Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Homeward

I am heading home this morning. I thought the flight was early but then a giant stomachache woke me up at 2:43 am and I thought – now that’s early.

I have mixed feelings about going home. Of course it will be good to return to regular life but I will miss being with Marit. She is with her father now and in good hands. However I was getting used to the routine of sitting by her side and learning about her life. It is time to move on now though and get some rest. I haven’t really slept much and yesterday my diet consisted mostly of foods in the chocolate and peanut butter category. Ok there was some milk in there too.

I’ve never been in a hospital much. These past few days I have been in the hospital more than in my entire life. I have learned that when you are lonely and hurting a hospital is a very cold, sterile place with long empty corridors and an echo that resonates the emptiness and pain you feel in your own heart. Especially later at night, the building nearly ceases of all energy and becomes a very frightening and hollow place. During the day it felt much more welcoming and safe. The halls were filled with busy people and the sun streamed into the windows. It was more hopeful then.

You realize life begins and ends in the building – and you can feel this as you walk around. Each floor brings a different bag of emotions. Marit’s floor was mostly ortho trauma. Lots of braces and casts. The recovery room in surgery was a very stark and dismal place. All the other beds were filled with still patients with tubes under blankets. Marit was the only one chatting away. It was refreshing to say the least.

A million times Marit began the conversation about my upcoming race schedule. The pain meds were making her a bit forgetful about where her thoughts would begin and end. She kept repeating my races out loud almost to remind herself. It was hard to talk about races with someone whose own race schedule was put on hold. But still she was interested in where I was going and why.

Part of me feels very regretful and almost lost about the situation. I am still not sure why she was hurt and why I was ok. I wish I could take back her hurt. I would give her my sacrum and hip if it meant she could race at Ironman. But that is not possible. And though that makes me said I also know that I cannot dwell on it for her sake or mine. It was a friend who reminded me yesterday that I must keep moving in the direction of my dreams – because that is what Marit wants me to do and what I need to do. If the situation was reversed that is what I would want her to do.

In all of this I cannot believe how many people have literally crawled out of the internet to support Marit. It showed me the value of the online community and how close we can be though so far away. People often ask why I started a blog – and though the reason isn’t always apparent, times like this remind me that in blogging I have made the right, worthy choice. It’s not a waste of time to share stories with the world – someone is obviously listening and when in need people heartfully respond.

I’m at the airport now. And I’ve got to inject some humor into this post. The gal behind me just told her friend she is “too drunk to go to her test today.” It’s only 6:36 am. I guess for some
people the party has been going on all night. For me, it has just begun. A party of six days of mail, two days of husband alone in the house, and 8 pounds of furry Chihuahua wagging his tail.

Homeward and onward from here....

8 comments:

CAMI said...

Liz,
You've been such a great friend to Marit. I'm sure she does want you to keep going and not dwell on this (as you've said). One of the things I've learned in life is that there are questions whose answers remain hidden from us. The first of those is 'why?' Why her and not me? Why now? Why? At some point, someone (even you or Marit) may come up with an existential answer that seems to bring some relief from the constant nagging of the question. If they do and it feels good, accept it. If that never happens, you have to be willing and able to let it go. To accept that as well. Life has a way of handing us things to deal with and, I sometimes think, sitting back and laughing as we try to figure it all out. Keep working toward your goals and keep being a friend to Marit and in the end, it will all somehow magically work out just the way it was supposed to.

Candace

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth,

I have posted on Marit's and Jen's blog already - I do not know any of you but have been a faithful on all of your blog's. I find each of you inspiring in your own special ways and your way with words makes each post hit home. The last two blogs you have written have been very poignant, bring tears to my eyes in how compassionate you are. I wish you the best in moving on and chasing your dreams!

Vanessa

Mira Lelovic said...

There's a good reason you won that "Best Blog" award. Enjoy your return home. I'm sure Boss will be nuts when he see's you!

Leah said...

Stay positive and strong. This too shall pass. I find it helpful to remember sometimes, even though it's a cliche.

Duane said...

Glad Marit has a friend like you! Yes, the online community rocks!

rr said...

Liz, you are such a great friend. I don't know Marit, but I've loved reading about your adventures. I'm so sorry I won't get to meet her at IM AZ. Please pass along my quick healing thoughts..

Rachel

Mominator said...

I believe the difference between an athlete and a triathlete is "heart". And you have one of the biggest that I've seen so far. Don't give up the dream..let your "heart" continue to lead you on. More people than you know are extremely proud to know you!

Curly Su said...

I'm sorry I haven't been able to write before this; I've been at bike camp and the internet has been scarce...but I just wanted to say I've been thinking about Marit and wishing her the very best.

Give Boss an extra pet for me.