It has been a long time since I had the leisure to browse the blogs and enjoy the language of others. Today I was sorting a lot of details out as one must when separating the Us into the You and Me.
I looked at the convenient feed and that of the Red Haired Wonder poked at me – and her following advice served as a timely reminder. “You can’t control fate, but you can make choices. You can continue your day and do nothing, standing in brooding and irretrievable calculation as if casting in a game already lost. Or you can seize the moment, the days, wringing every last drop from them.”
I tend to melancholy and pessimism. That is why he was such a good foil for me with his eternal optimism and general good nature. I never did dwell in the depths for long. But his buoyancy will float away as I hold to the pieces of the rickety raft called my life.
As the We turns into Me I find myself mellowing in the stages of grief, noting them as they come and trying to let them wash over like riffles and not a tidal surge. Nothing to swamp me, not enough to drown. But that stiffness at the back of the nose and the prickle of tears forming can feel like drowning. Then it becomes familiar and you can let it rise and fall with only a swipe or two to prevent the notice by others.
It would be easy to destroy everything I see as I have been – the need to rip the small trees from the ground was strong. He planted them. For us. For this perfect place. But the trees didn’t cause this. But some things were thrown into the trash bin – the heart-shaped box full of the language of love – that was cast in with the other waste. The ceramic plate crafted by a friend whose own mid-life crisis we jeered at – those anniversary dates no longer needed. And today I started on the photos – moving some to the Delete Later folder created for that very thing. Out of sight until I can bear to see them without the pain and regret.
A friend noted this is like chemotherapy – necessary, you feel terrible, and you may never quite recover but you aren’t dying. A stasis, of sorts, and a bargaining with life. I admit there was a shock – one of the few moments of anger flaring – when I told him that the last time I went through this I nearly ate my gun, that this time the thought of his profiting from the insurance policy felt like the one thing holding my hand back. His callous, “I can change the beneficiary” response was a bucket of cold water in my face. My God – it really was all a lie. No Captain America, that – no, and it was good that I knew it. In that moment I knew I’d been so utterly wrong for 11 years and how stupid could I have been to not see it.
Strangely, I’d had a dream a few months ago in which he stood there quite callously as I learned that I was to be kicked out, with nothing, no plans, no hope, as he stood there just smirking in the face of my howling pain. It was so stark that I actually mentioned it and I wonder now if he thought in that moment how I could have figured it out. Well, life is funny that way, preparing me for the shock before it came.
It is amicable enough – assurances made of a roof and insurance until I can get a job, though my skills are 3 years stale. A promise that the 401k I gutted for the house would be repaid. It is all I will have to tide me over, after all. We – I – counted on his military and DPS retirement. Well, now someone else can – and good luck to them because who knows if he will change his mind there, too.
I try to not wish her ill, hold back the easy curses, avoiding candles and mirrors lest the temptation be too much. She deserves much. But the thing is cyclical and one has to find it…worthy of it wending its way back. Instead, I choose moments. Live Here, breathe Here. Don’t look to far down the road – there is no light there, not yet. But in this moment here you have warmth and air. Don’t denigrate its value.
Ah, words – I have missed them. Who knows how prolific they will be once there is no need for 3 meals, 2 dogs, and endless cleaning. Anything could happen. Absolutely anything.