Sometimes we have good days. Sometimes we don't. It's the nights that get dark. Jed gets his pills. Pills to sleep, pills to manage pain, pills to manage spasms, pills, pills, pills. They mess with him. They're supposed to. They do what they're supposed to, but they do more. They send him to another world. Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's not.
Most nights I hear, "help me." "please, help me." Shit. What am I to do. He is asleep, sort of. Asleep enough to snore. But he is miserable. He wants help. I massage his head. Give him cold clothes, turn him over. Nothing really helps, because the help he wants I can't give. So, I spend lots of nights just listening and writing.
Tonight is especially bad. He can't breathe, he can't move, he can't hear, he can't, he can't, he can't. But he continues to ask for help.
When you take the vows, "for better or worse" you don't spend much time thinking about what that really means. This is worse. We've had lots and lots of betters, but this is worse. Our betters have been so good that the bank is full and able to pay out on this.
My daughter is about to get married. I am so happy for her and know she has chosen well. She will stand there in her elegance and agree to, "for better or worse" because she is blinded by love. Good thing love does that to you. Worse is pretty unpleasant. Too bad it's not, "for better or as long as I want to," or "for better or until it gets hard." But, the truth is, as hard as this is and as much as I would like to complain, I have the easy part. I get to stand up and walk out if its too tough. I get to get in the car and go for a drive, I get to go out to the back yard and breathe the evening air. I don't have it so bad.
When Jed calls out, "help me, please help me," I die just a little because I can't. I've tried, believe me, I've tried. But I just can't.
We have an amazing friend from church who has seen a side of life that most of us never will and all of us hope we won't. He is almost 90 and was a prisonor of war. Now he brings us grapefruits that he picked from his own tree and thanks me for taking care of Jed. After all he has been through, he has simplified life to, "Jesus loves me." He asked me to sing just that for his funeral which I have agreed to on the condition that he will sing at mine. If I can take one thing from his elegant life, it is that when we ask for help, it may or may not come, but the ultimate knowledge of the love of God is ever present.
So, tonight, I will sleep. "For better or worse?" This just might be the better, because life's stuff gets a little bit more clear when it's dark.