He drowns, as I watch.
I endeavor to extricate, to deliver, to rescue, to save .
But I fail. I disappoint.
I am his light, his dawn. Inside his dead, unfathomable eyes, the man he was breathes at my advent. For a moment, I see him, the one I loved more than life; my joy, my world. And I remember what it was, and I am crushed beneath the memories of The Way It Used To Be and The Way It Is and the agony consumes. I stand strong as I struggle; tears only further wound.
He says, "Hey Doll!" and welcomes me with embrace and buss. We sit and chat about silly things; what have you been up to and how have you been. Later he tells me of the Bad Week. Little things, moderate things; minor irritants to the healthy. He is not; repeated blows threaten to vanquish him. I soothe and reassure; I will take care of things, I will fix it, don't think about it, stop thinking about it, don't worry. Please don't worry. Everything Will Be Okay. I gently scold. Why didn't you call me, you know I'm here, you know I will help, you know I want to know, you know I will make it go away, you're not alone, I am here, I Will Always Be Here. He says, "I know Doll. I don't know."
The Way It Used To Be evokes torment; there is suffering enough. The Way It Is evokes despondency; we have it to spare. What Makes You Happy brings confusion and despair. I don't know, Doll. I don't know. He cries. I hold his head as anguished sobs wrack his tortured body, finally shedding my silent tears of love and pity and grief and anger and desperation. Why? Why can't he be happy? Why doesn't he know what makes him happy? How can you not know what makes you happy? But I know that he doesn't know. I know that he doesn't know how to make it better, and it kills him. It is killing him. It is killing me.
It is killing me because I don't know how to make it better. It kills me because I don't know how to make it go away. I can't make it go away. I can't fix it, I don't know how to fix it. We face something that cannot be changed through concentration and intelligence and focus and persistence and compliance. It cannot be changed with love, no matter how fierce, no matter how enduring. I am helpless. I am drained.
In sickness or in health; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; to love and to cherish from this day forward as long as we both shall live. Sick, worse, poor; I honor my vow and love and cherish, though some would say my obligation has ended. I cannot bring myself to feel it has. I wonder if ever I will feel it has. As long as we both shall live. Ever after. He lives, and yet is lifeless. But he lives. He lives, and I despair.
I will endure. I must. Love binds me; unconditional love, unconditional love tested and tested and tested and tested again. Still I love, and still I am bound, and I endure. I will throw everything that medical science has to offer at this monstrous diabolical grotesque malevolent Thing attacking him, this malicious Thing that preyed upon his joy, his geniality, his contentment, that fed upon his well-being, his laughter, and vomited misery and woe in their stead. This Thing that aims to destroy him, that will not capitulate until even the ephemeral glimpse of the man I once loved beyond reason is extinguished; drowned in the pain of memories, the inability to recapture past emotions, the helplessness, the wretched aching void, the horror of It's merciless grasp, the relentless battering in pursuit of every last shred of hope.
I will not passively acquiesce to the temptation; will not submit to the seductive siren song of blessed freedom drawing me away, calling me to surrender, to meekly accept the obliteration of his soul. Love holds me; it tethers me. Indelibly inscribed at my nape by his once strong, capable hands, the symbols burn, a permanent reminder. Endure Forever. Love binds me, and I will endure.