Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Yielding to the Inevitable

Dear John,
The wind is howling tonight. It's out of the northwest at 30 mph. The house is creaking and groaning and the satellite dish is out. The animals are jumping  at the noises the house makes. It would be a lovely night to snuggle under the flannel sheets with you.
I didn't have nightmares last night, because I was awake until 3:30 and got up at 6:30. Being off of Cymbalta is doing interesting things to my body. Last night it was the dreaded fibro itch. It woke me up four times in the first hour after I went to bed. So I yielded to the inevitable - I took Benadryl, and played on the laptop until the itching got better. It seems that fibro itch can prevent nightmares through sleep deprivation - who knew?
Tonight I've been meditating on inevitability. I remember one time, about five years ago, when you marveled at how much twenty-eight days of radiation had changed your life. Today I realized that from the point of that radiation, your early death was inevitable. At some point in those twenty-eight days the radiation reached a tipping point, an amount of damage that your body couldn't heal. We didn't know it, but your death was irrevocable from that day, set in motion, set in stone.
Standing Alone
I'm glad we didn't know it. I'm glad nobody knew it. Our years were happy because we didn't hear the footsteps right behind us. But now, as hindsight accompanies memory, there is a feeling of inexorable doom over our early years. I don't know how to explain it - it feels inevitable, inexorable, inescapable, a foreshadowing of tragedy, a pain for the future that is now part of the past for me. 
I know that you came to feel the inevitability, too. And you bent to it so gracefully. You never gave up, never quit trying. But there was a gracious yielding to what had been set so many years ago. I did no such thing. I fought tooth and nail, like a tiger defending her cubs. I defied some of the doctors and all of medical science. But then, I had more at stake than you did. You went home; I had to stay here alone. We always said it was easier to be the one leaving than the one left. And I was never very good at yielding gracefully anyway. I'm a defiant fighter. All my fighting gave you eight or nine more months. It's well worth that for me - they were special months to get to spend together. I don't know if it is worth it for you or not. But I have no what-ifs to live with, and I'm so thankful for that. I only wish I'd made meatloaf and mashed potatoes for you more often. That is my one regret.
Well, that's more than enough metaphysical meditation for one night! Suffice it to say that I love you, I miss you, and I do wish that Jen would let me dig on my side of the cemetery plot. I'm tired of standing alone under this tree, waiting.
Love you so, so much,

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