A Long Happy Marriage...
As I'm getting the house ready for its new family I have hired people to do some of the things you would have. It's been OK. They have all been lovely and things are getting done. For me there is an odd mix of emotions. In some ways I am eager to get out of here, this precious space, our home. It is heavy for me now. At the beginning my security blanket, it’s now a prison. When you were here this house was our oasis, and even after your accident it was one of the places I felt the least raw. But over time what was protecting me, is now holding me hostage, stuck between the life I thought would be, and the life that is. You are everywhere. So I am also dreading leaving. Fuck. like I can't win.
Going through all our things, taking only what belongs to my new life. You know how we would put whatever we no longer wanted at the end of the driveway? Well our neighbors have gotten some sweet shit lately. Your snowboard, skates, and all our scuba diving gear. Your tennis and badminton racket, some small appliances, and all my Christmas decorations. There is no way I could give it to anyone we knew, and yet seeing the casualness that it is picked with breaks my heart.
This is really going to be a thing. Starting over at 30, having aged a lifetime in only one year.
The other day someone came to cut the trees. He was inside as I was writing his check, and I noticed him looking at the photos on the wall in the entrance. Then he said, ‘ You and your husband are destined for a long happy marriage.’
I looked up, met his gaze and he continued, ‘my wife and I are 37 years. Not many people have pictures of themselves kissing, but that's something you want to keep around.’ He went on, ‘ I go in many homes and most people's photos are staged and stuffy, but that right there is real love.’
My body tensed as a shield and my exhale quiet as his comment took my breath away. Like a virus that I have dealt with before, my defenses are quick these days, on high alert. Ready to protect me at any moment. Still, I looked at his kind face and felt his words as true. I think, if things were different we would have. There was no need to tell him, why break his heart too? Some people deserve to keep the dream.
Those photos aren't coming with me. I have two, two pictures of us that I will put up, but the rest I must leave behind. I must start to separate from the life that was. I fucking hate it, going through the last of our stuff has been tearing me apart. But I know this is where my new life will start.
Babes, my grandma passed away on the weekend. Mom told me that the day before, while she was in the hospital, she hadn't said much for a few days and was not very alert. But she started thrashing around in what they thought was her sleep and she appeared to be arguing with someone. She kept saying Ronnie. Her husband's name. He died 30 years ago and grandma almost never talked about him. But there, in the moments just before she left, she spoke to him. Was he calling her? Was he with her? Is it possible? Will you come get me when it's my time? Are you with me now?
Who knows. But of all the things and names for her to say...her love from 30 years ago? Right after your death I felt like the lines between alive and dead may not be as clear as we are taught. I have wondered about that ever since. Maybe in the crossover I'll get to be with you again. I will do all these hard things to ensure my life here isn't stagnant. I will really live the time I have, so that I have some epic stories for you when you come for me!
As I leave most of the physical reminders of us behind, I hold your essence so tightly. Please keep checking in on me, but trust that I'm ok, sad and missing you like crazy, but ok. Babers, it's time for you to go play. I expect some epic stories of your own. Loving you.