Summer is now unofficially over. Another season comes and goes without me hardly noticing. A summer void of family vacation, nights at the ball game, reunions, sipping a cold drink on the porch, cook outs, evenings going out for ice cream, and miniature golfing.
I miss Ryan taking the top off the Jeep and feeling that special exhilaration, especially on a starry night… a feeling that excited all the senses.
Yes, goodbye summer, I hardly knew you.
It’s now twenty-two months since Ryan’s brutal attack. You know, it never gets any easier. The fear might change from month-to-month or day-to-day (hell, second-to-second), but it never leaves. It never subsides. The heartache and despair actually gets worse. Desperation grows. Dreams occupy what little time I do doze off; so incredibly realistic. These short bursts of sleep are filled with joyous dreams (and sometimes horrible nightmares) of Ryan in various stages of recovery, but mostly like he was.
In my dreams I plead “please, let me not be dreaming”. This is when I often wake, with the real world washing over me so quickly I don’t have time to grab a breath. I am drowning in reality. Waking, to me, is the hangover of sweet dreams. It’s the steep price I pay for hope.
I know I sleep uneasily. I have trouble both falling and staying asleep. Too many times over these past twenty-two months I’ve been frightened awake as Ryan went into some sort of distress. I have no doubt what the nurses tell me is true .They say I talk in my sleep, something I rarely did before November 7, 2009 (except when I drank more than I should). They tell me my sleep is not restful and I move around the entire time. They tell me my head pops up and I look at Ryan every time there is a sound. More than once I sat up on the edge of the bed with my eyes closed, apparently still asleep.
Sometimes, they tell me, I sob — and even cry — in my sleep.