Today our guest blogger is DD Gore’s niece. I had the privilege of meeting her at the annual GG Weekend last year. I loved her immediately, but all of the nieces are equally adorable, I am sure they get their charm from their Aunt DD! If you have been in class with DD, she has shared how Jennifer has been taking care of her husband who has been struck down by ALS. She shares with us a day in her life…I was very touched by her story and asked if she would share it with you. Let’s all pray for strength for Jennifer and her son and daughter and for her husband. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your life with us…
Reflections on a day…
I’m living in a split reality. Outside, it’s a beautiful spring day. I see mostly blue skies out my windows, trees are budding, birds are chirping and the sun is warming my feet as it comes through the window.
Inside, while the sun offers a brightness to the interior, it feels like a muddled light. Because as I sit typing I see my handsome husband, tethered to his bipap machine, which is breathing for him. He is sleeping, sometimes fitful and sometimes way too quietly. He is tipped back in his wheelchair, reclined, covered in a blanket. His eyes, his beautiful blue gray eyes can not stay open. As he sleeps, they flutter open but they close…they don’t just close though, they roll up in his head first, so all you see are the whites of his eyes, then the lids close down.
Life living and growing outside. Dying by ALS on the inside.
How can these two realities even exist together? My husband is dying from ALS. I want it to be dark, cold gray, and rainy. I want others to be as miserable as I am. I want the lilacs to stop budding and please, can someone cue the birds to stop their damn chirping? That gentle spring breeze, it should be a howling gale in response to what it happening inside my house. The white fluffy clouds I see, they should be great thunderous storm clouds, clapping together letting people know that a good man is struggling and that this is wrong.
But because these two realities exist, so must I. I must live in this moment. I have to let the light in to help balance the darkness. I have to live in both realities because living in one or the other is not an option. I live in the light, I walk away from the dark. I live in the dark, I fear may never be able to walk out. So, I feel the sun on my feet, and cover my husband’s arms when he signals he’s cold. I watch the gentle breeze flitter through the tulips. I rub my husband’s forehead when his eyes flutter, looking at the blue of the sky instead of the blue of his eyes. I acknowledge that both the beauty of life and ugly of death, can be one in the same..two becomes one.
However, it does not mean I like it and frankly it makes me mad as hell right now. Kicking the wall comes to mind many times a day. But the delicate balance of light and dark, the delicate balance of loving and hating, is what I have right now. I accept the reality, but not for one minute do I revel in it, enjoy it, even pretend that I want to be here.
In a world where ugly has upset the balance….the only choice is love. Trust me…there is nothing else that will get you through the ugly.
But seriously, can someone turn off the chirping birds?