Today, Jimmy "coined out" of his treatment. Most of the time people complete the steps for this before they leave, better insurance I suppose. However, Jimmy made his coining his last day. When I walked into that big room full of familiar and unfamiliar faces I was struck with emotion. Then I looked to the board to see what these people had written about him. To be honest I was a bit taken back. "Who is this guy?" I thought to myself. Don't get me wrong, I know in my heart he is an amazing person...the recent past has proven otherwise.
Each person spoke and most who really took the time to speak to him at some point had remarkable things to speak about him. My heart was sad that I have yet to meet that person but, it was also glad that that person is coming out.
When it got to me, I had to have the counselor, Lisa read my letter. My emotions were already shaken and tearfully nobody would have understood a word of it. This was my letter to him.
Its kind of hard to convey everything we've been through into a short amount of time. We met on a fall day in 1994. We were both young and full of promising lives. Our paths crossed that day on the back of that five ton truck and have never been the same.
I could say it hasn't been a joy but, I'd be lying...mostly. There are been great times and some seriously trying times. I know when we married I was choosing to marry an alcoholic. I was choosing a life I had tried to avoid but, my heart won over my intellect.
We were young and the worries of the world ahead were unknown.
Since we've been together we've given birth to five amazing kids and have lost six angels. Most of our kids are challenged and I know this weighs heavy on your heart. But, I do believe god gave them to us because, he knows our hearts. He knows you care deeply and when you are right in your mind you're a blessing to our children. It takes a great deal of strength to raise children with Autism, epilepsy, Aspergers, bi-polar disorder and then waiting years before some can ever utter a simple "I love you". But, they do. Their love can be seen on there eyes as they race at the sound of the gate to get the first embrace.
The past year was the most trying. There was a loveless desert between us. I know it was hard on you to see me pull away so much at the end. I had to save myself so as to let you go and discover what you needed to do to be whole in your own life. It was a hard and heartbreaking act for me to do. For me to have to behave so selfishly broke me.
I know we've got a great amount of healing ahead of us and a good amount behind us.
. But, I'm here today as your wife and friend to support and love you. I'm here to try and get past all the lies and broken promises if the past as we walk together into the future. Right now I see the man I had the honor of having a glimpse at back in 1994 before the drunken days and nights began.
"You came from space with a brand new laugh and a different face"
From And it Spread by The Avett Brothers"
There was the sound of tears while it was being read and we looked each other in the eyes. Our life will never be the same.
Jimmy, exchanged his number and email address with quite a few people. This is not the Jimmy I know. It is a good sign of things to come.
He posed for pictures with a few people he had grown close to.
He promised to keep in touch.
He promised to smile more.
He promised to keep working on his steps.