This is in response to Karen at the Corruption’s post.
Generally a post about the temporary nature of things makes me sad, but this one didn’t. I like the idea of acknowledging and celebrating the temporary nature of things, people, relationships.. all of it.
When my father died last year I thought about this alot as we went through his things. An entire lifetime boiled down to me, my cousin and my uncle sorting through boxes and planning a bonfire wake. I took the most precious things with me on the plane and mailed a few too, but I couldn’t help but think about who would go through my boxes of stuff and sort through my life, and how little some of the treasures I brought back with me would mean.
I could picture someone holding up my fathers rusty old spurs from his 1960’s Rodeo days. They would have no idea that they represented the adventures of a renaissance man who ran away for a few years to ride bull and broncho or the years he entertained his daughter with those stories. They speak a little about the kind of person my father was. I could picture them in a landfill and it made me sad. But that’s what always happens. We don’t walk around in in piles of stuff from the 1600’s.
I was laying last night with Great Date, on our sides and facing each other. We were giddy, kissing, touching, laughing. I was studying the lines and curves of his face. I was thinking of how fleeting this generally is, the salad days. People get busy and watch TV and do household chores. We don’t lay nose to nose studying each other enough sometimes. We lose that.
I was thinking of a fellow blogger’s comment and how she wondered if maybe I had taken my husband for granted and made him feel bad as I fell in love with Great Date and dated Traveler. (I’m paraphrasing mightily). It bothered me. Had I given up too soon?
When all of this started and I began dating, and Hubby began dating Roller Girl, at first we talked more than we had in years. We almost never watched TV anymore. I had all these little ways I realized I had previously taken Hubby for granted. I remembered shopping for sexy underwear and realizing I hadn’t bought or worn sexy things for Hubby in nearly a decade. It was awful to me that I’d so taken him for granted.
I bought some stuff to wear only with him. I started bringing home fancy popcorn and white chocolate and spicy things because he likes that stuff. I sent him sexy pics to his phone and called him at work to talk dirty. I spent more time really looking at and really listening to him. As he fell in love with Roller Girl I was there supporting him. It was scary for us to date again and fall in love again after all this time together. It brought up old insecurities and old stuff. We were closer than ever for a while.
Then it started to shift. He was on the phone every night until the moment we went to sleep. I asked and asked and asked him for time and then figured it was just new relationship energy and it will pass and I shouldn’t needle him. He started driving an hour and a half to her house, even on our date nights if he had any opportunity. We fought about it a lot. He felt like I was threatening his new relationship and making too many demands of him, so I stepped back. I tried asking and then demanding, cajoling and even going through Roller Girl, who was so supportive. Nothing worked.
I wanted to believe that maybe I did just ignore Hubby or mess up, and that maybe I could fix it and make amends, because if it’s me then it’s mine to fix. But you know.. I really didn’t. I talked last week to the counselor about this in our marriage counseling. She told me that I have to stop trying to manage his feelings and trying to avoid upsetting him and trying to own his feelings or fix them. I want the way he is to be my fault, but it’s not. Me wishing it or a blog reader saying it is doesn’t make it different. Hubby and I really might work this out or we might not and I can’t control it. I can’t own it.
And here’s the thing. I can’t make Hubby and I be forever, no matter how much I want it. I can’t make Great Date and I stay giddy. I can’t make Roller Girl and Hubby last forever and keep him happy. I can’t make my father come back and tell me more stories about those spurs and I can’t make people not throw all of his treasures and mine in the trash some day. His spurs and my paintings and Hubby’s popcorn maker and Traveler’s passport and Great Date’s music equipment will all be trash someday and all forgotten. Life is impermanent.. all of it.
That’s not really a dark thing. It’s.. I wish I knew another word for it.. precious. In the span of human time or even my lifetime, 12 years might not be forever but it’s significant none-the-less. I can’t ever erase the things I learned from Hubby or the love I gave him and that he gave me. I can’t ever untangle his influence or he mine. You do not share the things we have and call that meaningless. We may find our way through this and we may not. I will try my damnedest to do my part of this but I can only control my part.
We’re temporary either way.. if we divorce tomorrow or die of old old old old old old age at the very same moment. All of it is temporary and fleeting and precious. For now, I’m cherishing those spurs and I’m trying to do what I can in my situation with Hubby. I’m soaking up moments with Great Date and enjoying the hugs of Roller Girl. I’ve got a date tonight with Traveler and I better get going. I don’t want to miss a thing.