Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Linda turns psychic and I muse about her as caregiver and lover.

Here’s a freaky: when your partner can sit across the room, not even looking at you and KNOW what you are thinking. I was at a friend’s place and I kept passing out every 10 minutes or so and with Xmas coming they asked me, “What would like most all?”

Linda said she heard the silence of me not answering and told me later, “I knew you were thinking, ‘It would be nice to pass out this time and never wake up.’” Yeah. Well, it was one of those emotional days and people asking me what kind of food I like special for Xmas when I have nausea 24/7 and half of the little food prepared is thrown away is embarrassing and frustrating. I remember that I USED to like chocolate and ice cream and other foods but I just can’t seem to find the energy or interest to eat them. I mean, if you came off of a roller coaster and someone gave you a piece of chocolate cake, how much would that interest you?

Plus the one thing I do which makes me feel alive is when I hit someone in the head (at boxing). It means that my energy is up and my arms are working and I have outthought them. So when I land a head touch, the farthest point away for me, it makes me feel pretty good. Except if they accidentally drop their hands and then walk into hook – that just makes me feel guilty.
But back to Linda, because today, like many days I thought about just a fraction of the things Linda does for me. From morning to night, in the little and big ways she cares for me. Deep down I want to be a person worthy of that kind of love, but I don’t think I ever will.

For me, love and sacrifice go together; that aspect of judging actions and deciding not only if they will hurt your partner but also if they are ones that will bring you closer together or just ones that you might WANT to do. We each have our own time and our own activities and we both work toward being together, because it takes work. We work to find ways to connect, to think about the other and what might please them, and what will give them delight. I have watched and bought more 80’s hetero romances than I thought possible. I watched Pretty Woman with Linda for goodness sake, if that isn’t a declaration of love, I don’t know what is.

But that pales in comparison to what Linda does for me on a daily basis. She is my carer, she is my caregiver, my safety net, my lover. Which is it who counts my pills and makes sure I have taken them (and only once)? Who talks to me or strokes me when I am paralyzed, or in spasms.

Today I lost sight in both eyes after and during a series of seizures on my arms, which left them non-responsible and made my speech all but undecipherable moaning noises. She got me into the car. She told me what she was doing before she did it; as she buckled me in, hooked up oxygen. She held my hand and kept talking to me, though I drifted in and out. She got me home, she got me in bed; put chapstick on my lips. She was there. That wasn't a carer, that was the act of a lover. Without her, I would be stuck tonight in the hospital being tested for something for which there is no quick fix.

I blog because Linda made a nest where it is possible; she got the body supporting chair, she set up the den, she got the equipment.

I don’t know how to repay this unequal partnership; I feel bad when I can’t eat a meal she made for me because it was a “favorite.” I would give my life for you Linda but instead it is you who daily give up parts of your life for me. I would give you the world when it is you who pushes me to places I cannot reach on my own. Thank you Linda. I did not know how empty was my heart until you filled it.

All that being said, let me just clarify; I know what you believe Linda, but it is not me who snores, it’s you!


kathz said...

It's real love. And I think, if it was the other way round, you would act as Linda does without question.

Best wishes to you both.

Lisa Harney said...

This is a beautiful love letter.

saraarts said...

Linda is a superhero. Sometimes superheroes snore.

Some of the things you say make me think of a line from a Jane Siberry song from one of my very favorite albums of all time:

I see you looking around
at the people on the street.
Well things aren't what they seem.
If you push them hard enough
you will find that most of them
do not feel worthy of love.
Now how did this come to be?

-- from "The Gospel According to Darkness," by Jane Siberry (from When I Was a Boy, 1993)

Veralidaine said...

Awww... *sniffle* Pass the tissues?

JackP said...

I'd just like to second what Lisa said: this is a beautiful letter. I'm a cynical old (well, 30s) so-and-so but it still brought a tear to my eye. What beautiful writing.

And, reading it, Linda will be able to see how much you love her. That is what you give her in return.

cheryl g. said...

What a beautiful testament to your love! It made me get teary which is really not good for my butch street-cred.

Gaina said...

Bah, you made me cry! And I never cry! :P

If it did that to a relative stranger, then I think it definately lets Linda know exactly how much you love and appreciate her. And of course your worth every ounce of her love and attention, if you weren't then she wouldn't be there.

If I end up with a person half as beautiful as Linda seems to be, I shall consider myself very lucky ;).

anabel said...

You love each other very much. This is a very special kind of love. It's real! Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Thanks, it did make Linda cry and then I said, "Silly, don't you know crying is contagious......pass the tissue." I just need to remind myself and Linda and I guess the whole world sometimes that whatever I go through, Linda is there with me, going through it too - and while she doesn't get the diagnosis and is often overlooked as "just" the PA, or caregiver, when I have a hard night, she does too. So I never want to take that for granted.

Marla said...

Linda does seem like a great woman. Very caring. You are right that relationships are lots of hard work.

em said...

That was beautiful. Thanks for reminding me of some important things. Sometimes I wish that Linda had a blog. I know, you are the writer, but it would be good to hear her voice too. Maybe she could guest blog sometime.

Is that Linda boxing with you?

Elizabeth McClung said...

Marla - thanks and it is true, love last the long haul but only if you are willing to work though the bad bits. At least for us.

Em: Thanks - No, Linda doesn't box she sort of is there so the instructor doesn't call 911 - but she might do kickboxing next month! We will see.

lilwatchergirl said...

Oh, I can relate so much...

I've been working on a blog post about the difference between a partner and a carer forever. One day I might finish it. But this expresses those tensions in a relationship so well, and their rewards as well as their frustrations. Nice one.