Past Imperfect

I think it’s beginning to hit Will that what he’s facing is some pretty serious stuff.

I heard it in his voice this morning as he was reminiscing about our marriage, when suddenly he said, “I wasn’t always the best, but……” Incredibly, before I could recover enough to get something out of my mouth, he said, “I wish I was better for you”.

Oh, God.

Naturally, I reassured him that he IS the best person for me, indeed the only person for me, but I couldn’t help the tears that sprang to my eyes at his words. “Please don’t talk about yourself in the past tense,” I begged him as we hugged each other tight. “I don’t want to hear that talk from you. It’s not time for that!!”

It was only a brief moment, but it was the first time he’s faltered since this ordeal began, and even though I can’t let him know it, hearing him talk about himself as if he were close to death just about tore me apart. He’s had a rather down day anyway, thanks in no small part to yesterday’s overstimulation (courtesy of our older son and his drama-prone entourage), and I find myself angered anew by the random decision by Fate to give Will cancer at a time of life when he should be enjoying the fruits of his many years of labor and watching his grandchildren play in the sun.

As a practical matter, I know I have to get over that because he is going to need me at full strength to help him through this. And again I thank the good Lord, who brought us together in the first place, for the gift of stability at a time when it’s never been more crucial.

Yes, friends, my illness is hiding somewhere under a rock and behaving itself while I deal with more important things. I don’t know if it’s because I’m finally on the right doses of the right drugs or because God is taking care of me so I can take care of Will—or some combination of the above—but I’m not experiencing anything outside the realm of what any woman facing the prospect of losing her husband goes through.

I’m not even using the extra Ativan much, although I won’t hesitate to do so if it becomes necessary because NOBODY needs me going totally ape shit. Funny how my priorities have shifted since Will’s diagnosis: I honestly do not care if he smokes weed, or eats a pound of chocolate, or naps five times a day. Nor do I give a rat’s ass if all he wants to do is work on his models, or if he never cooks another meal. As far as I’m concerned, the universe handed him a raw deal, so he can do whatever the hell he wants.

Except, that is, for one thing—he doesn’t get to run himself down for any real or imagined failures as a husband or as a man. We all have a past, and some of it’s good and some of it’s not so good; but that’s what makes us human. Heaven knows I’ve said and done more than my fair share of rotten things in the course of our marriage; it is who should be asking forgiveness! But it doesn’t help either of us to rehash all those old hurts at this late date; they’ve long since healed, and the reasons why they happened no longer exist.

What’s past is past. The future doesn’t look so hot. But we have the moment at hand, which is all any of us can count on anyway… matter where we stand on the continuum of life.




Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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