Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Staff (01/31/13)
- TITLE: Gnarly
By Judith Gayle Smith
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Sero-positive Rheumatoid Arthritis is twisting his joints into pretzels. He writes under the nom de plum “Nawbie” (Knobby) Wordsmith. Correction – he once wrote. Holding a pen is tormentingly difficult. He has surrendered his beloved computer to me, his sorrowing wife – because the very thought of keying – touching his tender fingerpads to his keyboard is too miserable to endure.
When we first married, his hands were so sweetly loving and caressing. Memories linger – lovely – so lovely. Today I barely recognize his swollen mitts. Suffering from Post-Traumatic Parkinson’s, his left arm beats violently to the rhythm of his pain – his incredible, life-devouring agony.
COPD, Severe Asthma and Emphysema complicate and compromise him. I am so very helpless, and yes – very angry. Angry because he cannot depend upon me to ease his grindingly scream-inducing rage. His agony becomes mine as I forget that it his pain speaking to me rather than my actual lover.
I met him five years following his horrible diving accident. So darkly handsome at twenty-seven. He hid his shaking hand in his black leather biker’s jacket. Terribly intense and yet so tender and compassionate, he reached into my heart and saved me from the self-hatred overwhelming me. His humor and his love eased my searing pain.
Now, forty years later – I watch as he tries to hide his pain from me. He doesn’t succeed. I awake to his discomfort, his inability to sleep. Pain pills take the edge off – sometimes. Medication has caused him to lose his beautifully thick dark curly hair. He is still so beautiful to me. His dark eyes, shadowed with pain – fringed with lashes most gals would envy. He still is prettier than me. Sigh. He has ground his teeth down to the nubbins. So insidious – teeth clenching pain.
Together we ride – no Harley today. In our power chairs we get out and enjoy fresh air and friends. Sometimes pain pills cloud both of us, and we spend the day in bed. Companionably, I snuggle with him – albeit distantly – for fear of touching him.
We pray. Lots. We praise YHWH. We take comfort in Him. We lean on Him. He is our staff, our life – the only One we can trust to guide our faltering steps. We discovered our need for Him four years after we were married.
When we first met, I was still married to a man who would not or could not love me back. I married him to help him fight his dragons, his mental and emotional torment. He wanted a mother, not a wife, and I was throwing my life away because he wanted a divorce. My adultery was a horrible search to discover my womanhood. I was on a suicide mission when Mom and Dad introduced Mike to me. A taut thread of angst:
"You threw me away!" I hurled in anger -
harsh words spat out to slash, maim and scar.
Trembling with fury, I sought out a lover
who eagerly transformed me into
the passionate wanton
you wouldn't tame.
You couldn't tame.
I loved you so.
I, being a virgin, eager for love -
stunned by the threat of divorce,
fled to a man so different from you -
tossed my life in his van.
We escaped to Canada.
You wanted the divorce.
Five years of hollow love -
your rejection still stabs.
I blamed you for being too babied, too weak
to fight for me - love me, just want me stay -
I wrestled with hate, rejection and fear...
"Please find me, please look" - and I would pray
Somehow you would.
But you never came.
Why did I hope?
I still loved you.
When the paperwork came, the divorce decree -
My lover and I - we married so fast
Life had restarted, you've long been forgotten -
or so I thought, but the pain hadn't passed.
It took four years to love
him who saved my sanity
and taught me to laugh
and relinquish my grief.
Forty years - Years filled with agonizing pain and wonderful promise. We cling to our staff – God’s wondrous Word, and look so very much forward to no more pain, no more tears – just a beautiful forever at Jesus’ Knees . . .
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.