Angry. That’s my one-word description for my feelings today. Just angry. Not at God, I’ve written that I’m not angry with God, just angry our plans were so radically altered. Nope, I’m mad at my husband.
That sounds so cruel as I read it! And it’s not real anger or malice or anything close, but frustration that he didn’t handle his health situation in as expedient a fashion as I would’ve wanted.
His initial attack of acute diverticulitis was in mid-April. He didn’t tell me how bad it was, and he was originally mis-diagnosed with a hernia (a problem he’d had for years). A cat scan showed the perforation on his colon & surgery was recommended. He resisted. This healthy, brawny, intelligent man could not bring himself to schedule major surgery.
A follow up colonoscopy. I sat beside him while his doctor told him as plain as he could that NOT having the surgery was the risky option. It needed to be done. This was mid-May. He opted to treat it with oral antibiotics (also an alternative). I tried every way in this world to change his mind. I begged. I pleaded. I cajoled. I tried to guilt him into it. Nothing worked. I had three sleepless nights, tossing and turning, worrying about his not having the surgery. I prayed. And at the end of that week, I knew I had to turn it over to God. He was a grownup, and I could not force him to make the decision to have surgery. I told him if the shoe were on the other foot, my surgery would’ve already been scheduled…because I have two sons to raise & I need to be around another 40 years or so. And then, I dropped the subject completely.
In his defense, he was thinking ahead to a big regional meeting he was planning for his department in late June, and a trip to Massachusetts to see his brother & sis-in-law in early July. He was feeling better, and promised he’d consider the surgery once those events were completed.
Well, he had the surgery. And we all know how that turned out. And while I know that I cannot look back & wonder “what if,” I cannot help but wonder what the outcome would’ve been if he’d had the surgery whenever it was recommended. He might’ve come thru it great. Then again, he might have had the same sad outcome, but in early summer.
So I’m angry. I loved him so much, he was the biggest influence in my adult life. Because of him, I love the outdoors. Because of him, I no longer shriek whenever I see a snake (at least most of the time). Because of him, I have a great appreciation of ecosystems, natural resources, and God’s creation in general. Because of him I don’t litter, and I recycle faithfully. Because of him, I care about social issues, global warming, world famine, rainforests, and endangered species. I had the most wonderful 25 years possible being his wife and his best friend. And adding those two boys to the equation 10 years ago??? Without a doubt, the icing on the cake, the best darn thing we ever did.
But he should be here with us. And he’s not. That is why today, just for today, I’ve decided it’s fine to be a little mad at him.
And I think he’s okay with that. The very few times he was actually wrong about something (and that was very rare), I relished telling him “I told you so.” I get no joy in even remotely thinking that this time.
I tell folks that whenever I get to heaven (hopefully many years from now), I will give him a noogie on his head….and ask him why he waited to have that surgery. Everyone tells me I will be so glad to see him, along with all other loved ones, that I won’t care. But I think I will. Because it’s something I think about each and every day. The question doesn’t consume me, but it’s there, along with all possible outcomes….any of which would’ve been better than the one we were given.
I’ll spend extra time reading my Bible and praying tonight. And whenever I go to bed, I will let the anger go. It serves no purpose, adds nothing positive to our lives, and is a waste of my time & my energy.
I promise, I’ll just wallow in it for another hour or so.