Sheesh, the last time I was feeling low was just a few days ago, at least according to my blog posts. Now here it comes again.
I spoke with my sister on the phone tonight. One of our high school friends passed away this past Friday. She was a good friend of my sister throughout the high school years and they remained close through college and kept touch into adulthood. They didn’t see each other all that often — that’s what the pressures of married life often does — but they still spoke fairly frequently. My sister said she last spoke with her about 2 months ago.
From what I understand, this friend suddenly began feeling ill about 6 weeks ago. Doctors initially thought she had some sort of infection, and put her on antibiotics. After a week or two she did not improve, and they took her to the hospital, where she was admitted immediately. Tests revealed that she had some sort of blood disorder (details are still coming in, so I don’t know that much right now). Her condition deteriorated. She ended up having surgery, went into a coma, and never recovered.
This is all so sad. My sister has endured a lot of loss recently. First, her husband’s mother died in August, and then his grandmother died last month. And now this. I called her this evening and she just went into tears. She’d just like all of the loss and pain to be over with so that she can get her life back on track. She feels as if things had just been normalizing, and now something else happens. On top of all that, she’s worried about me and my situation.
I am reminded of a situation that occurred a few years ago before we moved into our present house. Our neighbors were an unmarried yet committed couple in their early 50s. We were very friendly with them and in constant contact. The woman, however, began to estrange herself from her partner bit by bit. She had been a successful career woman, and was living a rather idle life. She clearly seemed to want to go back to her former lifestyle, although this was more or less impossible for a lot of reasons. Then her partner’s mother became quite ill, and suffered a stroke and various heart ailments. She was well into her 80s, but generally a very vital person right up until this happened. This woman chose this time to abandon her partner, and it was awful, because it was exactly the point in his life when he needed her most. She wasn’t leaving for another man or anything like that. She just decided to leave. His mother died shortly thereafter.
I’m not in such dire straits, but it is at times like this that we want to be able to rely on the person closest to us. For a lot of us, that person is our spouse. She was my rock, my source of strength, someone who I could lean on, confide in, and who would provide me with a shoulder to cry on when needed. Now she’s absent. Checked out. Not wanting responsibilities. I’m sure she thinks her life is oh-so-painful right now, but it is an artificial pain that she has created for herself through her errant path. Who am I going to turn to when all this actual pain touches me?
Well, I turned to her. I sent an email, asking her to at least pray for this departed friend. And I called her tonight, as I was feeling very sad. Sure, you’re not supposed to do this, but what the heck — she is my wife, after all, even if she wants to pretend that she isn’t right now. I just feel kind of emotionally derailed at the moment, and I just wish that, even if only for a few minutes, she could put her abject selfishness aside and think about others.
Sometimes these kinds of things can be wake-up calls to the obstinate spouse. There are constant reminders that there is a real world out there, a world outside the affair bubble. I just wonder how many reminders it will take before that bubble finally bursts.