Part of my stroke season experience has been occasions of honesty and speaking frankly. Some of these have come in conversations with Melanie. Others with visiting friends.
One friend sat next to me on our living room couch and confessed to having the thought while praying, “Thank God it’s Rick and not me…” I burst out laughing (poorly and awkwardly – nothing works right with my mouth yet). I have to admit exactly the same words of relief have run through my mind at times as I prayed for people in awful circumstances. I just never had the guts to admit it.
Pray for me, even while you rejoice it’s me and not you needing the prayer.
This morning as I struggled to dress myself, Melanie made a suggestion. I didn’t take it. She said, “I’m not going to tell you what to do.”
Annoyed that she was annoyed, I began to explain why my plan was different than hers. But it was already pointless. I went to do my vocal exercises (singing songs of praise from a hymnal!) while the scene replayed in my head. God reinterpreted what Melanie had done. She wasn’t arguing, I realized. She was controlling her tongue. She was refusing to start the day with an argument. And she was pretty quick to change her direction, I had to admit.
So, as she poured breakfast into my stomach tube, I apologized. I thanked her again for thinking about what was best for me and for sharing with me. For speaking up.
I am finding I may as well speak up. Everyone is already entertaining interpretations, criticisms, doubts. Many of them about me are well earned. Why kid anybody? I should go ahead and confess my faults and ask forgiveness. Put everything out there, frankly.
I had to stop writing just now to have another conversation (disagreement) over where to hang a picture as we slowly get our house redecorated. Opinions are strong but voices were not raised. That’s good. Also, everything is out on the table.