I’m a little late this week with my thoughts, but I’ve definitely had a lot of thoughts. More new discoveries have surfaced as I continue trying to live without my very best friend. I’m learning a lot about myself these days, some things frighten me a little and some things are just me being me.
It all started with a lost contact. Now for those of you that have never had problems with vision, count yourself lucky. I started several years ago when I hit those dreadful 40’s. At first it was one and that was challenging enough. It took me a long time to get comfortable with the process of putting them in and removing them. About a year ago I had to graduate to both eyes, but I had finally mastered it or so I thought.
The saga began last week when I couldn’t find the left contact to remove it for bed. I tried and tried until my frustration got the best of me and I gave up. The next morning I tried again and after a lot of “You Tubing”, I tried to put a new one in to pull the other one out. I haven’t mentioned that this can also be extremely painful at times and the more it hurt, the more I cried and the more alone I felt in the world.
Now how can I link losing a contact to my grief journey you ask. Truth is, in the world today, we take a lot for granted. It’s not on purpose, but we are so busy with life and all that goes with it that we just don’t stop to appreciate the little things. Sight isn’t a little thing, but it is something you just don’t think about, just like you don’t think about losing the love of your life in 6 short weeks.
To be honest, I’ve had a fleeting thought that something could happen to one of us, but it crossed my mind so quickly I never went into it any deeper. Just like my contact it was sudden and painful and left me in a bit of a fog. It was going to require patience and time to heal and I didn’t have time for that. My vision of the world was altered and I became afraid it may not return to the way it had been.
Oh how right I was. My world is altered in a way I could not have imagined. I wake alone, where Rick used to be lying on the pillow beside me, now the covers remain unchanged, no wrinkles, no muss, always the same. As I sit quietly and look around, the house remains the same, decorations and furniture untouched, as if preserved in time. There is the occasional robo call in the evening and I think of how that irritated him. The TV is hardly ever turned on and it used to be on all day. Meals are lonely and most of it is prepared food from the local grocery store, things that could actually be delivered to the door. The grills remain covered, unless the wind blows them off. When night finally comes, the bed is again untouched on one side and I slide in hoping my dog will sleep beside me to help with the loneliness. The next morning it starts all over when the covers remain untouched.
I know this sounds sad, but that is not my purpose in sharing it. These are the facts of life after such incredible loss. It’s something we take for granted like summer days, celebrations and family vacations. Nothing is the same, nothing will ever be the same.
I never found the contact, but after confirming that with the doctor, I gave in and left it to heal. You see, the more I fought it the more damage I did and the longer it would take to heal. I had to give in and rest and take care of myself.
Although it is not as painful and I can see better, a blurriness remains. My eye aches and I wish it hadn’t happened, but my hope is I will get better everyday. I took my eyes for granted, I won’t make that same mistake again.
I treasured my marriage and our life together, but I took it for granted that Rick and I would grow old together. We would be the little old couple you saw out and about, wrinkled hands and face, eating the Senior Special at five o’clock. We can’t be that now and I wish I had appreciated the simplicity of that sooner.
When you walk the maze as I am, make sure you have lived and loved and done your best. Don’t take a single thing for granted, because life can and will change one day. Make every moment count and know that we can’t change what happens to us, but we can change how we react to it. I’m trying to take my own advice and be patient with myself while I take each step, sometimes waivering and stumbling along, but continuing to step nonetheless. Love with all your heart and appreciate each and every little thing. The simple things we take for granted might be the most important in the end.