Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Next Day

We are wading through the day in Grief's Stupor.

Why grief when no one died?

Close enough, I guess.

We both woke up a little later than we should have with that dreadful feeling of knowing something bad had happened the day before and knowing we were facing more to come, plus whatever it is our regular lives required of us now that we're back home. When the details pushed their way through the fog they held us down like wicked bullies getting ready to throw the first punch.

Together, we dodged it for a while by walking the neighbor's dogs. It's easier to forget bad times when two big dogs are thrilled to see you. Then, breakfast together kept us moving. But I had to go to work and he had to study and by the time we got home the punches had been thrown: Justin's step dad had called with updated information and frustration, Justin has become a vault filled with continually multiplying weapons of mass destruction (guilt, anger, fear--all the usual terrorists of the soul), and I am constantly trying and failing to figure out the combination lock to open him up and disarm the bombs before they explode. But my tools of reason, common sense and limited memories are no match for his love, heroic desire to protect his family and lifetime of memories that include a reality so vastly different than the one we live in now.

So, we are still spent. After playground fights even bullies are worn out, but they get to have that feeling of nasty victory, while their prey just know there is more to come tomorrow.

Medical update: she's still in the ICU, is supposed to have a test tomorrow to see if her shunt is blocked (a tube runs from a hole in her skull to her stomach to drain the fluid that builds up around her brain), later they'll have to decide what to do with the information garnered from that test (the topic of today's clashes), the language barrier between the doctors and the lay people thickens, and the translator has left town. I, by the way, am part of the translation team--Justin may understand the medical terms, but I ask question after question until they are distilled enough for me--someone who barely understood high school biology. I am also not afraid to ask hard questions that he won't touch because he is the Son Full of Family Memories and I am an Outsider--Not Part of the Family (ouch!)--and Can't Make Family Decisions. For a change, he is Love and I am Logic.

Sometimes, when they are steeped in their own defense, the bully's victims unintentionally turn on each other, I guess.

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