Two summers ago, in between chemo treatments, Stephen and I (and Amelia since she was only 10 months old and, thusly, still nursing) went to Des Moines, two hours away. He was even feeling good enough to drive some. We got a hotel room. Wandered the mall. Ate. And ate. And ate some more.
It was our fifth anniversary. Today? Is our seventh.
Last year I was reeling. The tears came in fits and starts. Somebody, anonymously, sent me flowers. The kids were a wreck. My house was wreck. At one point in the morning I locked myself in my room and cried. And then cried some more. I sent the girls off to Robyn’s house for the day. I cleaned and took a nap. I cried alone. I blogged and told our story.
I look at that wedding photo all the time. I remember his fingertips on my chin, lifting it to meet his lips. I’d have that moment all over again, a million times over.
And then this thought creeps in: knowing what I know now, if I could go back, would I do it all over again? Really? Would I?
It’s no use trying to answer that question. It’s like asking if you should have taken a coffee break instead of cutting off your finger at the band saw. Why in the world would a person subject themselves to that kind of pain? Would anyone, knowing the outcome?
I know, I know. I have these two beautiful, funny, smart and creative little girls. They make me laugh every day. You know, when I let go from the thought that I just have so much to do. And that there’s no end. It’s like a really bad movie and you think it’s over and then it just keeps freaking going. Story. Over. Roll the credits.
There have been moments, right before I fall asleep, where I imagine what it felt like being held by him. Like leaned up against the kitchen sink, moment of sanity in the domestic chaos kind of holding. What his neck smelled like after a day at work. How he would shower at night and then come to bed, still practically dripping with his boxers sticking to his ass. And then had the nerve to try and touch! me!
So that’s what I miss. That’s what I am missing this week. The upping of the meds (a Godsend, let me just put that out there) has left any residual, um, scratch? That needed itching? Yeah, that’s gone. God bless Lexapro. Took care of that nuisance. I’m sure that next week it will be something else.
Oh, and I also miss having someone appreciate my meals. These kids are killing me. I try something truly delicious tonight and they picked at it. I suppose if I could have found a way to either bread it and fry it or turn it into a sandwich they would have gobbled it up. Or not. Whatever. It was still good. And I’ll be eating the leftovers for a week. (hint: It’s good cold too)
No tears today. No poorly handled moments. Just our usual Monday: playing, chores, Library, visiting friends. Any other day.
But I do miss him. Ella is a negotiator by nature (not sure where she got that) and I think she’s been negotiating with God. She’s been asking for just one day. One hour. Trading possessions for her dad.
I know how she feels.
Would I do it again? Knowing what I know now?
Is it bad if I can’t answer that? Definitively? With any kind of conviction? Without any what ifs?
Because I can’t. Answer.