“The light spread until the patch of Dark Thing had vanished, and there was only a gentle shining, and through the shining came the stars, clear and pure.” Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
It was a week or so before Christmas, and I was at the bookstore. Lights twinkling, couples bundled up and headed to their cars, coffee cups in hand. They were Christmas shopping, worried only about the items on their list, wrapping gifts, going home to Christmas trees and family dinners and everyday life.
I was buying books for my husband to take to rehab with him. We weren’t sure if there would be a bed available for him, or what the night or the next day or the next week would bring. Forget Christmas. Forget wrapping presents. I didn’t even know if we would be spending the holiday together. Even taking it one day at a time, at this point, was too much. I was taking it moment by moment. In that moment, the task at hand: Buy books for M. The next task, get him in the car. The next, get him to the hospital. The goal: Detox. We had to get the poison out. “It’s the first step,” I told him. “The only first step. The only way back to yourself. To me, to us.”
I bought “A Wrinkle in Time,” not knowing the impact it would have on him. Not remembering that quote about light, and the fight between light and darkness. I didn’t realize then, and neither did he, that light and dark would become such huge metaphors in our everyday lives. After all that – a year and a half of falling apart, the last two and a half months of everything crashing down around us, and now, sitting in my kitchen, my son m. sleeping upstairs, my husband M. back at the hospital taking classes as a part of his recovery program, “The Wrinkle in Time” boxed set sitting on the table across from me – it’s become that simple. Light versus dark. The light shines on. There is hope. We are broken, but we are still us, and we are still together, and the light shines on as we slowly pick up the pieces.
But. I’m so fucking scared.