Another Feb. 2nd

It’s Feburary 2nd again. Bill’s Alive Day. Twenty-four years from the day a phone call shattered my peaceful day, and turned my life upside down. A few seconds and everything was changed… including my definition of love. I cannot explain it. I cannot fathom how I made that journey from the ER, to the ICU, to the surgical unit, on to rehab and the years following. I can tell you that Bill’s head injury radically altered our lives. Being a caregiver is completely different from being a wife. Not that I had the wife part down very well at the age of 23…we’d only been married a bit over a year. To say I was completely unprepared for the task would be an understatement.
It was in my complete brokenness, and utter inability to control the outcome, that God met me as I had never known him before. Alone, crying myself to sleep, I learned of his grace. He poured into me his compassion and his strength, his patience, and his loving kindness. On this day each year, I look back. I remember the pain and the peace. I remember the hurt and the hope. I cannot tell you the depth of emotion that rises this year. Due to some personality changes recently, Bill has been to the neurologist. (Before all the stuff with his mom.) The bruise on his brain is still in the same spot, no surprise there. However, the tissue surrounding it isn’t holding up so well. (The fancy name for it is encephalomalacia.) Hard to describe what the word “regression” brings to my heart. It is second only to the word reoccurrence in the ability to make fear rise up. Hard to get my head around what it could mean. One word comes to mind. Grace. God is faithful to give it. I hold tight to that truth.
Tonight we are going to see Beauty and the Beast for our remembrance evening. It is fitting that this movie has come back around at this very time. The first time it was in the theaters Bill was still in recovery. We went because we heard how great the animation was. At one point, I looked over and he was crying, the emotion just spilling out down his cheeks. He looked at me and said, “You are the beauty and I am the beast.” He does not remember that moment, but I will never forget it. In some ways it is our story…the way they both change and grow. The way she loves him even when he is not what she wants him to be. The way he learns to love despite his “condition.” It is all very moving to us. Tonight we will watch and remember. At least I will 😉 We will mark this day as a day of survival and a reminder that miracles do happen…even now.

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