We, my husband and I, have crossed the threshold from young and invincible to aging and merely mortal.
I’ve been preparing myself (for at least a decade) for the end of me, whereby I have an invitation only bon voyage with the velvet rope and a doorman. I have read my voluminous, advance directive to my husband until his eyes glazed over. I’ve coerced a bevy of doctors to support my wish to die, with dignity, on my own terms. I have researched ways to make my retreat according to my schedule; covered everything from helium to bulletts to pharmaceuticals to hasten an otherwise graceless end.
I had never made a plan for life without my husband. I’ve made several plans, involving frying pans and oars, to help him gently “into that good night” but, as with so many other things in our life, I just assumed he would take direction from me when it was time for us to depart- together.
We had a humbling scare. We’ve traipsed through doctors’ offices, had consultations, where my husband has been poked, prodded and explored in a manner most undignified. We held on tight and we got through. All of the things we hoped for in this amazing alliance, the things we hold dear in our extraordinarily vocal union, have never been more evident.
I will not be making a plan for life without my husband. My husband is my life; in spite of his many flaws, he is my favorite person in the universe. Knowing him has made me a better, more tolerant, human being. It is my hope that we will live long enough for me to return the favor.
Until that time, far off in the distant future, some things have changed around here. Routines are better suited to my vision of our life. A few patterns have remained obstinately ingrained, bad habits that refuse to be corrected. Luckily, we’ve been given an opportunity to continue practicing until we get it right.