Monday, July 11, 2011

An Independent Woman

"The shoes on my feet
I've bought it
The clothes I'm wearing
I've bought it
The rock I'm rockin'
I've bought it
'Cause I depend on me
If I wanted the watch you're wearin'
I'll buy it
The house I live in
I've bought it
The car I'm driving
I've bought it
I depend on me
(I depend on me)"

The above lyrics from Destiny's Child's "Independent Woman" speak so loudly to me.  I have worked so hard to be the person I am today.  When I got married, almost 21 years ago, I never dreamed that the well-being of my family would depend on me.  I never dreamed that my husband--strong, strikingly handsome, smart, hard-working--would be struck by an illness so insidious, so devastating, that it would cause him to become a shadow of the person I knew, a ghost-image of the man I married.

I had a dream, created during my idealistic teenage years.  I would marry a man who would sweep me off my feet, take me away from the mundane routine of my everyday life.

And then I met Rob.  He was introduced to me by mutual friends at a New Years party, 1987 into 1988.  I went to the party with much reluctance.  I had given up on the opposite sex.  My previous experiences involved a frat boy whose alliances and dedication to his fellow "brothers" carried more weight than his commitment to me; then there was the intelligent, sexy, straight A double major guy: Speech Comm and English, with a 4.0 average and a girlfriend at home.   And then I suffered the terror of being stalked by a scary upperclassman for 3 years.   I had given up on guys, seriously giving consideration to joining  a, really.   I had seriously considered becoming a nun. 

I had been hurt, stalked, harassed, and felt that no man could be the one for me.  Even when I met Rob, I was afraid that he would be a problem, simply  because he had expressed interest in me.  Ultimately, it took 3 weeks for me to decide to go out with him.

The Rob I met and dated and ultimately married, is not that far removed from the Rob I live with now.  Still strong and handsome, he stirs such emotion in me.  However, he has lost the ambition and drive to succeed that "my" Rob had once had.  The idea so overwhelms him, that he cannot even mow the lawn, never mind getting back into the grind of the workforce.

For the first time in our married life,  we live in a neighborhood where image counts.  If it wasn't for the kindness and generosity of our recently hired landscaper, (thanks Norma and Josh!), we would  be in such a state of desperation.  There is only so much I can do on my own.  I can work to save lives, but I cannot restore a lawn!

I mourn the loss of the man I married.  I love the man I live with now, he is more compassionate and empathetic than he was prior to his illness.  But the carefree, easy-going person I married is gone.  And that makes me very sad.

1 comment:

  1. You amaze me, neighborina. :) You amaze everyone who knows you.