Or rather, relinquishing it. I’ve gotten a bit tense the last few weeks (no shit, Sherlock!), but if there’s a time for going easy, for self-compassion, then that time is now.
We can’t control the NF2. It’s a bugger of a condition that does it’s own thing. We have no idea where the next tumour will grow, how big it will get, or what the repercussions will be. So we’ve accepted that. This certainly doesn’t mean that we’ve given in. Far from it. We’re both little fighters, hubby even more than me, and for those of who you know me well, you’ll know that this means that he’s one of a kind. He’s the bravest, most compassionate, generous, and witty man I know. And every day he inspires me, and countless others.
Even when told about the brain tumour needing to come out soonish, his first thought was for me and his family, about how we would cope. Now that the dust has settled a few weeks later, he’s still thinking more about others than himself. And that’s the mark of someone who’s been through hell, more than once – that far from reducing your ability to feel compassion, it enhances it.
Hubby wouldn’t be able to stop worrying about others first if he tried. Empathy just oozes out of him. He instinctively tries to protect others, and he’s forever worrying about my wellbeing. The first thing I see when I walk home from work late in the evening is his shadow at the front door – looking to check that I’m on my way. If not, he’ll start thinking that something bad has happened, even though I used to compete in Shotokan Karate and could easily pull someone’s ears off. In his words “I only have one beautiful wife, and I don’t want to lose her”.
And that’s what it all comes down to in the end – loss. Loss of control, loss of the people you care most about. The worst thing about meeting someone you feel a part of, is that you can’t comprehend them not being a part of you. Hubby and I became a part of each other on the first date, when yes, we talked marriage. You know when you know, especially when you’ve kissed as many frogs as I have! The bond we have is exceptionally strong. I know that. I only have to look at other people’s relationships to realise that we’re very fortunate to have found each other.
The love doesn’t make the pain of seeing someone suffer more bearable though. Far from it. I’m a sensitive soul at the best of times, so knowing what hubby is going through now affects me physically as well as emotionally. Which is why for once I’m taking a few steps back and being nice to myself. No more going hell for leather at the things that matter less. No more busting a gut for people who don’t have our best interests at heart. We’ll never be able to get this time back. We have one life. Best not waste it. Now is the time to embrace opportunities. To laugh lots, and most importantly, to love.