A year ago today, I had gotten home from leaving Rob at the hospital, slept for two hours, showered, changed and headed back to the hospital.
Left Alex and Savannah sleeping, because I was too tired to deal with getting them to school.
Spent most of the day at the hospital, coming home only when Rob moved floors and I couldn’t stay anymore. I assume I got the girls lunch…at some point. Realized it was Alex’s 13th birthday and asked Tori to take her and Sav out for a birthday dinner so I could go back to the hospital for evening visiting hours.
Because I didn’t trust Rob to stay if I wasn’t there every minute the hospital allowed.
And after he was there, I suddenly realized him coming home wasn’t an option.
Almost all of what I remember from that week is being at the hospital…packing his bags…taking him to rehab.
It was all I could do that week to be a wife.
I had nothing to give as a mom. No time. Energy. Strength. Ability.
If I’m honest, no desire.
I made a choice, sitting in our pastors office that Sunday when he asked if I was done. When he so kindly (towards me) and so matter of factly (towards Rob) told Rob he had lost me. And our marriage. And our girls.
Told Rob very bluntly that he had no idea why I was still there.
That even though I may not have left physically, our marriage was over.
Minutes later, with Rob out of the room, asking me if I was done or if Rob agreed to go to the hospital that night to be medically detoxed, if I would support him if he agreed to go straight to a long term rehab after he got out of the hospital.
I hesitated. Not because I had considered leaving. But because I had refused to let myself see how bad things were.
When I agreed he needed to go, I made a choice. I was going to support him however I had to, no matter what it cost…no matter who it cost.
Saying yes cost me a lot.
It cost our girls more.
The week he was in the hospital they lost their dad…and their mom…We were both physically gone…We were both emotionally gone…
The day I took him from the hospital to rehab and then I came home…I was physically there after not seeing them more than an hour a day for most of the week.
Emotionally, it took a lot longer for me to come back.
It’s been a year now since Rob decided he was ready to get help. Again.
I’ve been a mess for the last couple of weeks.
I didn’t realize until today how hard this “anniversary” was…how much I would relive this week that happened a year ago. How many hard memories and feelings and anger and resentments and regrets and deep sorrows would resurface.
I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming emotions that have hit me recently.
Anger I thought I’d worked through. Forgiveness I still haven’t given myself. Sorrow for the weeks I missed being a mom because it was more than I could do to just be a wife. Moments stolen from our girls by addiction and the shock waves it creates in everyone else’s life.
But with all of this reliving…resurfacing…I did remember one thing.
We don’t get do overs.
I can’t go back and give the girls back the weeks they lost. The weeks we lost.
I can’t jump in a time machine and celebrate Alex’s 13th birthday and choose to be there.
I can’t take back my choice to be a wife and my inability to be a mom.
All I can do is choose to eat dinner, at the table, as a family, Monday night. And to play Tenzi and be loud and irritate Buddy for an hour because he’s not a fan of the sound of dice being rolled over and over. I can do that on the anniversary of leaving the girls at home to take Rob to the hospital and fight to get him admitted.
All I can do is spend Alex’s 14th birthday being present, running errands with her, wrapping her gifts with Tori and Sav, going out for her birthday dinner and watching her put 14 candles on a brownie, singing quietly while she blows out the candles and then hurriedly try to wave the smoke from the candles away. Hand the phone to her when Rob calls to tell her happy birthday and smile so big and be able to agree with him when they’re done talking and he says she sounded really happy. I can do that a year after I barely acknowledged her 13th birthday.
We don’t get do overs.
We do get more days. Different moments. Second chances.
We get to have more family dinners and loud game nights. In a few short weeks we get to have those with Rob.
We get to have 14th birthdays. And soon we’ll get to celebrate birthdays where Rob doesn’t have to call to say happy birthday because he’ll be here.
We don’t get do overs.
We do get to do life together for the rest of our lives and while we can’t make up for the time we’ve lost, we can make new memories, focus on new moments and eventually the “anniversaries” we struggle through will be replaced with different anniversaries we celebrate.
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