Saturday, January 17, 2009

What a long, strange trip it has been - Part I

To recap: In November 2007, my wife committed suicide while I was in Afghanistan. I considered eating my gun or walking out into a mine field, but friends took my gun, sat with me and one even escorted me home to Charleston, SC.

The kids rallied around me. My friends rallied around. I survived the first week and the funeral and the cremation and the aching emptiness of a house not only empty, but bereft of life.

I had/have a good therapist and anti-depressants and made some promises. First promise I made was to scatter her ashes in the water at Isle of Palms beach in April '08. I knew this promise would make me hang on for a time and let the hole in my heart, in my life, scab over. I kept that promise and I kept the promise to the kids to not leave them without a father. I have been in wars, been poor, been homeless, been ill - holding the promise to the ash scattering and to my children was the hardest thing in my life.

I was not perfect. I broke my hand twice on inanimate objects - doors mostly. I went to a biker bar, picked a fight and beat the hell out of a stupid redneck, breaking my hand again. It felt good and I am not sorry I did it. However, I am ashamed at my lack of control for wanting to get into a fight. I realize it was part of a death wish.

I did not work for over a year, living on my pension and my savings. I ended up virtually broke.

My health went to hell as I stopped taking care of myself. My immune system took a dive and my thyroid went berserk and tried to kill me. This was one of the things that pulled me out, odd as that may sound. I went to the Dr, found out I was about two days away from a massive stroke and started to take care of the issue. It is still a problem, but is being controlled and I am getting better.

However, let me give credit where credit is due. I have a friend who was/is in love with me. She knew that love would go no where as I was married, but loved me anyway. She had her own struggle after my wife's suicide, not wanting to capitalize on the opportunity of a tragic act or take advantage of my grief, but wanting to be there for me. On my part, I nearly dropped contact on my way into my hermit crab shell. Long story short, we negotiated the mine field of issues, my therapist was so much help there I cannot thank her enough, and allowed love to grow.

Still shortening the story, my friend is now my love and on Saturday, 24 Jan 09, we will be married in front of family and friends. My kids love her and support the marriage and the ones who physically can will be in attendance.

I have more to say about working out if love was an option and dealing with death and the, "am I using her as a replacement", issue, but for now I can only say I got lucky. I am in love with Wendy as a separate and distinct person, and I want to marry her.

Good things can happen.

1 comment:

thalarctos said...

All the best wishes to you and your friend/wife, Jeffrey!

Life's a funny old dog, innit? Any happiness you can find along the journey is most welcome.