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Angel Arms

a true story of love after death

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Love story

Forced Whisper

~Chapter 6~

Brad spoke in a whisper for most of the time we spent together face-to-face. The theory was that during his shoulder surgery one of his vocal cords became nerve damaged when they put the tube down his throat and it stopped working. Talking with only one vocal cord forced him to communicate with more effort. He spoke with a lot of expression and at times I wondered if he was forcing it too much.

Brad said that it was affecting him at work. It really did seem to bother him. It was affecting his communication with his coworkers and his ability to present himself optimally in meetings. Over time I could tell it was getting old.

I was pretty worried about him too. The doctors assured him over time it would likely come back, however it was without a guarantee. His mother (a retired speech pathologist) wasn’t overly concerned either, so I just hoped in time, for him, that it would return.

Looking back I wonder if the hushed dynamic forced me to listen more closely to his words. Perhaps it made me focus more closely and pay increased attention to his body language.  Yet, I believe I would have listened intently to what he was saying no matter his voices clarity and volume.

The differences between Brad’s quiet (albeit involuntary) voice and laid-back personality drastically contrasted the man who I was communicating with (or trying to) within my own home.

At home my husband typical verbal tome was loud and aggressive. He was uptight and hostile. Many things would annoyed him, offend him, frustrate him and he would go on and on it seemed about these (often little) things. I confidentially shared with my best friend Erika how I wished personality transplants were possible. I’d have quickly switched out my hubby’s for Brad’s in a heartbeat!

I know that sounds so bad! It really wasn’t like that, I swear! I was wishing for the qualities Brad possessed, it wasn’t that I wanted to cheat on him. It is not like I wished Brad would have whispered sweet nothings in my ear! Oh, my! Not at all! I wasn’t fantasizing about Brad… just truly appreciating him.

Being around Brad seemed so easy. I felt accepted, appreciated, relaxed and hopeful… and I am sure most everyone who shared time with him felt the same. I hardly think I was unique.

In great contrast, being around my husband was extremely hard. He was almost always grumpy, aloof, and angry. This often left me feeling rejected, taken for granted, and fearful. The difference between the two seemed to be colossal. I was becoming more and more aware of the contrast between the two. I also was becoming more and more aware how different my husband was from me, and not just because of his communication style.

As a natural optimist, I often focus on the good with my thoughts and my words. I enjoy relaxed conversations about art and culture. I enjoy exploring new places, cuisine and ideas. I want to share life with someone who actually enjoys it. I bravely began to think more about of the type of man I craved to grow old with, someone like Brad.  The contrast between the two of them became increasingly clear. It forced me to realize that something needed to change.

Tough Love 💔

~Chapter Two~

I cannot share this true tale without the backstory that prepares the reader for the things to come.

Who needs a miracle when all is well? A rainbow is at its sweetest after the rain. Well, raining it was… actually it was storming.

I got married years ago to a man I love. I met him in college and we began our long-lasting relationship right before graduation and were engaged just a few months later.

Looking back it all looks so quick and reckless, yet at the time it didn’t feel that way at all. Truly it felt meant to be.

Actually, I had known him for years after working with him and taking college classes with him even before we were accepted into the same therapy school.  I had casually befriended him for over four years before we even had our first official date.

I was the one who asked him to begin the journey of our over 20 year relationship… and once the door was opened he seemed to eagerly go along. He was handsome, loyal and complicated… what wasn’t there to love?

I will never forget the night, over a candlelit dinner when he shared his darkest secret with me: he was on an antidepressant. He struggled with depression. He braced himself for rejection, but I reached back with love and acceptance knowing that he was in no way defined by this mental illness.

I truly appreciated his honesty and vulnerability. I felt honored to have him share such a private thing with me. He seemed ashamed. I really didn’t understand how deep his depression was, nor how deep was his fear and shame. How could I without truly experiencing it myself?

I thought I knew what was ahead, and was not worried one bit. An optimist by nature I was sure once life became more stable and secure his mood would improve as well. After all, I myself had taken Prozac for a short time a few years before, and eventually got off of it as my coping skills and life improved. Therefore, I saw no red flags and felt no fears due to his confession.

Little did I know that his mood, depression and anxiety issues would become the center of my life. I wanted to be supportive so I adjusted my expectations of him. I consciously tried to accommodate his needs and was hopeful my unconditional love would improve his outlook and help make him happy.  After all, isn’t that what we are supposed to do in marriage and for those we love?

As the years passed, I gradually let go of my own preferences and became satisfied with going along with his.  We rarely entertained, minimized contact with my “annoying” family and had very few couple friends. We went to his preferred restaurants and mostly saw movies he wanted to see or those that I thought he might like. It didn’t FEEL controlling as he didn’t demand these things outright, yet if I attempted to choose otherwise his mood would sour and irritability would follow. It was easier I suppose to just let go.

I had my own friends. He rarely seemed to take any interest in who they were or what they were all about.  The was perhaps ONE acception of a friend of mine who lived in  our old neighborhood with a very nice, morally solid and easy-going husband.  Mostly, I would go out alone rationalizing “it’s just not his thing” or “I’m sure he’d be bored anyway”, never questioning why he wouldn’t go just to be with me.

The problem is, over time it just did not work. Being human myself I made “mistakes” as I juggled embracing my own happiness as I attempted to balance it with caring for him. He criticized and I analyzed how to fix things… both myself and him. I became tired, defeated and weary. Life and loving him was tough.
💖A

I realize not everyone believes life goes on after death. My story may change your mind about this, or at the very least hopefully open your mind up enough to reconsider it. 

The story I am sharing here with you is all true. I’m telling it to the best of my ability and with the help of close friends and journals. 

One may wonder why even tell it? I risk a lot by openinly writing this all down, not everyone will like what I have to say. I want to write this because I feel like I have been given such a huge transformative gift and I hope this will help me to truly embrace it. I want to remember all of the lovely and shocking details. I want to have a place to remind myself of the miracles. I want a place to go to so that I can remind myself this all very much real.

This blog will be an ongoing fluid retelling of the story of the heartaches and amazing miracles in my life. I will be sharing and editing it as I go along… so do not be surprised if you come back and discover I have shared more details or have reworded things in new ways. It is my hope that in the end… if there is one… that I will have this story recorded as closely as it can be to how I have experienced having an angel hold me through my darkest hours… and how he has carried me through in his arms.

💖A

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