It's hard to feel sorry for yourself when a friend is looking at months and months of recovery but who is still insisting her husband sign her up for hockey next winter. I spoke to AM's sister, M yesterday and she feels the biggest roadblock to AM's recovery is that she won't let go of all her motherly duties and focus on herself. She sends texts and emails in the middle of the night reminding her sister about the kids' schedules, she is worrying about what they are eating, wearing and doing every minute of the day which, of course is what all we mothers do but she has to try and relinquish these things to her sister and husband. The kids are being well cared for although it may not be exactly the way she would be doing it. But, as M said, "Their lives are not going to be the same, their mother is in the hospital and things have changed." The question down the road will be whether it may even be a change for the better. Like most families we know, AM's was as active as active can be. Four kids, all in sports, music lessons, extra tutoring and I mentioned they had just gotten a new puppy, right? Dad commutes by train downtown every day, they have a country place they use year round. They are, in short, healthy, athletic and everything you are supposed to strive for except that it might have all been too much. The doctors don't know what caused AM's stroke, they haven't found a connection to the surgery on her leg but her sister's theory is that it was a sign that AM needed to slow down for her own and the whole family's sake.
My Other Half's reaction to all this has been a little surprising. He, of course, is up to his eyeballs in boat orders and deliveries, he just did a 24 hour turn around, driving from here to New Hampshire and back. But he has hardly asked about AM and I wonder if it's because he doesn't want to think about the what if's. What if it was me in the hospital or even, what if it was him? His life is as stressful as they come, running his own business, responsible for four dependents as well as eight employees. He has never handled this time of year very well. He just hunkers down and plows through it with little time to rest, relax or even smile some days. AM certainly wasn't as extreme as my OH, she allowed herself to have fun, unfortunately one of the things she loved to do for herself was the thing that landed her in the hospital. Of course we don't know whether she would have had the stroke whether she had broken her leg or not but for me I worry that my OH is heading for a breakdown every year about this time.
So, as well as looking after myself, I have to make sure I keep an eye on S. Our sailboat was launched on Sunday, rechristened with a more appropriate name (although according to marine protocol we have invited back luck by not getting a virgin to pee on the deck before she went back in the water) and I have made it my mission to get S. out in it twice as many times as last year. Meaning eight times which is completely doable from now until October haul out. Just because we are in the boat business doesn't mean we get to spend all our time on the water and it is out there that S is really able to relax and do nothing. So in the interest of our health and well-being I vow to keep walking in the mornings and get S to join me when he is home. We will have fun with the boys and not spend all our time running them around from activity to activity.