"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
~ Douglas Adams
Monday, December 03, 2012
A Time for Hope
Late Sunday morning, after he arose and showered, he came downstairs and we talked. We talked about how frustrated I was that no matter what time he went to bed, we typically lost the entire morning to him sleeping unless he had somewhere to be or something to do. He told me that he planned to get up, he just didn't. I reminded him that it was a choice that he made every day, to get up or not, and that he continually chose not to. I explained that I was done caring about it. That on that day, it was going to be the last one that I got upset about it. That from now on he could go to bed whenever he liked, sleep as long as he wanted, and whatever time we got to spend together on the weekends would have to be enough. That I couldn't go on caring about it anymore because it was breaking my heart.
After a few minutes of silence, he looked at me and said, "It's not really about what time I go to bed or get up is it?" I must have stared at him for a good minute with that "how many times have I told you this before?!" look on my face, as the tears rolled down my face, and I just shook my head. He followed with, "I know you have told me about a million times, but I just realized it's about spending time together. That because I sleep away the whole morning, we aren't." When I could speak again, I told him, again, that because he wakes up with just enough time to get ready for work in the morning, I don't see him much then. That because he works late, and then has meetings, and the kids have things, and then he works from home at night.. I don't really spend much quality time with him during the week, if any. So the weekends is all we have. He followed again with, "And I sleep away the entire mornings."
What I wanted to tell him too, but I couldn't find the words to say it, was, "Just like my dad did." My father would come home from work, have his dinner, watch TV and fall asleep on the couch. Then he would sleep until noon on the weekends, and he never spent any quality time with my mother. He very rarely talked to her about anything. He never helped out with things around the house, or took an interest in what she was doing, or what we were doing. I watched for years as she struggled, alone, taking care of the house, us kids, working at different jobs, and trying to fight for my father's attention. I watched their marriage deteriorate to the point that we all wished they would just split up, and I don't want that. I remember a few years ago when I first started to talk to him about our communication problem and where I saw it heading, bringing up my parents. Today, on my dad's birthday, I harbor some fears in the quiet broken parts of my heart that I'm afraid to share out loud. So I keep going forward. Picking up the pieces, and putting them back together. Grasping at hope when the healing involves growing. Hopeful that it's not temporary.