Monday, April 10, 2017

Your Partner's Face

As I climb back out of my recent pain relapse, my husband's face has become even more important to me.  It's more than the face of a morning greeting or an offer to pick up Chinese take out on his way home.

His face has become my anchor and my mirror.   His face is a reminder that there is a world with love in it beyond my pain.  His face is like a siren's song calling me to emerge from my pain cocoon and join him in a moment of connection.  When I see his face I can climb out of the nest I've constructed with pillows and blankets on our couch and know I have another direction I can head in.

His face is also my mirror.  When I'm in pain, I can't look at myself in the bathroom mirror.  All I see is pain and the fear of more pain.  When I look at my husband's face I see more than his pain at my pain.  I see flickers of hope.  His hope becomes my lifeline to the possibility of less pain, even no pain.  His hope tells me the story I want to hear but don't have the courage to write for myself.

Now that I am doing better and have once again tamed my pain with my reliable arsenal of meds and physical therapy, watching his face becomes less urgent, less like a lifeline and more like a place I like to live.

What do you see in your partner's face, whether you are the one with the illness or the one who is the caregiver?  What do you look for when you look at your partners face?  What is there, and what is missing?

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