When I was sixty-one…I had a small stroke.
My apparently not-so-devoted husband and I parted ways. It happens I guess…some people can’t handle the strain of a major health crisis in a marriage.
To be fair…the marriage had lost its snap years ago. Russell hadn’t wanted to grow up.
I had recovered from the stroke almost completely…aside from a slight weakness in my left side that forced me to use a cane most of the time.
I also had some crummy vision problems which I was sort of handling.
But, poor husband Russ…couldn’t handle the “cane”. He could not deal with the small disability that was now part of me…so…he could not deal with me.
“You look so old, Samantha, using that cane,” he had said.
We had been grocery shopping together. It was shortly after the stroke and I needed help since I could not easily bend down…not to mention getting back up. Awkward…
“When I’m with you, I feel so old. And I don’t want to feel old. I wish you were young again, Samantha.”
“Do you remember how beautiful you were…when you were young?”
“I wish you were that way again…do you really need the cane?”
I was instantly flattened.
There is no other way to describe it. I imagine this is how you would feel if you stepped off a curb and were hit by a cement truck.
But then…I got up.
“Yes,” I answered thoughtfully. “Yes…I believe I do need the cane…and will probably always need the cane.”
“But you know, Russell…I think it’s you I don’t need.”
And I didn’t.
I filed for divorce on Christmas Eve, 2004…three days after being hit by that truck.