Monday, March 8, 2010

Stopping to Hold the Roses

Sometimes I forget just how much I take things for granted . . . how quickly my life could be altered forever with a mere whisp of change. I sometimes forget how easily my "normal" could be shifted. All it takes sometimes is a small occurrence -- a mere blurb on the grand scale of time. I am often telling myself how I should be more grateful, and not just in saying it every so often, but showing it, living it, breathing it. So often while I pray I tell God how sorry I am for not appreciating all the things I've been given. How I'm an ungrateful little cretin. And then . . . I do what human nature calls me to do . . . I forget again.

It's not that I mean to be unappreciative. I don't think anyone means to be that way. It's just normal. It's normal to get caught up in our daily to-do's, lists, stress, etc. I think we're just wired that way. It's not an excuse, just a reason. It's arguable how good of a reason it is.

And I'll be honest, sometimes I really am not grateful . . . sometimes I don't feel that there is anything to be grateful about. When I feel upset about the cards I'm dealt, whether it is from my own poor choices, or from powers out of my control, I don't feel as if I have been treated fairly. I feel cheated, shoved around, trampled on, and disrespected. What is there to be thankful for then? Why should I be counting my blessings then? And then I realize that I may not be treated fairly at these times, but aren't I also not treated "fairly" during times that are good? When everything is going well did I do something to cause the positive results? Or are they simply from powers out of my control? There may be times when the sun is shining down upon me, and I didn't't really deserve it.

My cousin lost her husband to cancer two months ago. It was obvious how much they loved each other and how much they each fit into the other, like worn-in comfortable jeans. I know a lot of people that have lost their spouses and significant others. And each time it happens I'm jolted into the reality that I am not immune to the stain of loss. I have been fortunate to not have lost any of my immediate family or my spouse. Most people probably are not so lucky. I know that that day will come and I find myself thinking about it more and more, the older I get. Sometimes I lay in bed feeling a panic sieze my muscles, dread and sadness cover me in cold, heavy, suffocating blankets. I imagine what life would be like losing one of the people that I love most. I become overwhelmed, scared, depressed, and lost. And that's when I have to stop myself from continuing those thoughts.

But most of the time I don't think about it. Most of the time I go about my day, blissfully unaware of the horrific possibilities that exist all around. Most of the time I feel invincible . . . I'm too young; that won't happen to me any time soon. But it can. And while I shouldn't live in that fear, I should acknowledge and respect that.

I've thought about what it would be like to lose Kevin. What would I do without my husband? How would I cope? How could my heart mend from such a loss? How would I get out of bed, wash my face, walk the dog, eat Cream of Wheat, or watch the nightly news without him by my side, or without knowing that he is nearby? I've told him many times that if he goes first I'll be right behind him. There are so many couples that I have heard about that when one dies, the other passes very shortly afterwards. I tell Kevin that I will be like that. I will follow close behind because I don't want to be here without him.

I don't know how I'd react . . . no one ever truly knows until the time comes. Maybe I'd be a lot stronger than I think. Perhaps I would surprise myself.

I do know that I don't want to go any amount of time forgetting how lucky I am to be with him. How lucky I am that I found my kindred spirit -- someone that is truly the same person at the core as me. It would be a shame to forget that. It would be a shame to have not told him that enough.

Kevin is beyond my capabilities to articulate. He makes everything better and he makes me better. He has offered love of the most true and unconditional kind. He has never restrained love for my less than lovely parts and he has not sqaundered the love that I have given him. We both know that, though neither of us believe in the idea that there is only one person meant for an individual, there is certainly no one better out there for either of us than who we already have. We both know that no one else would "get" us better. And we both know even if all of that were false, it wouldn't matter, because we would still choose each other.

How can you replace laughing at all of the same parts of movies or shows -- the parts that no one else seems to notice or think is funny? How can you replace sharing the bond of inner children, feeling like we grew up together even though we only met when we were 20 and 23? How can you replace the struggles we have endured together and the ways we've made each other grow?

If I do lose him first, I don't think I could ever remarry. For me, To be alone with only memories of him is better than being with someone, that is not him. He is my everything and there is no greater love that I could have for him . . . well, not until tomorrow anyway. Thank you Kevin, for being you . . . for loving me.

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