One month later, I am still at a loss for words, the exact words really. A while ago a friend of mine described complicated emotions as being like a ball of yarn that has become all tangled up. The only way to untangle the yarn is to pull a little bit of this and a little bit of that until the whole thing starts to unravel. Sometimes when I’m wound up in a tight ball of emotion I listen to music in an attempt to identify the pieces that make up the tangle. Growing up in the military and moving each year to a new school whilst also thankfully studying piano, I learned that music can be a great friend to emotion; it can describe what the heart feels and words cannot.
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bear McCreary, who has composed some of the most painfully beautiful compositions I’ve heard since discovering Debussy and Phillip Glass.
Violence and Variations
Since the shock of discovering Jamie lying on the floor of our bedroom unable to move or speak, I’ve felt a sudden call to action, an adrenaline rush that has put me in a state of action for a full month, often times combined with absolute sleep deprivation. I’ve experienced odd physical sensations, emotional obsessions, delusions, paranoia, uncontrollable fits of tears, something more than mere thankfulness for friends, a certain terror of idleness, silence, and stillness. I’ve spent a full month feeling like a guard dog on my porch barking at anything, everything, protecting Jamie from the world, from himself, from the stroke.
Acute rehab has not only been helping Jamie relearn to walk, talk, and think; it has assisted me by providing a place away from the world where we can be together while Jamie sheds this skin and emerges again like a cicada who’s been hibernating. As this month has come to a close, acute rehab has lowered my anxiety, decreased my adrenaline rush, and helped me, along with reminders from friends Tony, Derek, Nina, and Jamie’s brother Rob, to breathe… breathe… and breathe again… I’ve finally brought the Viper into the bay, taken off my helmet and taken a long, deep breath.
“What do you hear Starbuck?”
“Nothing but the rain, sir”
“Grab your gun and bring the cat in”.
The immediate terror has passed. Jamie’s blood pressure is stabilized, we have not had brain surgery, the swelling in his skull has decreased, he is writing messages on this site. We are now left with recovery. My entire soul is committed to climbing Mount Everest with Jamie. We are looking skyward with new eyes, new
skin, and no heavy baggage to slow us down.