Some personal mottoes:
Panic now, ask questions later.
Why settle for feeling depressed when you could feel anxious AND depressed?
Stress: It’s what’s for dinner. And breakfast. And lunch. And brunch (don’t forget about brunch now).
These aren’t really personal mottoes in that I didn’t choose them…
They chose me.
If Reader’s Digest was ever going to condense the Bible, they could get away with one sentence. “Don’t be afraid.” Scripture repeats this over and over. It calls to mind a teacher patiently drilling a second grade class through the multiplication tables. They’re slow-witted, but practice makes perfect the Lord thinks to himself. It’s not hopeless. In my case I still forget sometimes what 9×12 is and I still haven’t learned to not be afraid.
I have been thinking more about “what it means to be married.” I have been thinking about what it’s like when marriages end.
A good marriage ends only in death.
When I think about being separated from D… or D being separated from me, it makes my heart hurt. I don’t know how I could live with the pain and the longing and the missing.
When I think about dying before him, it’s worse. I can’t stand to think of him grieving and suffering – and me, not able to comfort and console him! Not able to hold him and be held by him. Would heaven be heaven without him?
I shouldn’t say that, good Catholic that I want to be. The presence of God is what makes heaven, heaven. I know that and the difference between the Ascension and the Assumption and the Annunciation and the Immaculate Conception. And how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
It’s terrible to wonder about. Yet it is inevitable. One day, one of us will go. The other will be left (a little while? A long while?).
I’m lying around in the house on West Clifton Boulevard, thinking about everything that will happen one day.
I run to D, crying. “What’s wrong?” he says in that loving, I-will-make-it-better-because-I-am-a-snuggly-bear way.
“I miss you!” He gives me a funny look because after all, he’s right there.
I miss you already, I should have said.
Perhaps I’m strange. Perhaps I’m the only newlywed who thinks about these things. I’m 26 and most people don’t think about the end at 26. What a crazy thing it is to open yourself up to love. You’re guaranteed to get your heart broken. But it’s worth it, I think.
The cliche is true. The parting is sorrowful, but the parting is sweet… because of the sorrow. I’m enough of a woman to know the value of really wringing your heart out with grief and misery every once in a while. I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to feel bad sometimes.
And I know the parting is
not that tragic, it’s just for a little while. Or do I? Maybe if my faith was stronger it wouldn’t hurt so badly. I have faith, of course. But do I really believe?
I fear. That’s what I do. D is fearless and I admire that about him. I hope that marriage will help me absorb some of that, as though we could become not only one flesh but one soul…
Faith and fear can not exist in the same heart for long; one will soon drive out the other. I know which one I want to win.
Christ, deliver me.