One Hundred Thirty Pounds Ago,

I shed my shell and Got My Wings!

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



at 7:48 AM Anonymous Ilsa said...

I just found your blog through blogexplosion and was very touched by your stories. I know how it is to watch someone you love struggle with a terminal disease. I hope the best for you and Ruben. Congrats on your engagement!

at 4:29 PM Blogger Elle said...

Hi, I found you through Ruben's comment at "Ilsa, Shewolf of the Blogsphere." It's amazing how these links work, and the incredible people you 'meet' through them. I read your first post, as I usually do when I come across an interesting blog, and I was moved to tears by your story and Ruben's comment.

I'll be back if you don't mind, and it's a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for sharing your experiences. You are a terrific writer.

at 10:43 AM Blogger RagDoll said...

If I could send you some strengh to add to yours (and Rubens) I would. I hope a few simple words can help a little! Your writing IS fantastic! Take care!


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