I'm a complicated person.
I know, big surprise, right? Yeah, newsflash, people - I'm complicated.
Over the last few weeks, I've been dealing with my fair share of bitterness and anger over the events of three years ago. At the time, I was too blind to see that my then-husband had already checked out. I'd just lost my job, and he took money out of our account to purchase gift cards for an "old friend from high school" so this old friend could buy her children Christmas gifts. He chose that same year to be too sick on Christmas morning to join my family for our traditional breakfast and instead stayed home. Perhaps alone, perhaps not, I'll never know. But the point is, I had already lost him. It just took me three or four months to figure it out.
The complications that serve as a cornerstone of my life are probably part of what caused him to seek comfort elsewhere. To put it bluntly, he simply could not handle the thought of being inextricably linked to me and mine until death did us part. He always wanted to move away, to make a life for ourselves in Florida, Georgia, anyplace warm. But every time I seriously considered it, I thought to myself ... what if I got the phone call telling me my brother was sick, and I couldn't catch a plane right away? I couldn't go. I just can't bring myself to be more than a day's drive away from my family, because some day, that call's gonna come.
In fact, it came last Friday. Kathie called at around 10 a.m. to say that Dad and Jenn were taking Mike to the hospital. After hours of poking the poor guy, they finally ascertained it was likely related to the gall bladder, and they were able to give him something to get him out of pain.
He was released from the hospital today, but returned tonight with more of the same symptoms. I hope to all heaven that they are able to either remove the offending organ or assure of somehow that he can be cured.
My heart hurts for my twin, unable to explain his pain, unable to understand that the doctors and all those around him are trying to help; for my dad, who certainly misses my mother all over again when their son is in pain, knowing that even though they couldn't make him feel better, they could support each other through it; and for my sisters, who live nearby and would give anything - are giving everything they have - to help Dad, to distract Michael from what hurts, to keep us all in the loop.
And no, I haven't rushed to Mike's side; I've stayed in Arlington Heights, never far from the phone, pretty much in touch 24/7 if need be. As Jenn put it, "It's not like your his favorite or anything," and it's true. Just knowing that I could be there within about an hour gives me great comfort.
But while it gives me comfort, it also makes me want to lash out at the childish SOB I married, who put his own needs above mine time and again, who could never wrap his feeble mind around my need to stick close to home, who took up with Judi the Ho (should I call her the Ho Ho Ho during the holidays?) when my future stopped looking rosy.
I'm complicated, folks, and I won't deny it. I like my shoes Italian, my coffee with cream and Splenda, and my people sincere. I like my vacations long, my feet warm, and my family - however I choose to define them - close. I only wish Christopher had figured out that he couldn't handle that for the long haul before I'd given him my heart, because I'll be damned if I can figure out how to heal it.
But until that happens, and even if it never does, at least a great number of the people I love are nearby.