Wednesday, January 09, 2019

My friend is coming back!

Since my sad and frustrated post below, Henry has called me twice. First to apologize, then to just to say hi. "Just me, checking on you," was the message he left. The same message that he left me for decades, before his accident.

I think something I said got through. Saturday night, I lost my temper with him. As our marathon phone call entered its second hour, I snapped: "Do you know you have never once asked me how I am?" He found this sobering. He apologized that night, and then again on Monday. On Tuesday, he called just to see how I am.

Since his life threatening accident and his brain injury, he's been staggeringly self-centered. I understand that it's to be expected, but it's jarring because it's not him. My Henry is sensitive and thoughtful. This Henry has been thin-skinned and self-absorbed.

But, since we argued Saturday night, he's been more thoughtful toward me and has acknowledged -- for the first time -- how difficult this ordeal has been for his husband, Reg. I wish he would say it to Reg and not to me, but this is a start.

I know it's likely one step/two steps back on the road to recovery. It's only been two and a half months and the doctors warned us it could take six months or more.

I appreciate what a privilege it is that Henry turns to me. He is frightened, his world is in turmoil, and he trusts me. I treasure that. But I've also been confused and frightened myself, wondering how to best respond to him and terrified I'll make a mistake and retard his progress.

These last two days have been a joy and a relief.