Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Rose is Still a Rose When Evening Falls


My hubs and I have been through many a crisis together. Having a spouse loose their health, their capacity to contribute financially, household upkeep, rearing teenagers,is not an easy task. And none of us can define which crisis will be that certain persons true test of character, but lets face it, some of us are stronger in different areas of our lives, therefore we react out of what we are made of. When a mother and a father have a crisis that involves their children, a life threatening crisis, there is a moment in which you decide, as a couple, who is going to hold it together. I lost it at the accident site. One look at Mark and I was gone. I went into immediate shock and could not stop crying. I held his cut up T-shirt and dress shirt in my arms and began rocking them back and forth. A mother's instinct to comfort, even when there is no one in the covers. I cried and rocked as we followed the ambulance and J just kept saying, "Hold on son, just hold on tight!" A mantra said over and over as I rocked.

Yesterday marked 1 month that Mark has been in the hospital. Because of J's work and our shift duty there, J and I rarely see one another. When we do see each other, it's about updates regarding Mark, because one of us saw the doctor that day. All we have done is eat, sleep, and go to the hospital.

Suddenly, we sat down for an evening break long overdue and I looked over at my husband and he felt like a stranger to me. He agreed, he felt like I was a stranger too..........wait a minute...HE is the stranger, not ME...no, J felt that I had become the stranger also. We were both guilty of pulling back, focusing on the task at hand and all of our conversations were about Mark, the hospital, shift work and sleep. This takes it's toll on a relationship.

So, once again, it was time to regroup. J said, "A Rose is still a rose, even when it's dark out. You just have to look a little harder and maybe get a flashlight or two." I'm still finding the sentimental meaning in that statement. I understand that we are in this together....what I don't understand is.............

Why do I feel so distant from him and inadequate as a caretaker?

45 Comments:

Blogger Shaz said...

Oh Honey there are crisis and their are crisis, think about what you have already endured and now the newest of blows to that already fragile of balance that is everyday living. You put all that together and it should be overwhelming, it is fantasy to think the road will be smooth and everyone is in perfect harmony with each other. Sad but true, everyone will be at different places during such tragedy.
I hope I put this properly but I believe there are three strands to our lives the holy spirit the husband and then the wife intertwined to be the basis of your strength and I believe you have that and the pain, the hope and the courage your family has shown is proof that through all this you will get back to that place where you lay in jays arms and you melt into one entity once again.
I believe in you and your family and continue to pray daily as you know sweet girl, others will put things more eloquently than I, but my love and prayers are as eloquent as I get.
LOve You SWeeT xxxx

2:19 AM  
Blogger bb said...

sometimes we need to feel the inadequacies to know what it is that we must do. it doesn't mean you are inadequate, just because the feelings of inadequacy are flowing through you. you are both letting yourself open to all sorts of emotion, and that means the whole gamut, from positive through to negative. the first step has been admitting this vulnerability to each other surely. you still sound like a team to me :-)

strength, love and positive thoughts to you and your roses, love bb x x x

2:45 AM  
Blogger gerry rosser said...

I have no idea what words of comfort to offer on this score.

I remain a loyal supporter out here in the world.

2:49 AM  
Blogger Cape Cod Kitty said...

Darlene,
The fact that you and J are facing that void you feel between you means you are one step further along in the healing process, post trauma. All your energies have been where they needed to be and that fact deserves great praise from both of you to each other. Baby steps there, too, will fill that void. Maybe a scheduled time to focus just on your love...telling each other what helped during the severe trauma time, positive feedback, some little notes left in places to surprise...etc. Slowly, slowly,your roses will become beautifully lit by sunshine again.
I have a feeling it could make your relationship better than ever.
The candle is still lit for you here and I send you the energy to find a few peaceful moments to just be in J's arms and feel each other's breath and strength.
Cape Cod Kitty

3:02 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Darlene,
I love what your husband said--he is absolutely right. Trust your whole process here, your experiences, your feelings...you aren't inadequate--you are a woman, mother, person wounded by a terrible experience. The healing in your relationship will take time, just like Mark's will...I am still holding you in my thoughts.
Love,
D.

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Kim in IN said...

Oh Darlene,it is so perfectly normal to feel as you both do. You have been surviving emotionally on auto-pilot, just doing what needs to be done. I know my husband and I,married 22 years this year,would be EXACTLY the same way. Passing each other in the dark,each hidden in our own fear and misery. I mean what else could be so painful and breathtaking to the core of your very being than almost losing a child??
You'll come together........just hang on sweet mama,and give your dear husband a hug.
candle lit,love sent,
Kim

4:26 AM  
Blogger magicaldamselfly said...

~*~Darlene~*~
You are not inadequate!
I agree with all that has already been said so I'll just add this.
Take a bag and fill it with some delish pens, some wonder*filled stationary and then when you are sitting beside Mark and he is sleeping write J a note, letter or whatever, love notes if you will and leave it where he will find it. Perhaps take a break and have a dinner date as you both need to rejuvenate. Mark needs you both, together, he is equally both of yours and he will understand that you need each other. You could even send J one rose and perhaps a flashlight to remind him that you are there, for him as well as for Mark. Or perhaps you could make him a coupon for for a hug. Be creative and still be there with Mark. This will serve a dual purpose as you will give your mind a short vacation while Mark sleeps. We will all still be here sending up prayers for Mark, for you and for J. We love you all.

xoxoxo,
Sheila

4:32 AM  
Blogger Candy said...

Darlene - today I am praying for you and J in addition to Mark. I pray for a reconnection that is stronger and more solid than it ever was before. You both have strengths and you're both putting them to good use in this time of crisis. When it's all said and done I believe you will both see that you each did what needed to be done. What J said really is amazing. Imagine that the two of you are outside in the dark with your flashlights on a rose hunt. I feel assured you will find a beauty.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

A rose is still a rose when evening falls, what a beautiful way to express J's love for you.

Does a rose lose any of its roseness even when you cannot see it, even when it spends the day in the heat? According to J, as I see it, NOT on your tintype.

The thing to remember is that he still loves the rose. He still knows that his favorite rose is still there. He is willing to look for the light source so that he can savor the relationship you both have cultivated.

I can only hope that you both take time to re-connect. I think J is asking for the location of the flash light. The questions you might want to answer are, "Where did I put my flashlight? May I help you look for yours?"

Situations like yours can strengthen a good relationship or destroy it. From all you have shared with us, my belief is that yours will only get stronger, and it sounds as though J is wanting that to happen.

You will get stronger and so will your relationship with J, but only if you want it to do so.

Thanks for keeping us posted.

5:14 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

About why you feel distant, that may have been a rhetorical question, but I'm going to say anyway that I think we can all only handle just so much emotional Stuff at any one time. We're human, we have our limits. It sounds like both you and J have enough to give Mark right now, but little or nothing left over for each other. But that's temporary, not forever. Your love for each other is still there. (I think J's rose at night analogy is wonderful!) At least you're talking about it a little and not pretending that area of your life isn't being neglected right now. That's important!

I love magicaldamselfly's suggestion of you and J using quiet times at the hospital to write each other notes - not notes about Mark or doctors, but little love notes saying "I love you, I miss you." They don't have to be long or profound after all, but just a way to remind each other that after Mark is well and on his own again, you'll still have each other. {{{{Darlene}}}}

6:18 AM  
Blogger Britt said...

Oh Darlene, I have only been married to my husband one year, but I believe I have learned a lot about relationships in my life. The distance is a natural part of a cycle. You two are learning completely new roles in your lives. How can this not affect the relationship between you. However, you both sound so strong and loving and I'm sure you will find ways to connect again. It can take time, especially given your situation. I know it is a natural progression. Relationships are very well compared to living things - roses are particularly well suited for this. Remember to nurture and tend to it, for if you neglect it completely it will suffer. Even small small gestures and moments of connecting with help. You will get through this! And each day as Mark recovers, I hope you find it easier to connect with your sweet husband. You both sound AMAZING> much love and prayers. Britt

6:48 AM  
Blogger Star said...

You are keeping the lines of communication open and that is so important. I think the help that your family provided while they were staying with you was supportive but it also created another layer between you and J. Now that they are gone you still feel one additional layer removed. Keep the flashlights and the love notes handy. And know that I am praying for all of you.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

A rose is still a rose,
The sweet smell in the dark,
Feel his love somewhere,
out there.
Trust in faith that come
the dawn
The rose blooms still
in our hearts.
A rose is still a rose,
when in a vase
or pressed between pages
memories we have.
To care, to heal takes
all your strength.
When evening falls, breath
deep the air, he is there
with you, always.
Walk the path together again,
Hold hands across the thorns
and will find
that you are one in purpose.

((((Darlene)))

For you my friend and your wonderful husband J.

7:34 AM  
Blogger LEstes65 said...

Boy, that never even occurred to me but as soon as I read it, it was like "Of course that would happen." How do you nurture your relationship when you're so focused on keeping your son alive. I will pray that God give you both the wisdom, patience and desire to work that out. He won't let you down.

Love from Texas.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes one can only bear one 's own grief and anguish, and the psyche instinctively draws back in protection mode. You both have been thru unbelievable stress with the accident. The ensuing "touch and go" weeks were enough to test any couple. If you took in the pain and fear of one another it might be literally too much to bear--you've been in survival mode and you've had to pull every bit of your reserves to physically and emotionally get through each day.

Now that Mark has improved a bit you may be slowly be able to come together. Easy to feel inadequate when you feel faily helpless--you have absolutely been held captive by something you cannot control. Be easy on yourself and your relationship--as things stabilize with Mark you will be more able to support one another.
Diane

8:04 AM  
Blogger mama al said...

sending you reconnecting vibies, and stay strong prayers...

you will get through this obstarcle as well, look how far you have come....

A

8:13 AM  
Blogger LisaOceandreamer said...

I started to comment here but knew it would be lengthy so I've emailed you instead.
Holding you in my heart,
Lisa

8:34 AM  
Blogger Georgia said...

Darlene,

I have had a couple moments or "distance" in my own marriage. None brought on by something as stressful as what you two have been through this past month. Sometimes you only have enough stamina for one single task. And the fact that you two are able to at least realise what is happening speaks volumes. Many times people don't even look up until it is too late, and it sounds to me like you guys are still noticing the important things.

I agree with Magicaldamselfly, that idea is fantastic. the idea of it makes me all happy and smiley:)

I also wanted to tell you that I have recieved many many compliments on the beautiful necklace you gave me, everyone thinks it is beautiful... I wear it almost everyday.

xoxo
Georgia

8:35 AM  
Blogger turquoise cro said...

Why do you feel inadequate, because this is out of your hands, this injury isn't an injury where you can just put a band-aid on! You have to trust the doctors and nurses and TRUST GOD, you have to understand that not only Mark was changed that night, your whole family was and Yes, I agree with Shaz, everyday living is rough + now YOU and Jay have a sick injured child who was standing on his own and now is leaning on you both again and all the unanswered questions and worries, about how you are going to care for him, the guilt you sometimes feel for whatever reason you come up with that day, let it all go today! Give, GIVE yourself and Jay a Rose, a ROSE day where you stop and smell the roses together, let yourselves enJOY each other again. Your love is just waiting to be released. I HOPE this made some sense, sometimes I feel inadequate on what to say here, I just HOPE you know we are still here with you Darlene, LOVE and Prayers, Cinda ps. do you like my new rose gal, the new blogger wiped out everything on my profile so I thought I'd create a new pic! I LOVE roses, just like Jay! oxxooox

8:55 AM  
Blogger Pink Granite said...

Darlene,
J's right. The rose is still there.

Holding your family in our thoughts.
Wishing you all healing, peace, love and joy.
- Lee

9:00 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I find that sometimes if you can just accept that this is the way you are feeling right now... it will begin to to receed all by itself. Often focusing on that isolated feeling leaves me feeling more isolated.

This must be such a hard time... on both of you... the distance though is not a reality... it is not how things are or how they will always be... it is how you currently feel and that is ok...

my thoughts and prayers continue to be with you as you navigate through this journey... i am sending warm positive thoughts your way... Try to remember all the good, wonderful things that the two of you are managing- for you are doing the very best that you can and that is all that anyone can do.


with love,
jen

9:07 AM  
Blogger a m y said...

I think that what you've experienced is similar to what many couples go through after years of raising kids together...the kids leave, and they realize they don't know one another anymore.

I would encourage you to spend some time alone. The best thing you and J can give to Mark is a united, refreshed, strong support system. You need time for YOU, too. And that is perfectly normal and OK and necessary.

And you are not inadequate, not in the least. You're a fighter, and a giver. And you are amazing.

Love you.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Cindie said...

Sweet Sister ... you and J have been through a terrible ordeal... there is a passage from Scripture that reminds us that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. You, J and Jesus are a team in this and will emerge victorious as you hold onto one another and Jesus' promises.

My husband and I went through a crisis when our daughter had an eating disorder as we both processed the pain differently. Take some time away from the hospital to reconnect it will help all of you.

My thoughts and prayers are ever with you.
cindie

9:22 AM  
Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Dear Dar,
I really loved what Shaz wrote, she stated it so well...this is a crisis of huge proportion, one larger than you've ever had to endure, and in the midst of that, everyone goes into survival mode - Mark literally, and you and Jay emotionally ... you will find your way back to each other when the waters calm and you can truly breath again.
Much love, Deb

9:25 AM  
Blogger LDahl said...

Your hubby is probably ground down and hanging on by a thread...and you are likely traumatized.... so neither one of you are quite the same people you were a month ago. Cut some slack, not only for Mark, but for all of you. Not only is it going to take time for Mark to heal, it is going to take time for you all to heal. Your family as a whole has been through a wreck... you have done a triage and your son got first care, but you all have damage, and will need to heal. Don't be hard on yourselves, and if you think you have to handle things perfectly... don't:) Do the best you can and move on.
I am so impressed by what your husband said... put that man through hell on earth, and he gives you poetry and depth! Wow.... you are one lucky lady in more ways than one.
I hope today is a good day for you all.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

It's the hardships that will make you strong. In time, you and your husband will be right back where you left off. God knows we don't ask for these hardships to be put on our paths. We just have to walk it as best as we can.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

I dont know why your post makes me angry. It makes me feel so bad for you. I think I am feeling protective of you and what you're going through. I don't want you to have to worry about your relationship, it should just BE.
I hope this doesn't add to your stress. I read quickly, so I may have mis-interpreted. I know if I was in your situation, my only focus would be my son. And I think that should be OK.
Sending you support.
:)

10:10 AM  
Blogger brittany said...

yeah, what they said...:) Lucky there is so much wisdom going around. You guys are quite a pair, and I have learned from the strength in your relationship. It seems only natural to take a breath, look around and take note.

I can't believe he's been in there a month.

love to you.
B

10:11 AM  
Blogger JustMe said...

In some ways I think that when we are focusing 100% of ourselves on a person in a crisis situation, we may *subconsciously* resent *anyone* who takes our time and attention from that task. Even if it's a spouse, other child, or ourselves! We can resent someone else coming along and seeming to have needs as well. I'm sure it's a completely normal response. The fact you and your husband are aware and want to make sure things don't slip too far is amazing and wonderful.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Jemima said...

Something's got to give. You can't survive a major crisis without some damage. It's remembering not to take domestic dramas too seriously and grasping every chance to make things better that will help. Under pressure judgement can be impaired. So be gentle and kind with yourselves and each other.


Possibly.

Love to you Jxxx

11:06 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

When we are in such crisis and feel so much trauma in life- we kinda have to turn the switch off to all feeling so to speak. We unconnect from most things- because to feel one- it to feel it all. You and your husband are just protecting your inner core. When you are both ready- you'll come together. It's kinda like holding your breath.

Prayers to all of you.

Sam

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Sophie said...

Gosh, am not sure what to write here. So many good advise has been given already. I like the idea of writing a note to your husband. Maybe he can write something to you as well! Hope you soon feel closer to him, to each other again.

Sending lots of hugs and kisses!

Sophie

12:52 PM  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

holding you in my thoughts and prayers

1:14 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I don't think you're inadequate at all. I think you are at a major handicap right now and that there are too many obstacles in your path for you to fin your way through the minefield of difficulties and nurture all that you crave to nurture. I think J and you, in your wisdom, have got your priorities just right and I have no doubt -especially after hearing his sweet words to you- that you are both strong enough to withstand this trauma.
Please don't feel inadequate. In my eyes you couldn't be more caring.
Vanessa

2:14 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Darlene, this will pass. These feelings will pass, and you will come out stronger, if you only hold on to the love you have for one another. It is that love that is making you both strong enough to deal right now.

You guys are facing such changes, before all this is over. Give yourselves a break! You are still in shock, I would imagine! But you still have one another, and he is right that that lov still blooms, even when it isn't the focus of the daylight.

Have faith in that.
:)

3:36 PM  
Blogger Cindie said...

Darlene I had to comment again... I was reading in my devotional book : "Contagious Joy" today and feel like I should share this with you. The essay was written by Barbara Johnson who has gone through so much pain in her own life. In the essay she is talking about a mother's embrace. Here is what I 'd like to encourage you with: "A Mother's arms carry the message of God's love wrapped up with the gift of hope. It is through our arms that we can sat what God says to us : there, there it will be all right. I'm here. We'll just cry together for a littl while and then I'll help you get back on your feet. We'll work on putting one foot in front of the other until you are able to face whatever comes next. And if it's something you can't handle alone remember I'm here for you.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Claire NZ said...

Hi Darlene,
I think it is Mother Nature's way that during a crisis, your energies were focused on Mark to the exclusion of anything else. Just like with a newborn baby I guess. I hope you take some comfort in that this distant phase is part of the healing process - it will rebalance itself in a bit of time.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Bug hugs to you both.

Sometimes a partnership slips because those who are in it forget about the roses they bring to it.

Darlene you are not inadequate, and sometimes yes you will feel yourself being distant from the person who keeps you whole. But it is a natural thing to feel. I believe that is part of building your partnerships and relationships. In the end, though, you'll come back together and enjoy your roses again,

Positive thoughts and prayers to you both,

Love Toni

4:59 PM  
Blogger LADY LUXIE said...

stress...stress...stress...

when everything is more settled...everything will fall back into place...

rest..

you all are in my prayers...everyday..

5:06 PM  
Blogger Mary Timme said...

There is no crisis like the near loss of a child. You said you haven't been with one another much at all and then for updates. You are each going through this in essence, by yourself. Of course, you've grown apart, but you are people with a history, and nothing is permanent. You can and will work to recapture what you've had. It will, of course be different, but it will be as unique and loving as the two of you are.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Brown eyed girl said...

Hi Darlene, sounds like a sweet sentiment from your husband, and a good man to also be sensitive about the relationship you have! It's good that you recognized this together so soon! Zach and I reacted very differently after we almost lost Maddy. I was so frustrated with him that I didn't see any outward grieving, unlike the crazy mess I was! It was the hospital social worker that talked to us and explained the differences tragedy can cause, and how high the divorce rate is when a child dies or has a near death experience. That's why I say its so good that you two are already talking about it. Like you said, you have been thru so much together already. I wouldn't expect any caretaking or romantic energy come from either of you right now. You have been in survival mode for a month now. I know that has been a long time, but not for emotions and feelings. All your energy has needed to go to Mark right now, and to surviving Lupus. So like J said, the rose is still there, its just not gonna be easy, or available at this moment. The severe lesson of patience is not a fun one, I don't like it either.Just stick together hold hands when you can, hold when you can and smile into each other's eyes when you can, even if you dont' FEEL like it. It's going to be just fine! You 're such a lover!
Luv,
Michelle

7:01 PM  
Blogger Trish Ryan said...

You and your husband have a lot of strength and courage to face this and nip it in the bud (forgive the pun) early, rather than letting this distance fester while you focus on Mark. A HUGE part of his strength is your love for his Dad, and his Dad's love for you. So BLESS YOU as you sow into your marriage. It will bear unexpected good fruit for your entire family!!!

We're praying for you all - and believing for miracles :)
Much love,
Trish

7:07 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Your feelings are understandable. However, the strong marriage you have built over the years will surivive this obstacle and the changes to come. You are all still adjusting. I think if anything, this will give a new respect for one another and deepen your connection.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Blue the Spa Girl said...

YOu feel distant because there has been no focus whatsoever on the relationship. It has been all about Mark. So, it sounds to me like when you start to come out of this, you will have time to see the "rose" of your relationship again in the light of day.
xo

7:20 PM  
Blogger Blue the Spa Girl said...

YOu feel distant because there has been no focus whatsoever on the relationship. It has been all about Mark. So, it sounds to me like when you start to come out of this, you will have time to see the "rose" of your relationship again in the light of day.
xo

7:21 PM  

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