a curious puppy's head, just so.

We instinctively gave each other mansions to grieve in. We allowed each other to say crazy, wild, strange, self-deprecating, awful, awful things.

My husband is not a tender, gentle person as a rule. But he was gentle with me as I cried and moaned and blamed myself for not knowing I carried this horrible thing and I had given it to our perfect boy! Our one and only son!

I recoil in the presence of selfish people, but I opened my ears and eyes and heart to the selfish and deep and horrible thoughts my husband had.

We cried for a thousand years.

We grieved a million lost lives.

We crept like elderly sea turtles back into each other's hearts.  Have you looked at someone's face so much you could read their mind? That happened. Have you given into a safe sexual moment that you emerged from stronger and lighter? That happened, too. Have you listened to the love of your fucking life tell their best friend about your son's present and future and want to swallow them whole like a basking shark of love? Yes, that happened.

I will defend all of him and all of us because of how we forced our way through to the other side of our son.

Now, it's Christmas Eve.  The boy we finally and with the joy of a million, trillion rising suns, we welcomed into our minds and hearts and lives has been DEMANDING the cookies for Santa be put out RIGHT NOW. Is insisting that IT'S DARK, IT IS TIME FOR SANTA.

He informs our existence. I kiss my husband with joy and breathlessness because my family includes him. We move from dawn till dusk, completing task after task like some hyper vigilant War Boys on steroids because HE IS HERE AND HE WILL BE OK.

Do you understand that? Our boy will not die because he isn't who we thought he was 7 years ago when he slithered out all blue and slimy and GIGANTIC. He is here and he is OK.

And because he is OK, and because my husband is who he is (incapable of quitting), we have not only made our way thorough the wasteland of diagnosis, we are thriving in an oasis.

We are not like other coupled people. We are the 1,000,000:1 jerks you read about. We fucking like each other and didn't shrivel up like salted snails when our whole fucking world fell apart.

It's Christmas Eve and he is yelling at his oldest sister to STAY IN MY ROOM RIGHT NOW ALL NIGHT while I type and his father naps. It's Christmas Eve and he is why we all give a damn about anything, especially each other.