I worry about my husband now. I worry what will happen to him when he is gone. I know he worries too. He doesn't say it in so many words, he shows it in his actions.
It took Nick four full weeks to leave my side for more than an hour after Nora died. And in the time he left, he wouldn't go unless someone was with me, and not just anyone, it had to be family or friends.
When we finally learned how to let go, and put a facade of trust back into our life again, we went our separate ways (mostly because he had to go back to work). But we would cling to our phones as life lines. Memorizing schedules and appointments. Calling to check up on each other throughout the day.
This anxiety, we both silently shared, I hoped would go away. But, it hasn't. Last week when Nick was at work over the weekend, he called which I thought was while on his way home, as it was that time. I had just missed the call minutes before and when I tried to call back there was no answer.
Panic set in.
My husband should be referred to as Mister Reliable instead of Mr. Henke. I love this quality about him and I know his habits and schedule like the back of my hand. So when he didn't pick up on the 5th call (I am not exaggerating on this, I'm an anxious freak sometimes)...I spazed out.
Inside I was trying to stay cool. I told myself, "Lindsey just breathe. Be cool."
I couldn't. My mind was racing. What if he's dead? What if he got into an accident? I had weird irrational thoughts. Where I started rationalizing with myself saying things like, "Lindsey you haven't felt his spirit leave yet. He's still here."
Then the logical therapist in me started questioning my mental state. "When did you lose your mind?" I said to myself.
I decided to leave my brain by distracting it with a task. That worked for a whole two seconds. I succumbed to my anxiety. I did what you're not supposed to do. I fed it.
I FREAKED OUT.
I called his office. "How can I help you sir or ma'am" (remember, it's the military were dealing with here). I said, "Is Nick there?
He said, "Ah, no. I think he is in a meeting right now."
Ah, RELIEF washed over me.
I remember now he mentioned this meeting after work today. My fear lifted as my body released it's pent up tension.
"Is this an emergency?" The officer asked. I was embarrassed because the man had obviously noticed the fear in my voice.
"No, no." I lied. Two seconds ago it was a big F*** emergency.
"Thanks." I said as I hung up the phone.
Once you have had a life altering traumatic experience happen in your life, small events can quickly snowball into big hypothetical emergencies until you find some kind of footing again.
I haven't been able to explain how painful it is to expect to have the happiest journey of your life begin, only to have it taken away in a nanosecond. Your world is forever shaken and you have learned that the cliche that "life can change in a matter of a blink of an eye" is horribly true.
Now I live forever with knowing that reality and I live in a constant state of anxiety.