Thursday, July 31, 2014


I gave her a drink of her berry flavored G2 Gator-aid.  It’s not necessarily her drink of choice, but it is one she tolerates to keep me placated. I tilted the bottle up at her mouth and a little bit leaked out of the bottom and dripped down her chin and trailed to her neck.  I dabbed at it with a towel.

“I’m sorry, “I said, “I got in too big a hurry.”

As always, the woman whose new normal is unparalled levels of tolerance says, “That’s okay.”

Playfully I say, “So you forgive me?  You won’t hold a grudge?”

“You have to remember to hold a grudge.”

There it was, once again, my wife, she of two major life altering strokes, she who has suffered major brain trauma, tells me what’s real, not just for her, but for me. 

“You have to remember to hold a grudge.”

I’m not a big grudge holder, partly because I don’t remember some stuff, partly because I manage to get over fluff stuff, and partly because I’m a hell of a guy, yeah right.  Truthfully, I do have some grudges, some over real stuff and some that are stupid.  I should try to forget.

Yes, there are a couple of people out there that I’m still a teeny tiny bit ticked off at over slights to me or my family, slights they probably never knew existed, slights that still stick in my craw and make me want to remember and carry around a rock in my shoe so I will remember and carry a grudge like some self-righteous badge of defiance and strength.  

Brilliant, ain’t it?

Marty is the one who should hold some grudges, grudges for all of the indignities she has been forced to suffer, for all of the painful procedures she has endured, for all of the times people have looked past her because she was sitting in a wheelchair.  She should carry a mountain of grudges, but mostly she can’t remember the bad stuff.

“You have to remember to hold a grudge.”

When she was in the ICU after the aneurysm she lay comatose in her bed for six weeks, rarely responding to anything.  They did stuff to her, they poked her, they prodded her, and they ran tubes in her and caused her great discomfort.  She was terribly sick and I can only imagine how horrible it would have been to feel, to have been aware.  The doctors said she wouldn’t remember a thing.  She didn’t, I’m thankful.

Marty does remember some stuff; she particularly remembers the good stuff.  She remembers the grand kids, she remembers their names and when they have been here, she remembers the visits from family and friends (maybe not the details), she is aware of and remembers important moments.  

Bless her she has forgotten most of the bad things and bad times we have had before the strokes and after.  She has forgotten my impatience, my slights, my errors and my sins, and because she has forgotten, she has forgiven.   In her own way, in the way of the new normal, she has forgiven me, she has forgiven others for the countless miscues in life, she doesn’t remember and thus she holds no grudges. 

It’s simple really; you can’t really hold a grudge when you move past the past, when you forgive, when you really no longer care about the small stuff that stacks up in your head and heart. Okay, maybe it's not that simple.

Marty used to have an amazing memory, it was scary good.  She doesn’t have a great short term memory any more; the strokes took that skill away.  But, that’s sort of okay; I like to think she saves her brain cells for the best parts, the things that make her smile.

1 comment:

kyle reynolds said...

Hey, My name is Kyle Reynolds, and I am a stroke survivor, too. I really enjoy your blog. Feel free to check out my blog, when you have a chance, I’m always looking to connect with others to raise awareness about Stroke.