It’s funny how life can sometimes force you to look at your life and all the choices you’ve made up to this point.
I am a firm believer that once you reach a certain age, your character is pretty much set in stone. Oh, you can learn to be more open, less manipulative, even train your brain to think differently but the soul is pretty much set.
I have had the same values since I was in my late 20’s to early 30’s. Before then, I was like a sheet of plywood a drift in the river. Tossing and turning, flipping from this view to the next. Then at some point, I found my footing and that’s where I’ve been ever since.
Julie is still being quiet about her breast cancer. (Hell, I may as well call it what it is!) I’m not pushing the topic. I know that she is processing this, just as I am. Her mind is probably racing with thoughts of how this will affect us, her career, school, family, her energy level, her appearance…the list goes on and on. I’m just trying to keep my shit together so my wife doesn’t feel the need to be unnecessarily brave because I’m falling apart.
I’m in New Mexico and the long flights have taught me that time is not my friend when I’m trying to keep my mind preoccupied.
Today’s flight was filled with me trying to read geotechnical data and then realizing I wasn’t absorbing a thing, then trying to read a completely mindless book about the zombie apocalypse and having to reread the same page over and over. Finally, I gave in and just let my mind settle on the course it had set for itself.
What I discovered was that it didn’t wander to the place I thought it would.
I expected to be bombarded with images of my beautiful wife during radiation and chemo treatments. No hair, thin and frail. Her bright, beautiful blue eyes dimmed and dulled.
Instead I found myself realizing that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now.
I’ve talked about my ex’s and the relationships we’ve had. Some good, some bad, some indifferent. They all started out the same. We met, we were attracted, we began a relationship, we became disillusioned with each other.
With Julie it was different. I knew her as a child, a teen, a young adult. I missed out on the years in between when she hit her point of becoming the person she is today, but there is a history that can’t be overlooked.
I am willing to do whatever is necessary to help her through this. I’ll delegate more responsibility at work, travel less, allow the occasional ass chewing that won’t be related to anything other than her own fear and I’ll hold her hand. In short, I will take care of my wife and every need she has. I will do it grateful that I have the opportunity to do so. Happy that I am able to be the rock that she will need to get through this.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m expecting bad days when I feel overwhelmed but my mind told me one basic truth today; you have never been with another woman that you would give yourself to, unconditionally.
My last partner would have probably approached something like this from a spiritual perspective. Finding comfort from God and her family. Considering it didn’t take long for me to begin to resent her in our relationship, I’d probably find caring for her to be a chore that o tackled out of obligation rather than love.
Yes, that’s a shit thing to say but it’s true.
My partner before her, I would have taken on her care in a way that would have been approached from an attitude of indifference. She was slowly killing herself with drugs and alcohol so to help her through the struggles of cancer would have probably been a relief. At least cancer isn’t “her fault”.
Why am I writing all this down? Because I’m about to begin what could possibly be the hardest and most painful journey of my life.
I’m not trying to minimize what Julie is going through and will experience, but I can’t speak to her perspective.
This blog is and always has been for me. To dump the crap that builds up in my head so that I don’t have live with thoughts left unspoken.
My wife has cancer. We don’t yet know exactly how severe but I am not going anywhere anytime soon!