Today is hard. My litany of complaints is no different than anyone else's. The specifics might vary, but it's the same old stuff: I'm tired, I'm worried about my job, I continue to fret about Maddie's behavior, I wish that Riley weren't chronically constipated, I fear that my condo will never sell, I'm stressed about getting ready for our Florida trip (even though I'm seriously excited for the trip itself).
Oh, and I miss John.
Something made me think of wedding anniversaries last night. I don't remember what. The milestone dates since John's death have generally not been any harder for me than other days since he died, but our anniversary is the exception to that. There's of course no guarantee that if John had been healthy, we would have stayed married for years and years and years. Everyone wants to believe that theirs is the marriage for the ages. My feeling that John and I would have been that doting, still-in-love-after-fifty-plus-years-together couple is the same feeling that everyone else has when they first get married.
But I never got to find out. I never got to have that unfold. In fact, I never got to experience the regular old ups and downs of married life because three weeks after we tied the knot, John got his terminal diagnosis. I wrote our thank-you notes in the chemo ward. I remember sitting on the couch in our apartment the day after John got his diagnosis, looking down at my still-near-perfect wedding pedicure and thinking, "The paint on my toenails isn't even chipped yet. How can this be happening?" So trivial and silly, but true.
And yet things do happen and they did happen and so our entire marriage was cancer this and chemo that and MRIs here and CTs there and tumor markers and acupuncture. It was also love and support and caring of the highest order, because like any major stress in life, what John and I went through was the kind of thing that either brings you as close together as two people can be or completely drives you apart. Clearly, it brought us together, which just solidifies my feeling that we would have celebrated many years of joy and sorrow together if that had been the hand that we'd been dealt.
What this means for me is that my lack of an anniversary brings up a lot of bitterness for me, and I get unbearably, irrationally jealous of people who are celebrating any anniversaries, but especially milestone anniversaries: 5, 10, 20, 25, more years. I want to be celebrating like that. Wedding anniversaries turn me into a bitter, grief-bloated shrew. Not that today is even my anniversary! Or a friend's anniversary (that I know of; if it is: happy anniversary)! It's just on my mind, for whatever reason.
My dad's arrival tonight will make things easier. My dad is great. He is probably the best listener I know. He is completely without judgment and always supportive and encouraging. It will be extra-great to have his help on the trip down to Florida on Friday. Of course, I have trip concerns, too; my grandmother, who is 90 (!) and lives in an assisted living facility in Tampa, has had in the past few days a sudden onset of memory issues. She's having trouble, for example, remembering basic things like what floor her apartment is on. I'm so glad we planned this trip so that she will get to see the twins and we will all get to see her but it could be a difficult trip.
For now, though, on with the day, grateful for the catharsis of the blog.