Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Hospitalized Valentine's Day

Since The Man won't make it out of the Hospital for Valentine's Day it won't be our most Romantic one ever... so I'm trying to think of what would Cheer him up most that I could bring when I go to Visit?  Something that expresses my Love for him and might make him feel at least a little better about Enduring yet another Holiday Hospitalized and very Sick?

 And I know what a Sweet Tooth he has so Chocolates was the obvious answer... but with typical indecisiveness I couldn't choose which Lovely Heart Shaped Box I liked best... pleated Satin with Bling... Red Velvet with braided Piping...


Or perhaps Brushed Satin Metal with Bohemian Flourishes... oh my!  Yes, boxes were going in and out of my cart like crazy!   And so... yes, I got them ALL... one from me and each of the G-Kid Force... so he'll be in a Sugar Coma now 'til the middle of next week!  *Winks*  He gets the Chocolates and I get the Fancy Boxes to Gypsify into Romantic Storage Containers when he's done since I don't eat Chocolate so its all Good.

Source: Pinterest
Before he had his Medical Emergency we had talked about what new Movies we might like to go see... and where we might go for a Valentine's Luncheon while the Kiddos were at School?  But Truth of the matter was, I could already see, before the Hospitalization, that he probably wouldn't be Well enough to do any of it... but it's the Thought that counts.  I knew if he could he would.
When a Loved One gets really Sick there will be many things that you used to do together that just won't always be possible anymore... in fact, they may never be possible again... or so infrequently that you can't count on it or make Plans that will actually happen... and that Adjustment isn't any easier for you than it is for them.  And it's best if you can Convince them that it doesn't matter and isn't all that important, even if Secretly it is because you're Yearning for how it Used to Be before Disability or Infirmity took how it Was away in layers... or maybe even all at once.
That's the part that I Hate the most, because we've always been Truthful with each other, so I don't like trying to Convince someone of something that I'm not even Convinced of myself... it just feels like a Lie, a Falsehood, a Pretense.   I'm not comfortable with dishonesty even if it's simply evading and skirting the Truth to spare someone's Feelings, preserve Dignity and Save Face.  But what is the alternative... telling a Hurtful Truth that they can't help or do anything about and will just make them feel even worse!?   The Truth can sometimes be brutal, even though it's the Truth.  So some Feelings are best kept to yourself.
 Therefore, quite often we play the Pretending Game just to Save Face and each other's Feelings.  I Pretend none of this is as difficult or Life Altering for me as I'm sure it is for him... he Pretends he really didn't want to do anything anyway and is Okay being Sidelined.  I Pretend doing most things alone is just as Special for me as it would have been with him by my side... he Pretends that one day he'll be doing everything again that he used to be able to do with us.  
I don't really know how Convincing I am at it or if he just Pretends to Believe me?  I think I have become a pretty good Actress at Acting as though everything is Okay... or going to be Okay... even when it's SO NOT... for the sake of him and the Kiddos... even if I'm not really Feelin' it!?!  Faith is after all the Substance of things Hoped for and the Evidence of things not yet Seen. 
 I am a Hopeless Optimist after all and stand and remain up by Faith daily... so I like to Believe things will improve, it just Feels better and makes everyone else Feel better... and that's not such a bad thing.  After all, Positive Energy trumps Negative Energy every time... so I'd rather remain Positive and upbeat in the face of Adversity.  Though Blogging is the Place where I can Keep It Real and Vent when I need to... like a Journal of Feelings that can't be expressed to those you're the Caregiver of because then they might consider themselves a burden.  And that's definitely not a good place to be in their Head, Spirit and Heart when they're already battling Health Issues or Disabilities they have no control over.
But, its not easy and I don't Pretend that it is or act Saintly all of the time... there will be something I really want to do, or someplace I really want to go, or Plans that we've made Together... and then he won't be well enough... again... to join me.  Or there will be the issue of The G-Force... and few who can be asked to Assume the Responsibility of their complex Med Regimens and High Maintenance behavior to provide sufficient Respite.  So, we'll either Cancel or he'll ask if I'm Okay going by myself?   I've learned to be Used To going by myself over the Years of having a Spouse with Chronic Health Issues and being a Custodial Grandparent of Children with Special Health Needs, but I can't Honestly say I'm always Okay with it.  I'd much rather have the Companionship we used to be able to Share doing things Together that we both Enjoyed and Bonded in the process of participating in as a Couple... because I Miss that... a lot.
He often feels Guilty and bad enough being Sick all the time... as well as dealing with Military Related 100% Disability that has been exceedingly Painful, so Humbling and a constant Exercise in Humility.  It has created so many Limitations and Hardships that neither of us likes and has had to adjust to as best we can.  Knowing that the liklihood of things turning around, well, it isn't all that likely... and what to do if it even gets Worse?  After all, this is a Guy that could always take care of his Family, was very Active, an avid Sportsman and Athlete... and a Combat Hardened G.I. ... so showing weakness, vulnerability and inability to be able to do something... and especially having to ask for Help, is excruciating for him to bear and I know this.  His Pride has suffered as much as his Dignity, Body, Mind and Spirit has.
It can be very Isolating and Alienating Socially too... as the Invitations just dry up after a time because you're not doing anything as a Couple anymore and everybody knows it.   So you find yourself Socializing more like a Single or a Widow even though you're very much Married and your Spouse is Alive but just not present most of the time... and that can be Awkward and Weird at times.  And it can make me feel Guilty too... about having a Good Time when I've got someone at Home that I Love whose not Well enough to join me and is not having a Good Time at all, or able to most of the time and must be left behind. 
I don't always have a Peace about being out and about, so I do it infrequently, maybe once or twice a Month... but I do look forward to those times when I can Escape and feel Alive rather than just Existing.  You don't have to Think about Ordeals or Sorrows when you're having a Good Time and have a Release to throw yourself into with abandon.  And you do need some "Me Time" when you're a Full Time Caregiver... it's not Selfish so be sure to DO IT FOR YOURSELF.  You know this in your Head, but it doesn't always Feel right in Practice or in your Heart.  You'd rather everyone be Healthy and Swell so they could come along and there would be no Trouble in Paradise.  Or that you could do it Guilt Free because anyone NOT with you is also Enjoying Quality of Life too and you don't have to worry about them in your absence.  You know, like Normal People... because it does NOT seem or Feel Normal to Cope with Chronic Health Issues or Crisis most of the time.  It seems as though it should be Temporary if you have to Deal with it at all!  You want an End in sight... but a Good End, not a Tragic one.
Because he doesn't want me to put my Life on Hold just because he's not Well, especially when he's not been Well for so many Years, he fully Supports me in what I Enjoy doing.  And I think I would resent it if I had to try to behave like someone with extreme Infirmity even though I'm Well.  It would probably make me Sick... of Body and Heart, to let Life just slip by so that I could join him in doing Nothing almost all of the time... because mine would be self-imposed and not due to being unable to for physical and Health reasons.
When you take the Vows for Better or for Worse, you better be 'All In' and Ride or Die, because you never really know when Worse will come and how Worse it will be... or for how long?  Nobody really knows what Worse looks like and Feels like until it's them!  And the one thing I'm extremely Thankful for is that our Love for each other has remained Strong and Grown throughout all of the Health Issues and Personal Crisis we've Endured during a very long Marriage.
  The Bad Times will either bring you closer together or tear you apart... you have to decide which it will be... because that part is a CHOICE.   I am certain I Love him more now than when we first met in spite of all the changes and what Life has handed us over the Years... he is without a doubt my Best Friend and the one person I have ALWAYS been able to Count on 100%... one who will do anything for me and for his Family.  
How many other Guys, who aren't even Well, would willingly take on the Responsibility of Partnering with you in raising two of your Special Needs G-Kids even though it seems like an Insane Idea to try at this Season of Life... even if Health was intact!?  He could have said with absolute justification that it would be too much as each was born and needed alternate placement... but he didn't... he didn't even hesitate, he rose to the Challenge and joined Forces with me to get the Job done some kind of way... though we had no Idea how we'd do it?!  This wasn't our first Rodeo with Parenting those with Special Needs so we knew exactly what we were in for, it wasn't Sugar Coated one bit... and it was a bit Intimidating wondering if we'd still be up to the Job and still have it in us? 
He was as 'All In' as he was when he Married me and took on the Responsibility of Partnering with me in raising my two Special Needs Children, fully financially supporting, treating and Loving them as if they were his own... thru thick and thin... and there's been a lot of Thick let me tell you... it was a lot to 'Volunteer' for!   Weaker and lesser Men would have surely cracked under the Pressure or simply Bailed... and I really Admire and Love him for that Unconditional Love and
Selfless Sacrifice... so do our Children, Dad is Number One and The Big Guy in their Book, they idolize him!  And of coarse Princess T is his Sidekick and he's her "Honey"... those two are as thick as Thieves! *Winks*
So yes, though we may Grieve over the Loss of What Was... and sometimes struggle to Embrace What Is with Grace, Humility and a Positive Hopeful Attitude... I'm sure our Love will continue to Sustain us as it always has.  Romance can be Defined so many ways you see... just look it up in the Dictionary... its multi-dimensional.   So may you find your Romance in whatever way you can Express it this Valentine's Day with those you Love my Friends.
And if you want to hear more Love Stories and see Creative Romantic Images please join us for the VALENTINE'S BLOG PARTY over at DECOR TO ADORE being Hosted by Laura.  I wish I could have found a Sexy French Inspired Valentine's Box like this to present to The Man today!  *Winks*  That could be us on the top... well if Marie were a Gypsy and Napoleon were a Marine.  *Smiles* 
Happy Valentine's Day from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian



  1. Dearest Dawn,

    I have been where your husband is emotionally, and my husband has been the rock. I consider myself amazingly blessed in that department, as he is my second husband. My first was not emotionally available to me, and basically abandoned me for each of my 14 surgeries. I had to work, raise children and try to care for myself for 20 years, and my life is hugely blessed with my second husband who supports me in every possible way, but mostly emotionally. On my crappy days (which are more frequent) I will make an effort to go somewhere with him, and he just gushes appreciation that I made the effort. Other days I just can't even think of leaving the bed and he is very understanding. I push him to go out without me or with our youngest still at home, and then he still gushes when he gets home that I'm okay with him going out without me. It makes all the difference in the world to those of us with disabilities to have a significant other that loves you no matter what. Like you, I am married to my best friend and know I can tell him anything.....even the bad and ugly, and we are always able to work through every emotion. God bless you for being there for your man on every level and I'll continue to keep you all in my prayers.


  2. Dear Bohemian, I'm not sure how I got to your blog, but I'm so glad that the first posting of yours I read is this encomium to love. It reminds me of Paul's writing about caritas in Chapter 13 of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Your life with your husband and the devotion between the two of you and toward your children puts into practice all that caritas is. Thank you for writing so evocatively and poignantly of the pain and the glory and the joy of loving. Peace.

  3. Bless you for you are an amazing wife!!! I can truly understand what you mean when you say the invites don't come like they use to.. My dad had a stroke yrs ago and for some reason.. his friends all disappeared it is the saddest thing to see! especially since he had so many! My mom is left to care for him sometimes she gets really frustrated with him, but she has stuck by his side!! You really know who your friends are when one becomes ill! That I know too well!!! I hope you and your family have a blessed St Valentines day even if it's in a hospital room with your whole family!!! Hugs! Marissa.

  4. Goodness me Dawn...what a story, l had no idea of the circumstances you and your hubby were up against and l'm amazed at how accepting, optomistic and yet at the same time realistic, both you and your hubby are. l really hope his health is improving and that he's back at home amongst his beloved family very soon...l must say l had a bit of a chuckle at the vision of him pottering around the garage with all his nails and screws stored in heart shaped tins and boxes:-))...wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  5. Oh I am absolutely weeping! What a man! A true hero. A true sweetheart and your perfect Valentine.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Blessings upon you for taking care of those darling children.

    You are a gal after my own heart. Thank you SO very much for linking up this true Valentine goodness!


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

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