Friday, March 23, 2012

Forever - However Long That May Be

I've been trying to write a post for several weeks now.

First, it was going to be a post about how our various endeavors have caused months of us being occupied in solitary pursuits and less togetherness than we normally would like.

Then, it was going to be a post about our first anniversary.

However, the day before our first anniversary, tragedy struck for an online friend of mine. His wife died suddenly. I was devastated for him - they had one of those marriages, just so close and happy. He is only a few years older than I am, and hearing the news struck very close to home for me. You know that of course, anyone could be gone in an instant, but you push that thought as far back in your mind as you can. You have to; no one's sanity could withstand having that at the forefront of your thoughts every day.

But after hearing that news, Morgan and I looked at each other and saw what we really are ... terrifyingly fragile life forms. He said, "I couldn't imagine losing you." I said, "I couldn't imagine losing you, either." But the reality of life is that one of us will most likely be left behind, though hopefully at least it will be after many more years together. (The other alternative is that we're together, struck by a meteorite slamming into the earth. That would be okay.)

I suppose this is where I should probably say something about how we've resolved never to say a word in anger to each other, and to never go to bed angry, and to never part company without saying "I love you," but as lovely as that would be, it's just not realistic. We try to be kind to each other, we try to be patient and understanding, but we are only human. It is a fine goal to aspire to, I suppose, but getting back to what I said about living with those thoughts at the top of your mind - it's a little bit paranoid, too. Luckily, a relationship isn't made up of only one last moment. It's made up of many moments and decisions, large and small.

A small story: One evening in August of 1991, I called my parents (they were living with my Nonna at the time) and talked to them. My dad said, "Do you want to talk to Nonna?" and I replied, "No, that's okay. I'll talk to her next time."

You know the end of this story, don't you?

Well, you're right. She died before there could be a "next time." I felt bad for quite a while, but eventually I realized that the things people tell you in a situation like that to make you feel better are really true. It doesn't matter that I didn't talk to her on that particular night; she knew from a lifetime of conversations and time together that I loved her. I was a 19-year-old kid; thinking about the possibility of someone not being there wasn't really part of my decision-making process. So I don't feel bad about it anymore. I don't regret it, because I know in the end it doesn't matter at all.

How that pertains to my relationship with Morgan: it's not an excuse to be thoughtless, but it is a sort of pre-forgiveness for our own humanity. We're less than perfect, but that's okay.

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