We have waited for this day for so long. We left for Rochester, MN on July 15th and haven’t really been home since. We are so excited to finally be back with Rebecca and Caitlin and have our lives return to some semblance of normalcy. However, we do return with some trepidation. This time that Barbie and I have spent together has been extraordinary. We have been with each other all of the time, day and night. Some might think that this would drive us crazy and we would be craving our ‘own’ space. But it has been just the opposite. This is because, after 26 years of marriage, during this experience, our roles have changed so drastically. I have been dependant on Barbie for everything and this will slowly begin to change.
But we don’t want to go back to where we were. There have been some truly profound moments that have brought us to closeness reminiscent of courtship. On these occasions of quiet intimacy, the emotional range has vacillated from despair to exhilaration. These experiences have changed our relationship and each of us personally. The fear is that as we return home and to our responsibilities there that we will revert back to old habits. We don’t want to lose what we have learned.
Barbie asked me the other day, “Will you still spend time with me?” I knew exactly what she meant. Like so many married couples our lives were often controlled by our responsibilities and our leisure time often wasn’t passed in common interests. It is like we were dancing to different tunes.
The song has changed; and now we dance together. It will require a constant effort to maintain the harmony of that shared song to keep us in step with each other. We still have much to do. Soon we start treatment for amyloidosis; that is a big unknown. At some point we will both go back to work. But it is my commitment to Barbie to never lose what we have learned or fall back on complacent habits. I must always hear her song and avoid stepping on her toes.
We will find new ways to be together and make them habits in our lives. To do otherwise would diminish the magnitude and the memory of these powerful moments that we have mutually experienced.