May 2018, my husband graduated with a degree in physics. We went to Disney World to celebrate.
June 2018, we moved back to Panama City so I could finish my own degree in peace.
October 2018, my life came crashing down around me in the form of a thousand-year storm.
October 2018, I fled my wrecked home with all I could fit in my car.
October 2018, I thought the worst thing that would ever happen to me had happened.
November 2018, my husband was lost to his mind. I lived with a stranger for 18 months while he tried to hang on for dear life.
January 2019, I thought all our plans were dashed. My husband who had worked his butt off for 5 years to graduate with a degree in physics now had no interest in the things that brought him joy.
March 2019, I took on the role of caregiver.
April 2019, I realized that suffering has endless layers.
May 2019, I graduated with my degree in Sociology.
June 2019, I took my husband to every place I could to find help. At one point he was on 5 different medications. The point was just to keep him alive until we found a solution.
November 2019, I began to grieve the man I married and started therapy.
December 2019, I was living with a ghost.
January 2020, everything came to a head. My husband’s illness took over completely and I had to act.
January 2020, I rallied everyone who ever knew my husband. The time for secrets was over.
January 2020, I dropped off my husband in Tennessee to spend over 30 days in a mental health facility.
January 2020, I accepted that my husband may never wake up.
January 2020, my husband talked to me on the phone… and it was his voice I heard on the other line.
February 2020, I warily began to get my hopes up again.
February 2020, my husband went back to work. Every day he woke up just a little bit more.
March 2020, my husband was contacted by a former classmate. “There’s a program you might be interested in, but it’s in France.”
March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic.
April 2020, Jesse gets in contact with every connection he ever made in his undergrad career and applies to the University of Technology of Troyes.
April 2020, I sat down with Jesse and asked if he had a plan for coping just in case he didn’t get in.
April 2020, Jesse is getting dressed for his Zoom interview with a professor in Shanghai.
April 2020, Jesse is invited to the program. We’re moving to France.
You can never know where you will be a year from now.
You never know just how quickly everything can change for you.
For good? For ill? Is it for you to know?
We’re all just along for the ride.
But everything will change. Everything. It is the only constant in the world.
And I don’t know if your story will end up like mine. But I can promise you this…
There will be bad times… there will be good times, too.
If you hold on long enough, just long enough, you’ll live to see it all.
How they interconnect, how they weave together like two halves of the whole.
How it is often so hard to distinguish between the good times and the bad ones, because they both seem to make so many appearances together.
If you hang on long enough, just long enough, you’ll see for yourself.
That there is no closure. One season does not easily close and open to the next.
All of it bleeds together, like ink in water.
Where does it end? Where does it begin?
You want closure?
My friend, then do not play this game of life. You will find none of that here.
But I have said it once, and I will say it until I can no more…
Life, it goes on.
Change, it’s inevitable.
Storms, they pass.
Sunny days, they pass, too.
So hang on.
You will ask me for how long?
And I will reply…
For as long as it takes.