Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mind Games

When I see young couples, mostly ones that are newly engaged, or about to get married, I look at them with question marks.

I quickly flash back to Dave and I. I reflect on how simple and easy things were, back when we were responsible for ourselves only. Back before the mounds, and mounds of responsibility piled upon us.

I guess I should say, I am not afraid of responsibility, never have been, but what we have here is enough for an entire village!

Anyway, back to the happy couple, so full of hope and excitement (my gosh, do I sound jaded) when I see these couples, I can't help but wonder if, and when they will experience a tragedy that will bring them to their knees.

Sometimes I wonder if they already have?

Sometimes I wonder if they ever will?

Any which way, I hope they never experience what Dave and I have.....


  1. It would be awful to experiance what you two have, there are simply no words for it. As for the happy couple, I'm still jaded against pregnant people, so its all good. Plus you have to be naive to things you cannot comprehend happening, and you never appreciate how simple life is, I guess you do, I know I do, but to the same level you would?, no not possible because I still cannot imagine your life........

  2. You never know what life is going to toss at you, that is why everyone needs to live in the moment. Even if your current moment isn't what you hoped, you never know what the next moment is going bring. You guys are dealing with one of life's biggest tragedies. No one should have to experience what you guys have, it is truly horrific.

    As a side note, I have learned about the need to live in the moment in dealing with my Dad's terminal throat cancer struggle. Recently he was told he has months left. He already has went through everything possible including the removal of his jaw, voicebox, tongue. He breathes through a hole in his chest and writes to communicate. Life is like a roller coaster and can shift so easily to a different route. You need to enjoy what you have when you have it. Even though it is bad now in my life, I know that it is going to get worse. So right now is really good actually. Things like that change your perspective on what is good. It is a strange concept really. My dad must think that way too, because the other day he was dancing in the living room for the grandkids.

  3. ohmygosh, I am the same way!!! And I'm scared to admit this in public, but whenever I see or hear of a couple so "happy, blissful, our lives are better than we could ever imagine" my mind swiftly and briefly asks "yeah, what if she gets cancer 9 months after you get married and dies after 8 months after that?" I know, it's horrible. But it's true.

  4. Every stage of life has it's challenges and we never know what someone has faced or will face. You and Dave have faced something that most poeple will and could not handle. We can only hope that when we know what others are suffering we offer support to help them through it. You have taught me so much about appreciating what I have and the true meaning of strength. Thank you Jen!!

  5. Rich and I have been married 18 years now. Our first 4 years of marriage were pretty carefree and wonderful. We had three healthy children and no sadness in our lives whatsoever. That all changed on February 17, 1997. Audriana's accident was something that were not expecting and were in no way prepared for. I often thought, how could this be happening to us? I wanted so badly to hit a "rewind" button and just do that day all over again. I wanted to be that Happy Couple again, with the blissful life and no worries. I wanted our old life back. I would look at other couples and feel envious. Why are WE having to go through this hell when they aren't? Why do WE have a brain injured child when they don't? Look at them walking along, holding hands and they even have a clue what true sadness is?

    During the years that followed Audriana's accident, our marriage went through many stages: grief, sadness, anger, denial, distance. We came together in the beginning, during the early stages of her accident, working together to help her get better. Then, as the program went on and on and on month after month after month....we grew apart. He buried himself into his career to hide from the grief, and I buried myself into Audriana's program and was very strict with it, almost OCD, making sure every check mark was made each day, completing every last detail until it was time for bed.

    Rich and I fought a lot during that time. I resented that he spent so much time at work (and on his off days studying for his paramedic's test) and he resented that I was 100% into Audriana and her therapy and had no energy or desire to be a wife and a friend to him. Lucky for us, we are two very stubborn people (both our personalities) and the last thing we ever want to do is fail at something, and that includes marriage! So we worked through it, and here we are today married 18 years and six kids later :)

    The way I see marriage is like this: it's like one big patchwork quilt. The entire quilt represents your marriage. The quilt has many colored squares. Some squares are brightly colored with yellows, bright greens, oranges: those squares represent the joyous and exciting times in your marriage. One, two, or three squares (in our case, nine!) are colored pink or blue, representing a new addition to the family. Some squares are purple, representing silly times or perhaps a confusing time or an adjustment such as a move to a new home, a job change, etc. There are many, many beautifully colored squares throughout the quilt...but then, sometimes you'll find a square that is a very dark shade of grey...and those random squares represent a difficult time in your marriage, perhaps due to the loss of a child, a miscarriage, or an accident or serious illness, or a time when you are distant from each other. In most marriages, those grey squares are scattered here and there throughout the quilt. And that's okay. Because those grey squares by themselves might not be very pretty to look at, but when you lay the entire quilt out and look at it as a whole, all the colored squares make it unique and beautiful. Because it represents your life together.

    So now, when I see newly married couple walking hand in hand in their marriage "bliss" season...well, now of course I don't feel envy at all. I know that if they are lucky enough to last through the years, then their quilt will have grey squares, too.

    Although I hate brain injuries and wish that Audriana had never been hurt, I will admit that I'm proud of our grey shaded squares in our marriage quilt. They are few and far between, but they are as much a part of our "story" as the brightly colored squares are :)