My Husband, I Think I’ll Keep Him

I want to take this opportunity to brag on my husband a little bit… or maybe a lot. For the most part, he is the kindest, most gentle man I know. You  might think that most women would say that about their husbands, but mine has a proven track record.

As most of you know, I have had my struggles with bipolar disorder. I’m not ashamed of it. It’s part of me, but it definately does not define me. However, there was a time when I was really a pretty sick little chick. I heard voices, I was mean, I was afraid, I was another person. My husband did his best to help others understand I was not myself, that something had happened down the way and I was not the girl he married. Even when I divorced him, he stood by me. I moved to Granger, Texas to live my life separate from him. I had a boyfriend (who no one but me liked), but I went home each and every  weekend I could. Stephen let me stay at the house, took me places, fed me, helped me. I ended up divorcing him anyway. It wasn’t I was a mean and ugly person, I was sick and lost.

When I moved back to Dallas, my husband let me move into our house. I gave him checks for rent, which he didn’t always cash, and I was grateful for being there. He had worked in the mental health industry when he lived in England long years ago. He knew how to help me, how to comfort me when I was afraid.

Many people told him he should just let me go, he should divorce me, move on and find someone else, but he was adamant that the person I was , was not the person he married. He prayed, and prayed some more, he hung in there with me and he loved me despite myself. Then, on Valentines Day, 2000, he asked our children for their permission to remarry me. We remarried on April 22, 2000. I was still not 100% whole, but I was getting there. And he stayed with me during times when my own mother didn’t know who I was. Not too many husbands would stand by their wives when they are not mentally there. My husband did and I’m so grateful he did.

So, this blog post is for him as is all my love. If you have a relative who has a mental illness, hang in there with them, pray for them and love them. They will appreciate you more than you will know.

Thank you , Stephen for hanging with me. It’s been quite the ride and I know it will continue to be for lots of years to come! I love you!11060902_10205518916603978_4508978859742893733_o

God is Good All the Time…

…All the time, God is good.  This happens to mean more today than it ever has .

Friday morning, my sister Martha woke up , went into the living room and there was her husband. No real surprise, but he had the lights on- something he never does. His voice was different and all he would say was “Yes.” As my sister went to make the coffee, she turned around to see him walking sideways and saying “No, no.” He then fell and began seizing.  He does not have seizures normally. Martha called the ambulance, who promptly came and got him and they were off to the hospital.

Several tests were performed, but he could just lay with his eyes open, unable to talk. Sometimes, after a seizure , the part of the brain that one uses to talk is affected and it is so odd (this happened to me) because when one is postdictalone can hear, think the answer in their head and think they are saying what they are thinking. It’s amazingly weird, frustrating and scary all in one go. Anyway, when I saw him at the hospital, I knew that’s what had happened. Two different doctors had differing opinions on what happened. One thought it a brain bleed, the other thought it was a stroke. I called my kids and told them what had happened to their uncle and asked them to begin praying. My son, Micah called me back on Saturday morning and asked if I would like to go with he and his wife, Laura and his mother in law, Jill Busha to lay hands on him and pray for Tom. Immediately, I got dressed and went to his house.  We went to the hospital from there.

Once at the hospital, we saw Tom’s children and stopped to talk to them. Mike took me down to the room , where we talked and Tom would sleep and wake up periodically , only to fall back to sleep. He’d gotten no sleep the day before and we dont’ know if he slept the night before the incident. We surrounded his bed, holding hands and Jill prayed with all of us in agreement. That was yesterday.

Today, I woke up to a facebook message from my sister saying he woke up at 3 a.m. and was his old self! She told the doctor that her socks would be knocked off once she saw Tom. They were. She could find no explanation why he was back to his old self. Now, folks, if that is not a miracle from God, I don’t know what is. It wasn’t just that he woke up- he could name his children, how long he had been married to my sister, wanted to move stuff around in the hospital and I suppose he was a bit hungry since they did a swallow study to see if he could eat.

I love seeing God work in these ways. I know He is working in your life too. He’s that still, quiet voice you hear . Listen for it .

Just Like the Theater Masks

theater masksFor some, bipolar disorder is entertaining. It is for me everytime I have a manic phase. Manic phases are like being hyperactive. It’s fun, exciting and everyone laughs. Then, the crash. Lower than low, tears flowing, keeping to yourself and isolation – not so entertaining It’s kind of like the theater masks you see from time to time. One minute laughing , one minute later- crying. It’s confusing not only to the family- but to the one afflicted with the disease.

Yesterday, I was as happy as a lark- having more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Today- not so much. It is rather curious to me how one’s brain can do that. How weird is it that one day, a person can be fine and the next- wake up lower than the digs of a snake?

I am fortunate in that it doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Oh my. Literally, my mood would change from minute to minute- hour to hour. No one knew what to expect. I would imagine it was very frightening to my family. Just when they thought they could kid around with me–I’d blow up or cry or scream. It’s a bit like watching the movie, Sybil. The lady who had so many different personalities and was finally integrated into one. The mind can play amazing games and tricks. But , it can protect one from the most hurtful and harmful things by wiping them from your memory. I am not clear on all or even some of the things that occurred while trying to find out I had bipolar disorder. My family will ask sometimes-“Do you remember when we did this or that?” And I cannot remember . It’s my brain’s way of protecting me from remembering the bad times or the times that hurt me the most.

One of those times, in particular , was my dad’s funeral. I know I was there. I don’t remember any of it. I couldn’t tell you anything about the funeral except they sang “How Great Thou Art.” I cried every time  I heard that song thereafter. I’m okay wih it now.

Anyway, should you know anyone who has bipolar, please know it is as hard on them as it is on you. Pray for them and for me. We need it!

What Happens at Walmart….

walmart

It all started Sunday afternoon when my son and my husband set up a swimming pool at our house. It’s one of those pools with a pump – not very deep, but just about the whole neighborhood could fit in it. Kinda like a huge spa. “Redneck Riviera” – that’s what Stephen calls it. 

like he says, "Redneck Riviera"
“Redneck Riviera”

I wanted to try out our new toy, but realized I had no swimming suit. Grabbing my coin purse, my keys and my flip flops, I was out the door on my way to Walmart. My son and daughter in law coming toward me got a quick hug and kiss and I asked if she wanted to go with me. She declined. I would too. Who wants to spend a Sunday afternoon at Walmart ,of all places! 

I had a simple plan. Run in, get a swimsuit, run out, get home, jump in the pool and relax. But it was Walmart and a Sunday afternoon-school supply weekend, of all things. Anyway, I didn’t find much in the way of swimsuits. Picked up some swimsuit bottoms and a few pair of scrubs and I was off to the self-checkout. As I put my clothes down, panic ensued after realizing my coin purse was not with me anymore. Where could it be? Where did I drop it? I didn’t feel myself drop it. Did I lay it down somewhere? My debit cards were in it, over two hundred dollars was in it – farrier money for my horse’s shoes, my drivers license and donor card- my whole life was in it! I combed the store- went back to every place I had been -all to no avail. Customer service had not had anything turned in and the ladies I asked out on the floor- employees, you know- were less than interested in helping me look.”I haven’t seen a coin purse, but then I wasn’t looking for one either,” one said with a bit of a whine in her voice. Whatever. I called my husband, panicking and crying. “There’s over two hundred dollars in there for Rigo, ” hearing myself whining now. “Just come home – there’s nothing you can do now. It’ll be ok.”  I left the building, grateful I had my car keys at least and praying my coin purse would be found.

Once at home, I decided not to dwell on the whole thing. I felt stupid for losing it. I mean, how could I drop it and not know? Or maybe set it down somewhere and walk off? That’s just dumb. (I can hear my mother saying it now! )

The next morning, I had to get ready for work early and decided to stop by Walmart. I went straight to customer service, finding for once, no line. I explained my plight and one of the ladies went into the office to check for my coin purse. In just one minute, out she came with my purse! I was so relieved. I opened it immediately to see if anything was still in there and lo and behold all my money was there, my debit cards- everything! Tears filled my eyes as I looked to the woman and said, “My money is still there. ” She said, “See, not everyone is bad” and smiled a sweet, genuine smile. 

In a bit of a stupor, I was able to push the button on my telephone and call my husband. He was as amazed as I .  Normally, I might say “What happens at Walmart should stay at Walmart.” But, i think this time, it should be told.

Thanks to the lady at Walmart and thanks be to God for answering prayer.