This was a homework journal assignment I have decided to share.
It is Valentine’s week. My husband has been very attentive with multiple cards given throughout this week, culminating with chocolates and the “big” card on the day itself. This has been his way ever since he proposed to me 25 years ago on Valentine’s Day (he says he proposed on Valentine’s to redeem all the “sucky” ones he had before).
I love my husband, but I confess I look at our relationship differently this year. Early this week we were faced with the unexpected death of a friend who is younger than us. Under 50, married for over 20 years, and the father of two teen-age girls – it seems more than we can grasp. I have been reminded by the stark reality of death that none of us are assured of tomorrow. While I grieve for his girls, my heart goes to his wife. I can’t imagine being in her place. I am sure that she lived with the same assumption that most of us have. That we will have years together with our spouses, that we’ll face separation by death when we are old, wrinkled, and tired. We all know it’s a possibility, but we live as if it won’t happen to us.
Is it wrong to live that way? I don’t think so. The alternative would be to live in fear of loss. Living in anticipation of that possible loss robs us of the joy of living today. Life would be more about surviving each day instead of living each day. I know that for now I’ll be a little more attentive to my husband, I’ll appreciate our time together more, I’ll check to make sure we have plans for the unthinkable – but I also know it will probably settle back into our regular routine before too long.
That’s okay with me. That’s the life we have carved out together, and I will enjoy it without fear, without anticipation of what is inevitable at some point in our lives. I choose to live, not just survive.