Life Lessons – The Long-Term Relationship Edition

File Under: LIFE LESSONS – The long term relationship edition

(Totally cool if you want to TL;DR this – I just need to blow some steam.)

“I do.”

Two words that imply an agreement, a desire, a willingness to do what is required. Said at any sort of binding ceremony (wedding, handfasting, etc – depending on your traditions), those two words take on such a deeper meaning. At times, those two words will truly test you – HARD. They will press you until you think you can’t be squeezed any further and yet, if you love them, you find a way to do it.

They say, “Life never throws at you more than you can handle.” Easy words to type, not always so easy to put into practice.

I recently posted about a major surgery that my husband (of nearly 25 years – this September) had to go through. The surgery was touch and go because of so many other health related issues (my husband is 16 years my senior – I am 55 – you do the math). I wouldn’t trade a single day, good or bad, to do something else or be with someone else. He completes me in every way imaginable. It was his deft hand with medicine (from his years in the field as a practicing doctor) that allowed me to find my current “NED” (No Evidence of Disease) status with my cancer. He was relentless in making sure every i was dotted, every t crossed. He researched long into the night while I slept – the chemo coursing throughout my ravaged body – for potential forms of immuno-therapies that would potentially be the fix for me. We never did need them, though he was ready to go with plans b, c, d, etc.

This week was a rollercoaster from hell. While we cleared the major hurdle of the surgery (YAY team!), his recovery from that has been less than stellar. Thursday, the day after the procedure, he started to have tremors that he couldn’t control. I alerted the surgical and pain teams to the situation. They were there on the spot and were analyzing our options. It spiraled from there. At one point he was struggling to get up and as I raced to the other side of the bed, someone had put a power cord across the walking path. I thought I cleared it only to have the toe of my sneaker grip it and I *literally* went flying across the room – damaging my knee and sliding right into the opposing wall with my head. #FunTimes

Fast forward to late that same evening, I left word with the nightshift nurse that after nearly an hour I was able to get his pain meds down – he was delirious by this point – incoherent and babbling nonsense every now and again. Random, disconnected thoughts. I did what I could to engage him. I wasn’t all that successful. I went home, seriously worried and feeling like the end was near. It was a hard night.

I got a call at 4am from the night nurse saying that his delirium had progressed and was so bad they had to restrain him as he was thoroughlly confused and began ripping the connections to the machines that were both monitoring him and providing pain meds to his epidural. Thankfully, he hadn’t gotten to that one by the time they restrained him. The nurse called to tell me what had changed so I wouldn’t be surprised by the morning. There would now be a nurse in the room (even if I was there) to sit with him 24/7. Our time was not our own.

I went back the next morning. J (my husband) was up. He was coherent – if a bit surly, even to me. I gave him a good morning kiss, to which he seemed cold to. I didn’t understand it. I spoke with his day nurse and he said that J had suffered a form of hypoxia – oxygen wasn’t making it to the brain in sufficient enough of a saturation. I asked if there were long term effects, but they didn’t believe so because they reacted so quickly. I go back in and try to engage my husband and he says, “Do you want a divorce?”

Stunned, I stammered and asked, “What ever gave you that idea?” He then told me that he heard me conspiring with the nursing staff to restrain him, to give him MORE drugs to subdue him. All of it during his hypoxia state. It took me quite a while to lay out the entire day that he didn’t have complete awareness about and had surplanted his own version of events in the process.

We’re fine now. He’s on the road to recovery. He’s back to his snarky (even with me) self. He coos words of love whenever he can – probably to make up from his “divorce” scenario he was so adamant about. I don’t press it. I know it for what it was. But it doesn’t mean it wasn’t stressful. My body is literally beat from the emotional (and physical) ride this past week has brought me. All I want to do is get him home so I can tend to him as he did to me while I was sick.

“When I said I wanted to grow old with you, this isn’t what I had in mind.” His words to me. I nodded, “Yeah, we should’ve made it quite clear to the universe back then.”

He squeezed my hand a little tighter.

As Roz Russell was fond of saying in her biography, “Turn the page, and press on.”

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It’s Been A While …

It’s been a while, ya know?

I often wonder what other authors go through to do what they do. Why do they do it? It is some incessant need to seek fame and fortune? Validation? ‘Cause I gotta tell ya, there are far easier ways to get that. Start a YouTube channel and blab non-stop of the idiosyncrasies of your life or the oddness you find out there. That always seems to resonate given the countless channels that evoke nothing but the shared common experiences of life and all of its ‘what the fuckery is this’ sort of moments.

So, there’s that.

But, I tend to think there’s something else going on. Yeah, yeah, we have a “story to tell” that just won’t leave us the fuck alone. And yeah, muses can really mess with writers – all creatives, actually now that I come to think of my previous career trodding the boards in musicals, plays and operas. Muses are real bitches, I’ll definitely give them that. So, writers often blame them. And some may believe that. I mean not just say it as a flippant way of explaining what we do and why we do it, but truly believe that muses guide what we do and we’re merely “the vessels” that pour forth our worlds from our fingertips through the keyboard and onto the digital page – bytes and bits as artistic expression. Some of us may even believe that. I mean, we joke about it enough but maybe in that humor there’s a nugget of truth that we actually believe that.

I know I have at times … said it and sort of believed it. I’m a total pantser. I gotta feel it in my gut or it just doesn’t make it to the page. Where does this shit come from? Fuck all if I know.

So, 2019 is upon us. I have to say I won’t be sorry to see 2018 in the rearview mirror of my life. It was a shit year for me. It claimed my cat, Katya’s, life to cancer. Yeah, and it very nearly did me in the same day. #FuckCancer! Fuck it all to hell. Now I have another cat – our precious boy, Zorro who has been diagnosed with cancer of the liver. It’s not an easy thing. At least the vet assures us that he’s not in any pain. But four to six months from now, yeah, it’s gonna suck. So, just trying to focus on keeping him loved and comfortable. He gets to eat whatever he wants. The good news is that he is responding to cortisone shots that our vet gave him (he explained he is dealing with it with his own cat so he knows what we’re going through).

picture of Baz's bengal cat Kayta, and his Somali cat, Zorro

Katya (the Bengal) and her “little boy”, Zorro (the Somali) in happier times.

So, what does 2019 have in store for us all? If anything, I just hope we don’t, as a collective humanity, dig ourselves deeper into darkness. We’ve had enough of darkness. So, I am really trying to be the change I want to see. Positive thinking and a clear mind for what’s ahead – whatever that may be. I’ve learned with my cancer battle that a lot of stupid, practically insipid, things that life can throw at you simply don’t matter in the long scheme of things. I’ve learned to cut drama for drama’s sake. It’s simply not the point. Let it go, and move on. Doesn’t mean I’ll acquiesce to everything – I am not a welcome mat!  But I’ll be far more judicious in what I will spend my energies on. That much I can tell you.

To that end, I am focused even more on my writing. Doesn’t mean I’ll put digital bytes and bits down on digital paper every day, because I think writing includes the time when you think about what you’re doing. Putting it all down is simply one aspect. You have to think things through and that takes time. I am not a writer that can just put any old thing down and call it a day. It has to mean something. I have to feel it in my belly. I need to wrap up Nephilim – it’s time. Then focus on my Mohawks series – the edits from the publisher should start up soon. I also have my Sparrow’s Hollow book to finish as well. Say nothing of the universe building that I’ve stumbled upon while writing Nephilim. Now I can see a way that ALL my spec fic works are truly linked. Each series can stand on its own – in whatever genre I write about – but can still be inextricably linked to each other if the reader chooses to explore that aspect. It is one long chain of events and they’re all connected despite the separate genres they represent: Sci-fi, Paranormal, Queer Romance – they’re all tied together. Intriguing? Yeah, it is for me, too. Not so much a mashup of genres than each series can be a part of the longer tale, told to their tropic rules for each but I know that all of the casts of characters across the works are all part of the same universe/world and they are all interconnected. I’m looking forward to weaving that throughout the separate series. It’s going to make it a very interesting ride.

For my author pals, what are you up to this year? What do you envision for yourself and your future works? Sound off in the comments if you’re so inclined!

Until next time …

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