That same day I ‘woke-up,’ or the day after, in walked someone new.
“Marianne,” one of the doctors said, “someone’s here whom you knew before you got sick.” In walked this man.
Who is he? He’s not dressed like everyone else here. He . . . he sort of looks familiar, whoever he is.
“Marianne, this is your husband, Chris.”
“A husband? What’s a husband?”
I know, pretty sad. Yes, my brain was affected that much from being hit with an illness called Encephalitis. Chris was told that I was now on a comeback and the worst was over, thankfully, but still far from being out of the woods. Hard on him, of course, was the worry if I would ever remember him, how we met, and that day I said ‘I do.’
Before coming into my room, people were instructed not to cry in front of me. Since I was unable to understand how affected my brain was, they had to make everything seem as normal to me as possible. Friends and family were also told not to laugh, being I was not in control of my thoughts. I was unable to think about what were appropriate words to say, perhaps popping out a few words that were rather funny. Kind of like a little kid’s way of talking, and everyone knows how funny they can be.
Speaking of kids, the next day or two was when I was to see my own two daughters: Cassie, two months shy of being four years old, and Trina, my six-month old. I can still picture when Chris and our two daughters came in.
“They . . . are mine?” I believe I said, or something similar, while lying down on my bed. Sure, Trina was too young to know what was going on, but Cassie’s shy face stood out, looking not too sure of who she was looking at. They all came closer, but since I had no clue what a mommy even was, no loving ‘mommy-ish’ feeling was floating around me. Chris slowly placed our youngest in my arms, but our usual mommy-baby love connection was no where to be found.
I recently read a book about a woman who had experienced a cardiac arrest and in it she explained how she was so excited knowing her children were coming to see her in the hospital for the first time. (Great book by Ocieanna Fleiss called Love Like There’s Not Tomorrow.) While reading, I felt a hurt deep inside, remembering back to that day when I had no joy or excitement seeing my very own daughters.
I wish I could tell you more what that was like, but my brain was far from normal and could not hold onto much of what went on. The best word to explain how I felt back then, out of all the words to choose from – awkward.
My only sadness then was knowing something was odd . . . and that I had a lot to learn.
To read at the beginning of my story, click here.