One Hundred Thirty Pounds Ago,

I shed my shell and Got My Wings!

Monday, April 11, 2005

2 Years...And Counting

Isn't it odd how two people who swear to be soul-mates can view life so differently? Yesterday marked the two year anniversary of when Ruben and I were told he had a terminal liver disease and may not make it more than another 2-3 years before needing a liver transplant, which he doesn't qualify for until five years due to also having cancer. Some news, uh?

The last two years have been quite the struggle with him. Definitely nothing I would ever regret, but quite the challenge. There have been on and off battles with depression, anger, denial, blame, and even acceptance that peeks out every so often...all of the things that all "the books" tell you should come with this type of news. I can honestly say that I could never imagine what it must be like to be in Ruben's shoes, but I truly believe it's almost more difficult to be in the shoes of the spouse or significant other. The patience that I have had to endure has sometimes been the most difficult times of my life. If what they say about patience being a virtue is true...I've got enough to go around for everyone! Yesterday though, I toed my border line.

Last year on this day we took the opportunity to celebrate! We left the kids with his parents and went out for a romantic dinner and a visit to the local casino. We celebrated that we had come this far and made it through so much and we vowed to never stopped fighting through the upcoming year. Since then, we have struggled and battled through more trials that I feel we've overcome and are worth (again) celebrating. We also got engaged, and by this time next year we plan to be married. We had spoken earlier in the week about what we would do this year to celebrate. After all, when you are told that you're dying, isn't each year that passes that you're still alive something to celebrate?

Instead, Ruben took yesterday as an opportunity to mope. With all my might I tried to be understanding. I tried to see his side ~ that although he's grateful to have made it this far, it also means that count down to the time he was given is closer to an end. But, I just can't live my life in the negative, pessimistic, shoulda-coulda-woulda-maybe way that he does. I was doing okay...really. Until, I was in the kitchen trying my hardest to make him a meal that he'd love and enjoy and all I kept having to listen to were the sounds of sad, depressing songs coming from the computer.

Lonestar's, "I Believe."
Garth Brook's, "If Tomorrow Never Comes."
Travis Tritt's, "Tell Me I was Dreaming."
And Darryl Worley's, "If Something Should Happen." - Which he went on and on about having to email a copy to all of his friends as a way of asking them to look after all the things he cares about when he's gone.

Today even, they are still stuck in my head driving me insane. Don't get me wrong, they are all good songs. But for someone to sit and torture themselves to tears is beyond me. I was amazed that the only song not played was Tim McGraw's, "Live Like You Were Dying." By the end of the evening we argued over who was going to do the dishes. No one I know even likes doing dishes - what a stupid thing to argue about. Like kids..."No, I wanna do the dishes...no, leave the kitchen, I want to do the dishes." There was no compromising to do them together. He did the dishes. I just left. I couldn’t sit there anymore. I came home around 10:00 and he was already in bed. When I left for work this morning, he was still asleep.

Got My Wings at 11:15 AM


Friday, April 08, 2005

Dresses From Hell

I hate wedding dress shopping! And bridesmaids dresses too! How stupid are the people in this industry? Everything is cut soooooo small! A couple months ago when I got engaged I was excited that I would actually be in a size eight for my wedding, maybe even smaller. The last dress I bought in the juniors department was a size 10 and fits great...even loose in all the right places. Since then I've even purchased size eight pants. But, every wedding and bridesmaid dress I've tried on this week has had to be a size 14 before my ass could squeeze into it and get it zipped. Even the 12's were just too snug! I've gone from feeling great about my size to feeling like a blimp again. I can't believe I've gone through so much to loose weight and still have to be considered "plus sized" for my wedding dress.

You're supposed to feel great about yourself on your wedding day. Wouldn't it be smarter for these idiots to make size numbers much smaller (or even accurate) so women feel better? I know it's just a number, and outside of that dress I'm still the right size...but this is one hell of a way to make me feel like a princess when I'm spending quite a few hundred dollars.

And my poor bridesmaids who are actually size 14 and 16's can't even try on dresses because the stores don't house any size 20's for them!

Ok...I think I'm done now...thanks for letting me rant!

Got My Wings at 7:03 AM


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Crying in the Twilight

Tonight I treated myself to a nice, long bath. Afterward, I made a large cup of tea and relaxed in my robe while I surfed through a few fellow bloggers' current entries. Oddly, Ruben had already headed to bed to begin reading for the evening. Normally, 9.5 times out of 10, I'm in bed hours before him and usually get awoken from my slumber by him trying to crawl into bed without waking me. Or, if he does get by without me noticing, I'm usually awoken shortly after by the laughter brought forth by the newest Augusten Burroughs or David Sedaris book.

Tonight though, he was nestled away in warm blankets buried into a book, while I took the turn of night owl. The bedroom door was open and all I could see was a faint glow from his bedside lamp. I heard the familiar, yet almost forgotten, muffled-trembling cry of pain. He always tries to hide it from me. It started with what I thought may be a laugh, but then remembered he wasn't reading a comical book this time around. Next came a cough, not quite even worthy of a cough title...perhaps a sputter really, and finally a cry for help. I stupidly called to Ruben, as if I didn't already know the true answer, "Honey, are you ok?" He stuttered back, choking down his tears, "I'm ok baby."

By the time he got his answer out I had already made my way into the bedroom. He was sitting on the edge of the bed with one hand gripping his side so tightly it reminded me of the way someone would clinch onto an article of soaked clothing before wringing it out. The other hand still held his book. He was trying to continue with his reading to keep his mind off the pain, but the only person he was fooling was himself - his eyes puddled over so heavily with tears, there was no way those little printed words were anything more than a blur.

Like I said, tonight was a familiar scenario, but it hadn't happened in a while, and it wasn't missed. It happened frequently for a long time, but not much since his surgery in October. I t scared me, but not as much as it scares him. As always, I promised him he'd be okay, and got him to slow his breathing and calm down. I fetched his pain medicine and then nestled him back into the warm blankets and held him until the quivering went away and he fell asleep.

I had written this out on paper after it happened so I wouldn't forget a single way that I felt while it was happening. Ruben found it laying by our computer and read it. Like a little boy about to confess stealing a candy bar, he hesitated telling me he had read my paper - feeling like he had invaded my privacy. I wasn't upset at all. His eyes swelled with tears as he went on to tell me what a wonderful writer he thinks I am and how much my words mean to him. I wish with all my heart that these could be the fictitious writings used by an author to draw readers in and not want to put the book down. These are nights that most people just read about. Instead, I live them. I wonder if those authors are just incredibly imaginative, or if they have also lived through something similar before being able to write in ways that touch people enough to make them feel the author's and character's pain and cry themselves.

Got My Wings at 8:13 PM