Matt, I think I floated home that night. My heart so happy believing I finally had you back. Instead of me, myself and I rehearsing the speech I prepared to deliver we were singing. Oh how we were singing. I felt so light, so happy like I’d just been handed a million dollars. I just couldn’t believe how things worked out when we talked. I’d come prepared for battle. Had all the reasons ready to shoot out of my mouth and then I see you by the sea with your dogs and all the anger and frustration were washed away with the out going tide. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my weary shoulders. You were finally getting it. I didn’t have to yell or threaten, you were on board to get your life back on track. Now I could plan for my future without that constant nagging feeling that something would blow up in my face. What a gift to give to your exhausted mother.
Now that I was free to focus on something other than you I started to plan my wedding. I’d gotten used to the laughs when I told people that yes it’s this September not next and I was definitely serious. It turned into a game for me to find anyone who was as reckless as I was and willing to go out on a limb to help pull off my dream. I am a beach person so of course the first place I thought about was the beach. That was until both sets of parents looked like I’d said the F word. Yes I know. Ray and I were both adults, but we both wanted our parents to enjoy the day so now I had to find a church. Well how do two divorced people find a church to marry them. We were both raised as Catholic so that was like asking a priest to shake hands with the devil. I though for sure the church would be struck by lightning if we dare think we could set foot in the door and ask to be married.
We both loved mountain biking, yeah remember the mangled wrist that led us to this point. Well we always passed this adorable tiny church hidden in the woods when we biked in Fairhill. Perfect I thought. This would satisfy the Catholic parents. Unfortunately it was always closed whenever we passed by. One day on a whim I stopped and looked in the windows. It was perfect. Just what the doctor ordered. I took pictures and showed Ray. He really didn’t care where we were married so off I went on my quest to get into this church. It just so happened that a fellow biker knew the minister. So now we have our church. Big enough for 70 people. Absolutely adorable. Plans were progressing. You and I kept in touch and you sounded fantastic. No sign that the demons had returned. We made plans for you to come and stay the weekend. We needed to get my mechanic son a suit.
Ray has been amazing. Giving me full control over the planning. I think he knew it would keep me busy and out of trouble. I kept threatening to get back on my bike and conquer the hill that took me down. He’s a smart guy. You show up on a Friday night. I, out of habit go through my checklist. You pass with flying colors. Oh God, this is so wonderful. We beat the demons, Matt’s back. We shop and find you the perfect suit. It is so wonderful to have you back. To be able to have a conversation without your glazed eyes looking back at me. Your head not bobbing like a broken toy. I am flying. On cloud nine. I’m marrying the man of my dreams and Matt is back. It doesn’t get any better than this. We spent the weekend together, just you and me. It felt like the old days before the demons turned our lives upside down. I kept pinching myself. This was truly amazing. Once again I fought to keep the little warning voices out of my head. Too good to be true. He’s saying everything you need to hear. Little voices of warning trying to steal my peace. I beat them back and continued to believe we were the normal, happy family I so needed us to be. Sunday came and you headed back to the sea. I remember watching you leave, my heart begging for this new you to be the true you. Your addiction had made you the best at pretending to be who I needed you to be. I just couldn’t let myself believe you would do it to me again.
The week goes by and my phone rings. Holy S.. my boss. Yes, I still want to come back to work. Really, a per diem position. Yes, I’ll take it. Oh My Gosh. Everything is beautiful. I have a job, I can save the beach house. I am floating on air when Ray walks in. Hey, guess what. I’m going back to work. Yes, as soon as I’m released from P.T. So if you want to back out of this proposal now’s the time. You look at me and laugh. I wouldn’t miss this for the world, you say. I feel like finally the planets have aligned, they are all spinning in my direction. Life is good. My son is good so I am absolutely wonderful. I am laughing and dancing and you are looking at me like I’m crazy. It’s all ok, no more dirty little secret to hide. We are free.
In the midst of my joy your phone rings. I stop and look at your face. Oh God, what. Now it is you that needs holding. We race to the hospital, my joy with Matt forgotten. The ED is busy. I rush in ahead and find your Dad. He is scared and shaky. I brought Mom in. She’s been sick all day and has just gotten worse. I walk into her room and see what no nurse ever wants to see. You bring Dad in the room. Ray, do you see those waves on the monitor. Yes, they are what we refer to as Firemen. Your Mom is having a heart attack. I ring her bell and call for help. Ray, grab your Dad, this room is about to go crazy. Doctors and nurses rush in. Papers are signed. I grab you both and hit the hallway as your Mom is rushed to the cath lab. Now we sit, the three of us lost in our own thoughts. You Dad sits so still, looking so frail. You are asking questions I really don’t want to answer. I hate being a nurse. I want to fix everything. My addict son and now your ailing mother. Ok God I think. What are you doing. I’m not trying to be selfish but WTH are you doing. This is crazy. Just when life was settling down, just when a little piece of happy and normal came my way. I look at you and grab your hand. The wedding will wait. Your eyes break my heart. Another mother and son depending on luck and faith to keep them together. My heart is breaking. I remember all the times I almost lost Matt. Ok God, you win. I couldn’t stop the chill that gripped my heart. The demons were laughing as we were praying to save a mother for her son.