Everyone: Carl. Carl: Everyone. So there, now you've met. The last few weeks have been full of big changes for us. We've bought a new home, he moved into my house for a few weeks during the remodel of the new house, and now we've moved into our house together. The wedding is still a few months away, but well into the planning stages. Holy cow we have a lot going on!
I've had a tough few weeks - work has been crazy (as usual) and with the move, my personal life has been hectic as well. I think the busy-ness has kept me from really listening to my inner voice, and in the rare moments of quiet I find myself feeling oddly emotional and trying to find the source. I'd call it sad because I sometimes cry, but I finally realized a few days ago that it isn't sadness at all. At first I wondered if it was grief and some new unexplained wave of agony over Daniel. But it's not. I've found myself touching Carl's chest after he's asleep, making sure he's real. I sometimes get weepy watching him quietly breathe and I've been trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me. After some soul searching and probing at the hurt spot I realized something shocking. It isn't sadness from grief, although it's related; this weird emotional state I'm in is fear: gut wrenching, heart stopping fear.
I know I don't have to explain to you what the fear is about. Some of you are probably trying to figure out why I'm doing this at all. I've stepped back into the land of not knowing. You know, that place we were before our spouses died? That place where you had no idea what was around the corner? Only this time? This time I know that death is out there. This time I'm not going to say "til death us do part" and smile an innocent smile - imagining our matching rocking chairs well into our 90's...
This time, this time I'm not sure I won't burst into tears, knowing in excruciating detail the meaning of the words. This time I know what I'm saying and how painful the dissolution of a marriage can be. I'll still hopefully imagine the rocking chairs (yes, I still have hope or I wouldn't be doing this would I???), but I have a less happy alternate ending in my head too. I don't like the thought of it, but it is there nonetheless.
I've made Carl promise that I get to die first. In good humor he has accepted this challenge - and reassured me that he's always felt he'll live to be 90.
(so funny, in previewing this before I posted I realized that CARL is also a four-letter word - just for clarity - FEAR is the word I'm referencing. HA!)