Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What I remember

The other day, I had a sudden flash of a memory. The small, round scar on his chest, surrounded by otherwise baby-smooth skin. It was not discolored, just raised, and I don't remember the story behind it.

He had many scars, both physical and emotional, and I always tried to be gentle with him. Their stories often horrified me--it was so often unfathomable that such a sweet, kind, and funny man endured so much trauma in his life... traumas so intense that they left their marks all over his body and mind.

I tried my hardest to heal the wounds that festered underneath his hardened skin, and for the last few years of our time together, I think I was at least somewhat successful.

But I remember those scars, and their stories... his smooth caramel skin... the warm, earthy smell of his hair after he'd come home from a long day of work... the strength of his rough, worker hands and how they made me feel so safe when they held mine.

And I also remember the little nagging fear that I'd lose him... that he wouldn't come home one day... that no one would know where he was.

I remember waking up nights when he had not yet come home, frantic with worry, unable to go back to sleep, just waiting and waiting for the sound of our truck... the sound of the door... anything to tell me that he was okay.

I remember the combination of relief and anger I'd feel upon his return, the desire to scream at him and hug him all at once... and how exhausted we both were those days: he from work and I from tossing, turning, crying, and praying all night.

There are so many things I remember, yet there are still so many things I do not know. The last month or so of his life, even though we spoke daily, feels like such a mystery to me--and one that will likely remain so. I only hope that while I reinforce the memories, the mystery fades.


Honduras Sprout said...

I'm glad you are able to share your thoughts and memories. I hope it is therapeutic. I think about you often and how much you loved your husband. So many miss out on that kind of love.

I do have one question. Why, if you don't mind me asking, were you so afraid about him not coming home at night? Was this in the states or El Salvador?

aighmeigh said...

I would get worried in El Salvador... he would keep the business open late or go "network" with the boys over cervezas (usually in an attempt to find a reliable employee) and I would wake up in the middle of the night and he wouldn't be home. I'd call and he'd answer and tell me he'd be home soon and not to worry, but I always did.

My fears were rooted in being so dependent on him there. I was not confident in my ability to speak the language, often didn't have access to a phone (we didn't get a cell phone for me until we came to stay at the end of last year), and I didn't know my way around. I just had no idea what I could do if an emergency arose that I would panic at situations I would have been completely calm about in the states. It took me a long time to figure out why I would get so anxious about things like that as well... once I figured it out, and got a phone, it was much less stressful for me.