Friday, March 4, 2016
There was a day in late July 2014 when I laid on the ground in the hallway outside my kitchen. We have a little runner rug the length of this hallway, and I just laid there on it sobbing. The consequence was all mine. The loneliness was insult to injury. The rubbed-red raw face was par for the course. This was the summer I thought I'd kill myself.
I only had a half-assed plan that probably would have failed -- but, each day that I was groping around in the dark, the plan was solidifying. The only clarity I had was accompanied by guilt -- and it just didn't seem like living was an appropriate response. I was in pain, my husband was in pain, most of my friends wouldn't talk to me, my family felt pity, my hair was falling out, I was losing weight, and I had stopped sitting in chairs, I only sat on the floor and cried about the affair.
That particular day in late July I was visiting my home: husband gone to work, my cats rubbing against my legs, the air smelling strongly of the familiarity I missed since staying in a friend's spare room. I lost my footing. Laid on the rug, cried, and called Sarah Miller Freehauf. Or she called me. I don't remember. I don't remember what she said, exactly. It was something along the lines of "you are still a good person" "still worthy of love" "still my friend" "still able to receive warmth and goodness" "still capable of giving warmth and goodness."
Somehow she convinced me to stand up that day and the many days after.
She and her (new) husband would hug me when others wouldn't look my way.
She called me everyday.
She would quell the panic by reminding me I was human.
She told me funny stories about her mom.
She told me things her mother said in response to my affair.
She picked me up some evenings and forced me to eat bar food.
She cried with me a lot of the time.
She wrote poems for me and about me and about the affair.
She was, by all means, at the ready when I needed her and I always needed her. And she knew it.
She helped save my life.
She was part of the very small troop who helped me off the rug.
I don't necessarily know how to write her a love letter that correctly and comprehensively covers everything I want and need to say, but this is the start of my love letter to her.
Thank you, Berry.