Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Broken wings

I'm due back at the nursing home in ten minutes. The in and out routine today has been emotionally taxing. My husband is getting sucked deeper and deeper into the murky self-talk of his mind. I ask him to live outside himself, in the present, but I'm not certain he's always capable. His depression ebbs and flows. For a week I felt it was lifting, but after last evening and tonight, I'm not so sure. He is spending more and more time in silence when I am with him, and I have no idea how to pry him open and to shine the light on his darker thoughts. 

His doctor has raised his anti-depressants. I am guiding him through cardiovascular activity aside from his physical therapy. We got out for lunch, to the temple, to the movies. But he rarely perks up for more than a rare twenty minutes here and there. Today, although he insists that the three hours we spent out of the facility improved his mood, he's been almost completely shelled off.

I feel helpless to do anything for him.

I came home for an hour's rest between the movie and our evening nursing home bedtime routine, to breathe some courage into my heart before the last hour of our day together. In the grass, I spotted this dragonfly, trapped and torn. I picked it up, told it how beautiful it was, and how sad I am for whatever happened to it. The thing tried to fly, but could only go a few feet, and even then only in clockwise circles a foot off the ground. I followed it until it collapsed on the pavement from exhaustion, and then I scooped it up again. 

It may seem silly, but I cried for this dragonfly before I placed it gently in a bowl in my kitchen, lay a cotton ball soaked in isopropyl alcohol next to its abdomen, and covered the bowl with a layer of airtight plastic wrap. It didn't struggle, breathed hard for a few moments, and then went very still.

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