Posted by Kathi (220.127.116.11) on August 15, 2000 at 05:11:44:
You caught me six months out of a twenty year marriage. I was like an infant again...trying to learn how to walk. The last thing I wanted was a relationship, or so I thought.
We spent the winter, huddled by the fire. We traded life stories. We talked of our children and our regrets. Lessons we learned and the pain we experienced. Before I knew it, I was seeing a life for myself. I had daydreams, I smiled, I laughed out loud.
I know I mentioned the headaches. They were off in a shadowy distance. I tried to articulate their power, but I know I downplayed it. We just kept on healing and never gave them a second thought.
It was a great summer day. You and my daughter were on the Himilaya at the boardwalk. I was in my safe place...the ocean. My beautiful daughter was giggling and happy, making my heart soar. Suddenly, the music took on an eerie, distorted sound...morbid carnival music. The lights from the ride started sending off sparklers in my head. I felt the tightness in my neck and every smell in the world magnified.
By the time we got home, I was ice cold and panicked. I knew what was coming. It was time to see if the foundation we had started was strong enough to hold some weight.
That night, you got to sleep with a tempest. I remember the look of horror when you saw my "new" face. I saw the helplessness and fear that I've seen so many times before from people who loved me. You were a rookie so you tried to help. All I could manage was to sweep you away with my hand and crawl to my corner of this cage. I wanted to hide before the headbanging an writhing began.
Welcome. Now you are truly a part of a trip you didn't think you bought a ticket for. You will stand by quietly while I ruin holidays and cut evenings with friends short. You will spend some time with the monster, she of wild hair and stricken eyes. Watch me carefully as I smash into walls and cry for my daughter. Dole out my meds like a sentinel, because I lose all track of time...15 minutes is ten hours during a cluster. Listen to me bargain with Satan himself for relief...just stop the pain.
This is a lousy new job for you. The hours are late and the work is frustrating. But it does have one benefit. My love and appreciation.
For Heather...and Neil...and Whitney. Our Sentinels.
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