I have had many days over the past 8 months that I would describe as “broken” days. These are the days in which I rush around with a to-do list of no less than 75 items and I complete them all as I field phone calls, e-mails, and texts, pack up my house to move, write a paper for grad school, and fight a cold. Unless you’ve been witness to a broken day, they’re pretty hard to describe. The magnitude of all these competing demands is more overwhelming than I have words for. I am left feeling broken, as if I have been beaten myself. My physical body can no longer sustain the abuse. My shoulders and neck strain with the knots of stress that have accumulated. My legs act wobbly. My speech is exhausted, slurred and incoherent. I am a living zombie.
So, when people ask me how I’ve emotionally processed something as significant as testifying in criminal court, I can only answer, “I haven’t thought about it yet.” And when 30 seconds after learning the verdict in my husband’s trial, a reporter calls to request an interview, I can only say, “Sorry. I have to pick up my son from school.” Because that’s the truth. The trial may be over, but my workload will never cease. I am living out our life sentence.
Today was an especially broken day. With 36 hours until we depart, I still have half our belongings to deal with, one last paper to write, and lots of little errands that are seemingly endless. In a moment I went from broken to broke down. And as I broke down, I cried.
My emotions about leaving Jack made Melanie’s gift even more special to me. I was touched that she realized how difficult this next month would be for me and TC. I couldn’t believe she found time to create such a gift with her own busy schedule, . Life can be very sharp sometimes. Just as you’re feeling abandoned and defeated, a few special people swoop in to remind you that no one will let you fall completely.
When we arrived home from 3 hours of nonstop errands, we were greeted by even more generosity. One of my oldest friends had come to repair the screen doors damaged by Spencer during our time in the rental cottage. This was no small gift to my mental health. I have been stressing for nearly 6 months about keeping this place in pristine condition for the landlord. It is truly the loveliest little cottage in the world. I wanted to leave it as perfect as we received it, which is extremely difficult to do with a toddler, a dog, and a husband with awkward motor skills.
As I felt the stress lift off my shoulders, I opened a card from another friend who had stopped by while we were out. He had left us some fresh rockfish fillets (my favorite), some celebratory cigars for TC, and a card that left me speechless. In the card I discovered that our friends Mark and Sarah had taken the initiative to find out the name and location of TC’s therapy program in Canada, research a local gym in the area, and cover the cost of a membership for us while we are there. Mark and Sarah have already done more for us in the past 8 months than we could hope to deserve. This final parting gift shocked me out of my misery and thrust me back into the real world: a place that is populated by some of the most incredibly kind, generous, and sincere people with whom you could hope to be friends.
The days have been long. The challenges have been daunting. But what lies ahead promises to rejuvenate and transform us for the better. I hope this time away will allow me to heal my broken body, rest my weary mind, and begin the long process of reflecting on all that has brought us here.