When the stroke happened all of my thoughts and significant prayer was to be thankful and hope for life. Once my husband was out of the woods so to speak the prayer was even more thankful and the hope was for recovery. Once recovery was sufficient to return home the prayer was thankful and the daily reminder was how great God loved me to save my husband.
There was profound change in my husband, the once fiercely independent marine, father, husband, brother and son was now changed. He was changed physically, mentally and emotionally. Now he was dependent. He cannot remember things, he often gets confused, he cannot drive. Some days he needs help with everything and other days he does not. He needs help shaving every morning. He cannot cook or use the washer and dryer. Those simple mechanical things that he used to do without thinking he can no longer perform.
There are more doctors to see on a more frequent basis. More labs, more tests, more documentation and records. More forms to fill out!
Emotions are harder to control or exhibit appropriately. This is often exhausting to him. There are things that make him tired easier. There are more frustrations, more disappointments.
To fall in love again after almost 30 years is an amazing experience. It also does not mean I fell out of love at any time. I fell in love with the different Scott, the one who was transformed by the stroke. This person who fights everyday to heal, who has never given up. The man who has transformed his 69 year old body into a fit, muscular, fighting machine. The man who still loves sweets and is still diabetic but now chooses not to eat certain things. The man who eats an amazing palate of vegetables. Who works on his speech therapy daily. The man who is sweet, who loves me (this has not changed). The man who reads daily and is excited when he can read more, and more words. The man who dances to music from commercials and sings with me.
The man who now wants to be more social, who waves and says hello to everyone in the neighborhood.
He wants to be the best husband he can, he still opens the doors for me. Seats me at our own kitchen table. Now he is figuring out my medicine container and helping me remember to take my vitamins in the morning.
He does most of the housekeeping while I work, he moves furniture and sweeps every corner. We laugh if he forgets and leaves a pile of dirt somewhere. He dries while I wash the dishes because he sometimes forgets to use soap. The washer and dryer confounds him but that is ok because I like doing laundry.
He remembers more and more and he knows the way to places when we are driving and helps me navigate the traffic. He loves his work outs whether at the gym or home. We have him set up with everything he needs. I even found a great bench that folds up and fits in a corner. He is successful when he works out and it makes him feel like the man he used to be. He is aware of the differences.
He loves fiercely , he lives fiercely, he strives for healing fiercely.
I have fallen in love all over again with my Marine, my husband,the father of my children, my stroke survivor.