Sunday, May 4, 2008

I almost missed it.....

.... by a hair, a blink of the eye, a whisper.

We were sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast the other morning.
Hubby was discussing the hockey game with me. Or should I say, he was talking about plays and goals, while I was interjecting "um hums" here and "oh, really's?" there, so he'd think I was paying attention.

Stirring my coffee, buttering my toast, eyes looking out the window at birds, squirrels and all the busy spring activity. My mind was miles away, thinking about buying pansies - is it still too early to buy pansies? Or could I take a chance.

Suddenly, my ears picked up a slight shift of energy, of sound, a subtle change in the tone of his voice. I leaned forward in my chair.

Thinking to myself: weren't we talking about hockey?
"Looking back, I realize how judgemental I've been," he was telling me.
I waited for him to go on.

"Back in the days of my busy practice, I had little patience with addictive personalities. Somehow I thought that the person himself or herself was at fault. I did not think that an addiction could be an illness."

Realizing where this was going, I stayed quiet.

"Now I understand how these people must have felt."
Hubby is still smoking. Even though his lungs are severely damaged, he still cannot kick that habit. Intellectually he knows he is killing himself. But emotional he cannot stop.
He had a funny look on his face, so I knew there was more.

"In my practice, I sometimes councelled the spouse to leave. After all, it was their partner's addiction and my patient was coming to me because she (usually the wife) couldn't take it any more."

So that was it. He was trying to let me know, in a bit of a round about way, that he was glad I am still here.
As if I could leave him at this point in our lives. As if I wanted to!
Well - that was a different way to start the day.

Hubby doesn't often open up like this.
And I almost missed it.


Cheryl said...

Its being there for each other that shows the strength of a relationship. Its those of us who stick it out and ride the storms that gain from the experiences. It isn't always easy but then life isn't.
I am glad you did not miss the moment....that will stay with you for always.
Take care.

Femail doc said...

Wow, this post gave me chills and tears in the eyes. What an ah-ha moment! Thanks for sharing.

Grand Life said...

Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. This post touched my heart. My husband and I are both primary caregivers for our mothers. I'm happy to find your blog. Hope you have a good week.

JeanMac said...

I think sometimes Someone gives us a poke to pay attention at just the right moment! Take care.

Amy said...

It must have been hard for him to connect his current habits with his history in his practice---how very brave of him to face up to this, and I'm so glad you didn't miss it.

beckie said...

Wendy, I'm so glad he opened up to you. I think he was telling you how much he loved you for loving him even with his faults.

MoM2-2GoodBoys said...


What a sweet and thoughtful moment you two had. So glad you picked up on the shift in the conversation. Even if it was in a round about way, he was letting you know how much he appreciates you. How wonderful it is to be appreciated for all that you do!

Wendy said...

Thanks Cheryl for your kind words. You are right - it's those "tough times" that bring us closer and add to life experience.

Hi Judy - I also had to hold on to tears (yet again), just hearing Hubby chastising himself. But, glad he was able to open up to me.

Hi Judy from grand life: god bless you and your hubby - both caregivers to your moms. It's a journey that's difficult to navigate.

JeanMac - yup -it's called "intuition" or something and it does poke us at the right time.

Thank you Amy for your words of understanding. I think it must have been difficult for him.

Right on - Beckie and Mary - you hit the nail on the head.

Mauigirl said...

Great post. I came here froom Femail Doc's place.

I know what you mean, I have a husband who tends to be the stoic, not-opening-up type and you never know when those few times are going to be so you have to be on the lookout for them.

Q said...

Dear Wendy,
I have been married for 36 years. I do understand! We have been through all sorts of troubles and some how we managed to muddle through. We now are older and so much wiser.
I am glad I have met you!
Listening and being with our parteners makes life a joyfilled experience. Glad you heard your husband. He gave you a wonderful gift.

Wendy said...

Hi Mauigirl - wish I was in Maui! Thanks for stopping by. I guess most husbands are like that.

Hi Sherry - oh yes, we do get older and wiser as life goes on. I am glad you found me.

kenju said...

I sort of understand and also sort of don't. I know of a man who has had lung cancer; had part of the lung removed and he is still smoking. I can't get over that.

Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I did it cold turkey, after smoking for 24 years, at least 2 packs a day and sometimes more. But quitting was also the most psychically rewarding thing I've ever done too (other than have my kids). I was and still am very proud of myself because it was the hardest, tallest, highest mountain in my world. I think I could handle anything now.

Wendy said...

Wow Kenju - that was some feat - quitting smoking after so many years - and cold turkey too!
It is hard to understand - how strong that emotional pull is towards something that might feel good in the moment, but will ultimately kill you.
Glad you quit!

30 years from Darling said...

Absolutely beautiful.
I have a hard time when my hubby thanks me for staying with him.

We had some really really bad years. But when he turned 50, he did a life evaluation ..and really changed who he was ...and our whole family changed.

He's so surprised I've stayed with him this last year that he's been so sick ...if I didn't leave when things were bad ..why would I leave now when things are good just because they're hard?