Writing the date lately, I get a creeping feeling of deja vu. Looking at the calendar, I am in disbelief that it has been 11 months since Gary was arrested, since we were separated for 7 months, almost a year since our worlds were shaken up so hard that they will never be the same. We will never be the same.
Things have changed so much. Some of the change was not warm and fuzzy, to say the least, but I have to admit the unpleasant changes strengthened us in many ways. Still, after a year of being continuously forged in steel, it is nice to finally see the sun emerging on our horizon.
This morning I dropped Gary off at work. Yep, work. For about 15 months, I’ve been the only income for our family, and I’ve developed excellent budgeting skills, to say the least! I’ve learned to always know the balance of my checkbook, to the penny, at any given moment, and how to stretch a can of soup over two lunches, and other dollar-stretching tricks.
I’ve also learned that no amount of money could come close to the joy of seeing Gary and the kids reunited; nothing material could top the love in our house when they finally got to be together again, and Gary literally leaped from the porch to get his arms around those babies as they tumbled from the car, nearly tripping over themselves in their haste to get to him. And I have never been so proud about anything in my life as I am watching the kids in the yard, watching them sleep, watching them pile up in Gary’s lap.
A lot of people questioned why I didn’t walk away. I don’t blame them for wondering. I likely would feel the same way, watching the situation from the outside. No one who really knows Gary, though, ever wondered why I stayed. Our close friends have asked nothing but what they could do to help, and for them I will eternally be grateful.
The last few days, watching Gary in action at work, has been like watching someone wake up from a coma. The lively, boisterous, confident Gary has started chipping away the heavy baggage of doubt, hurt, insecurity, and sadness that has clouded him for so long.
I want to help tear that doubt and insecurity away. It has been heartbreaking to know he ever saw himself as anything but my Gary, my loving and strong and giving Gary. Maybe he will read this today. Gary, I never doubted you. I never doubted us. I am proud of you. I know, first-hand, what you have been carrying on your back, in your heart, and on your mind, and to stand up again full of bullet holes is not something just anyone could have done.
I love you, and I always will. You can bet your first paycheck on that 🙂