I see the moon and the moon sees me…

October 25, 2012

Was that a harvest moon? Large and orange, hanging low in the sky. Hanging low in the sky on an evening while I followed the ambulance transporting my husband to the emergency room. What is wrong with me? Seriously. How could I notice the moon in the middle of all that chaos. How could I not notice the moon? You would have seen it too. The world could have been coming to an end and you would have looked up at the darkening sky and said out loud, “Wow, look at the moon.” Of course, I don’t think I spoke out loud, for with whom would I have shared my awe. With whom would I have shared anything?. I was living a big secret. A big messy, ugly scary secret and that night it started to unravel.

The evening began as it had for the past few months. I listened for the garage door to open, feeling the rumbling beneath my feet. And then I held my breath, listening, counting the footsteps as my husband made his way from the car to up the stairs and with each of his footsteps I tried to discern his condition. How slowly he walked, how heavily his feet hit each stair, but tonight instead of the slow, heavy, cumbersome steps, there was a stumble, a crash, and then silence. I ran to the stairs and found my husband slumped awkwardly there and I’m sure I said his name. “What are you doing?”  One of the many silly questions I would ask him over the years. And I helped him to stand and led him to the couch in the family room and he mumbled, “I’m fine.” One of the many silly lies he would tell me in the years to come.

If it had not been for the blood, I would not have called 911. If it had not been for the blood, perhaps my husband would not be alive today. Within minutes of being deposited on the couch, my husband passed out. This was not unusual. In fact, generally, I was relieved when he passed out. But tonight there was blood. He was bleeding from his head. This very fact, these very words allowed me to call 911 and say, “My husband fell down and hit his head. He is bleeding.” Yes, they would send an ambulance, but details. They wanted details. Where did he fall? Is he conscious? Is he breathing? “No, I can’t wake him up, but he’s breathing. I think he fell because he is drunk. I think he has a problem with alcohol.” There I said it.

Back to the moon. Sometimes I think my ability to notice the moon, to be distracted by its beauty, was what kept me sane for all those years. But sometimes I think it’s what kept me in that marriage for so long. Now that I’m out of the marriage, but not completely out of the mess, I still look for the moon. I look for the light in the darkness; and when the moon has waned to nothing, I search the darkness and wait for the stars to come out.

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6 Responses to “I see the moon and the moon sees me…”

  1. StrongerMe said

    Everything that you write resonates with me. When you see scenes like this on tv, it is so emotional. And I do remember fear. That’s the only real emotion that I remember. I also remember being called to action and going through the motions, but also being detached from it. If that makes ANY sense at all. Stating things like, “He has a problem with alcohol” like I was saying that he liked mustard on his sandwich. And yet, the first time you say it (or few times), it’s meaning is larger than life. But you just surprise yourself and say it. No planning. No analyzing, which you more than likely did for months or years. It’s just out there as if its the most perfectly normal thing in the world. Even though it really notes the fact that nothing, absolutely nothing, in your world is normal.

  2. That’s what has struck me recently, how the fear stays. Part of my reason for writing this blog has been to deal with the fear. What you say makes perfect sense – going through the motions, detaching. I believe that is why the fear is rearing its head now, because it was so long pushed aside so that we could simply get through the chaos.

  3. magpiemusing said

    this is powerful stuff.

  4. Wow. In some ways I wish there would be a fall, that someone would hear me say he’s ________ and he’s drunk. Please come help me. But the timing must not be right.
    Your writing is amazing.

    • It was a long road and many years from that first 911 call to my realizing that my first priority had to be helping myself and my children. I wish it had not taken me so long. I feel like we lost so much time and gathered more pain.
      Please take care of yourself.

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