It has been a year. A whole God damn year.
Our first wedding anniversary. My 30th birthday. His 31st birthday. The New year. Our 8 year anniversary. The honeymoon we planned. Valentines. We missed it. Lost it.
Dear friends got married. Had babies. Celebrations. Festivals. Fun Experiences. The summer of 2015. Winter. We missed it all.
People say the year has gone by in a flash. It’s been quite the opposite for us. Time has been painfully diabolic. Do you remember how you felt in an examination hall? Staring at the questions? With intense focus? Concentration? Watching the clock tick? Making sure you answer all questions right? No mistakes? You’ve got just one shot?
We have lived this year, watching each minute go by. Accounting for every breathe he takes. Every step he takes. Every bite he eats. Every word he says. No mistakes. Utmost concentration. And praying as much as we can for him to come back to his glorious self.
A year is also a medical marker. Doctors and Therapists say that most of the recovery post brain injury happens within the first year. And then the recovery begins to taper. The thought of getting close to a year haunted me everyday. Until the day came.
I stayed home today. The 3rd of May, 2016. I tried hard not to think about the accident the entire weekend leading to today. And I failed miserably. I drowned myself in work all weekend. To make at least one part of life make sense. Because none of what has happened makes sense. After a year, of grieving and emotional upheavals, it makes less sense instead. To see life go by through a window. A lot has happened in this year that I want to share with him. I wished it would have been just a minor accident. A broken leg. A hand. We would have found our laughter in the midst of the hurricane. Not the brain. Not him entirely. Not having to search for ourselves instead.
In the 8 years we have grown to love each other, I have not gone a day without talking to him. I would have a sick pit in my stomach if we hadn’t talked. I can’t believe it has been a whole year since I spoke with him. Heard him talk. Give me advice. Talk about work. Make plans. I have a voicemail from him that I used to hear over and over. Until it hurt. And then a video of us. Until that hurt too. I have gotten used to the pit in my stomach.
I am in a bubble. This is my defense mechanism. In this bubble, Jitish and I are happy. Riding on the bike. Having our favorite Sunday morning breakfast. Taking a walk on the ice age trail. Buying groceries and planning menus. Lazing on the couch watching our favorite movies. Falling asleep on his chest. Dreaming about a happy new day.
For better or worse, those seconds of every painful minute is behind us. He beat all odds and fought to stay alive. And he won. But we have a long way to go.
He has 68% of his balance. Can communicate and interact socially. Loves Dogs. Still. Can perform basic maths; addition and subtraction. Tries very hard to recognize alphabets. Tries to read. Tries to be part of conversations. Stands as much as he can. Hates the wheelchair; Thank God. Hopes to walk alone some day and go back to work. Wakes up some days in a fit of rage wanting to take his hand off or leg off for a one that works well. Loves the sun. Tries hard to gain his memory. Hates to admit he doesn’t remember. Trying to be Jitish again. Working very hard. My Spartan.
But you! Out there! I was not not angry with you before. I didn’t have the time to be. You’ve just messed our entire life in ways you cannot even imagine. He had to learn to breathe. So when you take your first breathe of the day, be grateful. He had to learn to swallow. So when you take a sip of water, be grateful. He is trying hard to balance and walk on his own. So when you take a walk to throw the trash out, be grateful. He is fighting to recognize alphabets. So when you text on your phone, be grateful. I wish you could undo this. That we could rewind. It might have been just one stop sign that you skipped. But its caused a world of pain. Not just for a year. I don’t know for how many more. I might not hate you. But I don’t forgive you. Not until the day Jitish comes back and tells me its all okay.
We are still frozen. Hoping to catch a breathe.