The Camel's Back

Ed Keegan, my father-in-law, after a 2 month hospital stay and a 10 day hospice stay, died January 5, 2013 at 7:11 PM.  My wife, Kathleen Marie Keegan Kellers, and I along with Gene Somma, a deacon at St Michaels church, were with him when the end came.  What was the end for Ed, became other beginnings for his family and one last trip on the merry-go-round for me.

I wasn't angry or astonished when I came home from work on Monday night and realized, once again, that my wife --Ed's daughter-- drank herself into some sort of organizational delusion and through that drunken fog was planning how the family would advance towards the funeral and the next  two days.  I've been angry many times before.  I even used to be astonished at some of the scary circumstances that would arise while she was too drunk to deal with anything --her work, our children, our life together... anything.  This time, though, as I was about to get angry, I felt a slight cracking sensation at the back of my neck; my load-bearing ability had been breached.

My anger wasn't gone; it was demoted.  In the second that I realized what was happening, again, would never not happen again, I also realized that this was the last trip around that merry-go-round I could ever take.  I don't not love my wife and I don't have plans to run off with some other woman --I may not ever get over _this_ woman.  In the second that it took that straw to fall firmly on my back, I realized that I just can't do it anymore.  

I can't put up with or gloss over those drunk and deluded nights any longer.  My drunk-tank needle is pointing way past FULL.  I used to be able to cope by thinking to myself that I'm no picnic at times, either, and that marriages are unequal gives and takes.  There is no scorekeeping in a marriage: but the timekeeping has run out.  It isn't like I don't want to talk to her about it, but,  those fruitless conversations sailed on sinking ships years ago.  I can't even speak a word to her and I don't have much to say to anyone else.  I have no appetite for food or drink and about the only thing I can do to relieve some of my grief about another ending happening so quickly after Ed's, is to go outside and run for miles.

I'm afraid to find out what happens next. 


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