Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When will spring come back to our lives?

I can’t stop thinking of Linda finding my body. Of her standing by the side of the bed, and me on the bed, dead.

I like it when she naps with me. In an apartment where 20 people may come and go in a week, and I know none of them, being afraid, or hearing things when unable to move isn’t uncommon. When she is in the bed, I feel safe.

Does she feel safe? She always wanted a bed, those 11 or 12 years we slept on the floor together. And now she has one, just apart enough, or perhaps too far apart from mine.

I want her to be able to walk out of the bedroom, of the apartment and call someone. I don’t want her to have to start sleeping in the living room, to stop from staring at the bed. To stop from waking up and looking over.

I do what I need to do in order to stay alive and she helps me. I have to eat within so many hours, sleep within so many hours. Take this pill or that pill within so many hours. It is becoming harder and harder to balance it all. And when I am tired, I am not fit company, the parts I can remember. Linda said today that I had fallen and then stuck my head under a chair because I wanted to make sure Cheryl would use the hospital bed to help her lungs clear. I have a bruise on my back and shoulders where I fell. I think I should get some duct tape for when I am tired.

I tried hard to blog this month, to be consistent, every other day or more. But my story isn’t the story which people can identify with. Grief and loss, that is something. I am an academic without an academic life, even though I worked through the night last night looking up parliament acts from 30 and 40 years ago, or reading IOC and IAAF documents at 3:00 am. I do not engage in the politics of the university, or publication. It is not a blog about disability living. It is not a sports blog. It is not a feminist blog. It is a blog of a couple, living on one salary when most live on two, and paying enormous medical costs without insurance. Linda did a ‘next level’ test today, and has another tomorrow or the day after. She applies for jobs, and she does the tests online which is the new ‘middle list’ before the short list, then she does the interview. We both work as hard as can from morn till midnight, and life never seems to get easier. I haven’t had a respite this year, or last. And Linda’s respite is now interrupted with a new 24 hour requirement ‘middle list’ essay.

How do I give her stability in this odd space where there is nothing left to stop me from dying, and yet I work to live. I will never stabilize, I will never get better, I will never go back to how it was last year or two years ago. And yet, the effort goes in over and over, to keep going, to stay alive. And when I can’t anymore, and I fall, like recently, the pain builds and builds until after a couple days, I can’t sleep and I must do manually what every other human body does while you sleep, or sit on the couch with a loved one.

I think Linda has a new post at her blog Girl's Gotta Fly (link at side). I haven't read it in case it is something she wants to write about, or needs to write about me which I am better off not knowing; The kind of secrets we hold from those we love for the very reason of that love.

4 comments:

Displaced said...

Hey Elizabeth, what a limbo you inhabit. I can imagine the desire to be in a more stable place but when the only more stable place is death it makes the limbo not look so bad!

Just wanted you to know that I'm still reading and still thinking of you and Linda.
cheers

cheryl g said...

I have thought about this aspect of your death some. I always end up hoping that you die when I am over just so Linda doesn’t have to be alone when the time comes. I also want to be there so you are surrounded by those who love you in your last moments on this plane.

You were very concerned about me keeping my lungs clear last weekend and it took quite awhile to convince you that you should sleep in the hospital bed and I would be fine on the couch. My having been sick with pneumonia has really worried you but I truly am much better now and recovering quite nicely. If I were still sick I wouldn’t have come over since I won’t risk passing my illness on to you.

I wish you both had more stability and a greater feeling of safety and security.

Neil said...

I have also worried about Linda and her progress after you follow Canadian Literature protocol and, as the standard protagonist, die. I wish I could meet the two (THREE!) of you. I also hope and pray for stability for you, as well as no pain tonight.

Cheryl: Even if the pneumonia's going away, you take care of yourself. Don't risk it coming back!

Love and zen hugs to all of you,
Neil

Elizabeth McClung said...

Displaced: thanks.

Cheryl: I want to ensure that you and Linda are okay, now and later. I hope that is a display of love and not control.

Neil: Yes, I want to go into the snowstorm, and there only be sled tracks disappearing into the white fat flakes.