They found the brain tumor shortly before her 32 birthday and she died before her 33rd. He mourned. He was angry. Angry with her for dying. Angry at the doctors and chemo and everything they had done to save her. None of it mattered. He was angry with her for dying.
They had been together for eight years. They had a son. She left them alone. Alone. Alone to deal with the world. Sadness. Life went on and she wouldn’t be there, ever again.
He avoided dealing with her “stuff.” Her closet was still full of clothes and shoes. That dress that was “too small” but he loved. Shoes that were “impossible to walk in” but incited his libido.
And, in the back of her closet, were her journals.
During the time they were married he never would have considered reading her journals. They were her private thoughts. Her dreams. Her fears. They were the “real” her.
But now she was dead. The word destroyed him. Never again. Never again would they have anything. Not good nor bad. Just never.
Never plagued him.
After months, he was ready. Ready to read her private thoughts. More than ready. He wanted to know her most intimate thoughts. He wanted to know how she really felt – about him, about their son.
So he read.
He started at the beginning. She was 17. Crushes on boys. Fears about her future. Concerns about algebra.
He skipped to their relationship. “Does he really like me?” “What is he thinking?” Then, “he said he loves me” and “he proposed!”
He cried. He missed her. He wanted to join her, but their son…
Finally, he skipped to her last entries:
“I know you will read this. I loved you always. I will love you and Stephan always. I may be gone, but you will go on and you two will be the me I always wanted to be.”
Last weekend I spent with Waco, getting the plants and furniture redone for her deck. It was fun and exhausting for both of us. (Yes, that’s really a picture of her deck at the back of Suess House.)
Two weeks ago she had convinced me eventually getting married was a good plan for both of us, whether to each other or not. This past weekend we talked about what we would want in a marriage and how that would even work.
Today, while Waco is in Texas for her daughter’s wedding, I’m thinking through it more.
I’ve seen a bunch of different “types” or marriage. I’m sure you have too. Cold marriages. Sexy marriages. Friendship marriages. Corporate merger marriages. Dependent marriages. Convenient marriages. There are so many kinds.
I want partnership.
Partnership means many things. Mutual respect. Intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical intimacy. Trust. Shared goals. Willingly giving yourselves to each other even when it is hard.
Not having a plan B.
I’ve never had partnership before. I’m not even sure what it will look like, feel like.
But one step at a time, I plan to get there.