It was when I began to cry that I knew it was true. But I hadn’t realized it till then.
I was having breakfast with my friends Athena and Mandy because the day before, when we usually met, I was at the optometrist with Jon. I was telling them about how tired I got yesterday evening. About how draining I find spaces like the Eye Surgeons’ office. The stagnant air and fluorescent lighting, the energy of the place.
But it was such good news I told them, Jon’s eye was actually much better. And I really don’t mind waiting even thought it took a few hours, I was drawing and answering email, I had plenty to do.
Then I went right into to telling how I’d been thinking of when Jon had Open Heart Surgery. I was reminded of it because a friend recently had heart surgery.
That’s when I began to cry.
My tears don’t lie. When I cry, there’s a truth behind it. That’s when I could see that my fatigue last night was emotional not physical.
Jon’s problem with his eye is caused my his diabetes. Not too long ago, he would have been blind from it. Now, thankfully, there’s treatment for it. Jon’s open heart surgery was actually pretty routine, compared to many other surgeries.
And Jon handles all of his health issues really well. He has a very good attitude about them. He manages them responsibly but is also realistic about them being chronic, degenerative diseases.
Jon and I talk openly about his health and his age, and how he’ll most likely die before I do. (Jon is 71 and I’m 55) It’s really good that we can talk about it so comfortably.
But there are emotions inside of me, emotions I still feel when I think about Jon’s open heart surgery that I don’t have words for. I believe it’s those emotions that I was slammed with yesterday evening.
I remember when Jon was in surgery that I wouldn’t let my mind go to the possibility that something could go wrong, that he might not live through it. I left a small space in my mind for the possibility of that happening, but wouldn’t let myself go there.
If the surgery wasn’t successful, I told myself, there’d be enough time for that.
I guess I feel like I’ve been to the edge of life with Jon. And, if I do survive him, someday I’ll be back there with him again. Mostly I don’t think about it. But there are times, like yesterday, where the reality of it hits me.
I’ve always used sleep as an escape, as a way to anesthetize myself.
I didn’t want acknowledge all those feeling inside of me yesterday, so I slept instead. Today I can see it clearly. It’s good to understand, but I still don’t know that there’s anything to do about it.
Maybe sometimes sleep it a good solution. A place of healing and regeneration. Maybe it was in my sleep that I was about to access my feelings so I could cry about them and understand them the next day.