When a Headache Alarms Me

I picked the wrong pillow. Yeah, that’s why a pounding headache pulled me out of sleep. I tossed the pillow and fluffed up the one flattened underneath and settled back in. But the pounding like a tom-tom wouldn’t relinquish its rhythm. I laid on one side then the other, and for a minute on my back waiting for release. Nothing. Monday, 5:30am, and I guess waking and walking with headache was as good as tossing and turning with one.

I put some water to boil for a pour-over and drank a glass of water. Lack of hydration was probably the culprit as much as the pillow. In any case, I knew my usual sit-down with God was going to be distracted by the back of my head acting like a clanging cymbal.

My office was more disheveled than usual and served as an apropos metaphor for the ache in my head. I couldn’t find my glasses, and for a minute couldn’t find God. The pain seemed like a fire-wall stunting my ability to give or receive. I sat. I waited for the thrumming to ease up. I waited for God to do something about it.

Then they came. Words. Words in the back of my mind, right above the pounding. Jerry, your family is your family. What? No kidding. Of course. Thanks for the obvious. Be still now. Your family is your family.

So I sat. Here I sit now, fingers on the keys while the Great Muse above waits. It saddens me to think I need to be told. I’d rather be reading some intellectual gruel. I’d rather be forming a poem out of the pickup sticks of my life. To home in on my family is tough. “How’s the family?” Ah, that loaded question that brings pause. I think of Beirut. I think of “Whack a Mole” at Chuckie Cheese’s. I think of all the brokenness we brought into our lives. I think of why I don’t write about the issues that slurry around this compound we call Casa. Maybe it’s time to let it out and let people in on what goes on in this house of adoption. At least to journal more about my family who is my family.

For now, the headache has subsided. I think the ache migrated to my heart. To feel it, like my “boots on the ground hero-wife”. It’s what she needs and what my family, who is my family, needs.

What do you think? Are you an adoptive parent? Should I air some laundry, clothes pin it with candor and realistic, cathartic, therapeutic, and thinly sliced hope? Should I let it dry out in the wind of bloggery?

Barbara and I have been discussing writing about our journey. Shall I begin here?