When its more than just a movie…

Quite a bit of time has passed since I wrote our last blog. Maybe its because we have been going through the grieving process, maybe its because we keep hoping that we will wake up from this dream/nightmare or maybe its because we just couldn’t put our thoughts into words. Regardless what the reason was I felt like the only sane thing I could do the night before not only a huge day for our country but also for my wife and I, I needed to write perhaps to distract myself from the political posts from Facebook and possibly for a little therapy … just a smidge to prepare for our appointments tomorrow.

There  have been times in the last couple of weeks since our news dropped that I haven’t been a good husband. Its not because I haven’t tried its not because I stopped loving my wife its because life happened. We don’t always get to choose the paths we are put on no matter how hard we fight or like to control where we end up. Sometimes your just dropped there and don’t always land on your feet( in our case I think we landed on our heads). I have watched my wife agonize in pain both emotionally and physically in the last couple months and felt like I could do nothing to make it better for her. I tried telling her its going to be alright our plan was always to adopt so don’t be upset. I tried holding her,  I tried protecting her and fighting for her care. I felt like I did everything in my power to make it better but It still wasn’t. This began to anger me that I couldn’t fix it because that’s who I am. I inherited that trait from my Dad. Like him it pains me to see someone I love so much struggling with the path she is in at this moment in time. It wasn’t until this past week that I realized I haven’t been a good husband to my wife.

We use Netflix like pretty much all of America and love our Netflix DVD. I always go through the queue with Trenae and add movies together. It was a few weeks ago that I added a movie called “Miracles From Heaven.” I thought it looked decent so I put it in the line up. The movie arrived sometime last week and just sat on our counter for a while. That doesn’t typically happen. We get a movie and watch it instantly because we’ve been anxiously awaiting its arrival. Not this one.. It sat there until Sunday morning after we did our usual routine of drinking our coffee and talking about what our Sunday plans are going to be. I suggested the movie and Trenae said ok even though I could tell she didn’t want to watch it. Before I go into to much detail about the movie I feel like I need to explain a little on who I am as a person. I am not religious. I know that hurts some people for me to say that but its who I am. Please respect that and don’t tell me I need to be it is who I am. I had faith as a child but throughout events in my life I don’t have a whole lot left in me. It doesn’t make me a bad person and there are moments when I believe but for the majority of my adult life I haven’t. With everything we have been through can you honestly blame me? It has always upset me when people say well maybe you have sinned and that’s why this is happening to you and your wife or have you tried praying. These are just the tip of the iceberg of what people have said to us and tried to preach. We are on our own journey and struggle everyday and its for no one to tell me how to get through it because you haven’t lived it. And if you have then you know where I am

I say all of that  because this movie hit me so hard and I’ll explain why and how it all ties together I promise just stay with me.

This movie is about a little girl named Annabelle Beam. Annabelle is about 7 or 8 when she starts throwing up in the middle of the night and her parents think its the flu or stomach bug. They rush her to the doctors and are told its a bunch of different things; acid reflux, lactose intolerance etc.. Annabelle keeps getting worse and no one will help her get better. the doctors just do the regular scans they do with every patient and say the test say she’s fine and they have no answers. Immediately I feel like this story relates to us and I am drawn in. I know the feeling Christie Beam went through when she knew something wasn’t right and no one would listen to her or look beyond the papers in front of them and look at the little girl sitting there in pain pleading for help to be told she’s fine. I know that feeling all to well. Christie continues to fight for her little girl because she knew something wasn’t right  just like I keep fighting for my wife when everyone looks at me like I am crazy. It saddens me that an industry that I work in and love so very much has taken this turn where its no longer about the patient its about the paycheck and reimbursement. I sit here watching this movie much like I’ve done on appointments with my wife contemplating going back to med school just to show people that there are still doctors that care. Christie finally takes Annabelle to the ER one last time and loses it on the doctor much like I have done before not because it was my intention but sometimes you have no choice. Finally she is heard they get her in the right hands to find her daughter, her precious little girl has a disorder that twits her bowels and makes the nerves in her intestines non responsive. Basically her body is rejecting food. There is a specialist in Boston that tries to help Christie and Annabelle but even with all his efforts nothing works. Christie is in church praying every Sunday that her precious daughter is healed and can live a normal life but much like myself she gave up along the way and lost faith. The tipping point for her was very familiar to what I have experienced when a group came up to her and asked if her and her husband had considered they were being punished by god for sins they hadn’t asked forgiveness for. She stormed out of the church and told her husband she will never go back there. they go back and forth to Boston multiple times until Annabelle pleads with her mother to please let her go home and stop the pain she’s ready to die. Christie agrees and they fly home. I’ll stop here..

I am not trying to say what my wife is going through is as terrible as Annabelle in any sense but I found it so relatable because she has had to fight for someone she loves to get the best quality care there is. I also have experienced what she has in terms of losing faith, and have turned into an angry bitter person. Even towards the people I care about the most even the woman who is going through all this pain… My wife.

Annabelle comes back to the family farm and is sitting on the front porch watching her sisters play when her older sister asks her to play soccer or climb a tree. They climb and climb until they are pretty high up and at this moment you can see the pure joy on Annabelle’s face because for a small moment in time she feels like a normal kid. the branch cracks and her sister tells her to climb into a knot in the tree for safety. She climbs in and the tree is so hollow she falls down inside the tree quite some distance and hits her head. she is unresponsive. Finally they pull her out she’s rushed to the hospital and she makes it. When Annabelle fell it did something to reset her brain to make the nerves in her intestines work again and “cured” her for lack of better words. It flashes back through the movie and shows you all sorts of “miracles” that happened through out that you don’t even realize because you’re so focused on the tragedy in front of you.

The movie ends and being the giant sap I am I sit there crying for a little while because this story seems so familiar to me. I saw my wife in that little girl. Sitting on the cold paper dangling her feet off the doctors chair waiting for someone to tell her what it is. Crying herself to sleep at night because the pain medication doesn’t touch what she feels. Wishing that I understood what she was going through but knowing I never truly will. every time I looked at Annabelle I saw Trenae. It’s because of this movie I realized I haven’t been a good husband to my wife. Any men out there reading this I hope you really take a moment and think about what I’m saying and ask yourself if you’ve been the husband your wife deserves. I haven’t been a good husband to my wife because rather than fixing everything she’s going through or explaining why she shouldn’t be upset I never thought about her the person in front of me and what that would feel like. I never took a step back and recognized the magnitude of the path we have been dropped on unwillingly. I wasn’t there for my wife like she needed me to be and this movie made me realize that.

I walked over to Trenae after what I thought was pulling myself together until the tears start falling down my face again and grab her hands. I look into her eyes that were once a bright blue and now just appear a sad grey and I tell her sobbing I am so sorry. I am sorry I haven’t been what you needed and I am sorry that I will never understand what you are experiencing in this moment. I haven’t been a good husband to my wife and I admit it but I also am not the kind of man to just say that its ok. I recognize where I went wrong and I am trying to fix it because I love my wife more than anything, but it is easy to get caught up in life when you have been beaten around a lot. I held my wife that afternoon for maybe twenty minutes and told her we will get through this together and that I love her. I owe so much to Annabelle Beam and her family for sharing their story and allowing it to be made into a movie because I say this honestly if they didn’t I don’t know that I would have ever realized how my wife felt or what was needed of me. So I end in saying this Thank you to the Beam family and to the men out there don’t be afraid to show your emotions and be the man your wife deserves.