The Catbird Seat
I had realized my dream of being a mom. I had 2 babies, 2 years old and newborn, after a protracted infertility struggle that lasted more than 5 years, included 3 pregnancy losses, surgeries and a multitude of invasive, painful procedures.
I found myself at home in a wheelchair, unable to walk without assistance, when my second child came home from the hospital. I had a massive cerebral hemorrhage in the sixth month of that second pregnancy that left me disabled 8 weeks before giving birth. I was hospitalized for three months for brain surgery, childbirth and rehabilitation. I was 35 years old. It was hell.
I chose not to sit in my wheelchair and cry forever because I had 2 sons who needed a mom. Although it was difficult, I pushed myself to recover as much function as I could and regain as much of a “normal” life as possible.
I learned how to ride horses, and took to it like a fish to water. I was mom to 2 very cool little boys. I was den leader for their cub scout den, and room mom for the second grade class. I had limitations, but I did it. I was determined not to live in hell and despair, and mostly succeeded. I knew I was lucky to survive the stroke and regain the ability to walk and function. I developed a profound appreciation for being alive having nearly died.
I had a good husband who was supportive of my recovery and was very involved in raising the kids. He was also an excellent provider.
Life was an ongoing upward spiral of improvement until 3 years ago when my husband officially checked out of the marriage. I say officially because he had been drifting slowly but surely for years, and we just didn’t acknowledge it as a real problem until it was too late.
We separated. Now, I was crippled and alone. I know that sounds dramatic, but it was. Besides, that’s how my 17 year old son characterized the situation when it went down.
I moved along as best I could. I had an interesting experience as I started to date for the first time in my life as a disabled, 52 year old woman. There were many ups and downs.
Recently, a potential suitor asked what I am looking for as I date. I have developed a laser like clarity with regard to what I do and don’t want. I have learned so much about myself, life and people to know what I really want. I am crystal clear about where to expend my energy in life without wasting too many precious minutes. Winston Churchill said:
“If you’re going through hell, keep going”.
I have surely been through hell, I’ve kept going, and now feel like I’m in the catbird seat.