Monday, March 16

I Miss You Already

I can't ask him, because he is asleep.

I spent a gorgeous Spring Break Monday off with my new husband. We shambled about: gardens, shops, restaurants, our yard. Ours. We chatted together, and chatted with friends. We talked to his sister in Kansas City. But when he fell asleep, I found that there was more to say, more to know, more to learn.

I can't ask him. He's asleep.

I was single for 41 years. Plenty of singleness; I lived an entire beautiful lifetime with all its joys and fractured moments. It was glorious, and it was mine.

When I got engaged, the strangest thing happened. It had not happened in my single life.

I got scared that I would die.

I got scared that he would die.

A little nagging part of my cerebellum had changed. I had never been scared to die before.

I love life with him so very much.

Three weeks before we got engaged, one of my very favorite "dad-away-from-Dad" people died. His widow: a dear friend.

It is sobering to get engaged in the face of a happy couple's bereavement.

He is asleep.

The truth of the matter is that he will die. And I will die.

It has bothered me--I've realized how little privacy I have now as compared to a few short months ago. He sees the little foibles and humiliating moments that I had heretofore obscured from everyone else's eyes. He sees the bad; he hopefully also sees the good. He sees it all.

We're not friends anymore (though we started that way). We're not dating.

Today, I started to tell him a story about a speaker that I had recently heard. Then I realized... he heard the speaker as well.

I knew that being married is giving someone your heart and praying to God that they are kind to it. Loving. Responsible.

But only now am I beginning to understand that being married is vesting someone else with the pith and marrow of who you are. Not just your heart, but your experiences.

Being married is intentionally inviting someone inside to share most of your memories.

But someday, he will die. I will die. Asleep.

The other one will be left, not able to ask.

I always thought the phrase, "I miss you already!" was much too saccharine. Insincere. Overwrought.

Maybe it's due to getting married in middle age instead of at the beginning, but

I miss you already.

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties and one day
Passed away in his sleep,
And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days, and passed away

I'm sorry I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong,

That I know I am the luckiest...
The luckiest.

~Ben Folds

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