I am the Widow…
It’s not that it hits you all at once. I gather it depends on many things. The relationship. Your flaws. Their flaws, the ones you admit to witnessing. The ones they remind you in yours. The histories, or the lack thereof. Upon their death you are automatically transforming into a butterfly. That’s if you choose to be transformed to something anew. Or perhaps, something you wanted to be. Yet it couldn’t arrive, because of the extension of the bond of the partnership of marriage. It’s not always marriage, it’s the relationship. The depth, the width, the length and the breadth of it.
As you pass each day, each week, each month, ‘it’ changes. ‘It’, is the perspective of what it was to be in a relationship nearly forty years and married over thirty-six years. One that’s a commitment on both sides. It’s mutual. You stayed together. Sometimes you wondered why, when anyone else would’ve left, that your partner stayed. Staying through the toughest of times. Times many others would never, have never endured, neither experienced in a lifetime nor in a marriage.
As I have always been a deep thinker, tortured at times. I have pondered during marriage and then after the death of the marriage, ‘who would I have been? If not been married?’ I do know, I perhaps would not have lasted as long as I have on this earth. For I wanted to give all of me away in service. No matter what it took. It’s something a person is born with, I believe. Some may see it as a blessing, others don’t understand it.
I don’t always understand all the forms that giving of service takes. I know the one I wanted, the one I gave up, to live a better life. I took the better life. The longer life. The life of marriage and devotion. The freedom that came with it, because of who I was married to. Yes, that is what matters. It’s who you are married to, that may enrich your life. Them to yours and yours to theirs. That’s what the lesson is all about. The lesson of relationships. Close ones. He knew I couldn’t always be that close. He the romantic. Me the survivor, the fighter. That’s just how it was. And I dare not attempt to find that again, let alone I know it will not ever occur just that way, neither do I desire it to.
His innocence exhumed. It was a consuming mystery to me. I was from one side of the tracks, he from the other, the better side. As much as I revealed the ugly side of mine, figuring he’d run away. He embraced it. He embraced it probably because I wanted to heal it. I wanted to fix it. You can’t fix it all, and he knew it, but he never said it. And so, there it lay. There were new arrivals of ‘Ahhh Haaa’ moments about it, my unfixables in our years of dedication. So, they lay there. Tortured, yet unmoveable.
Its not that it didn’t bother him. Oh, it did. He did express it, but he knew I either held it at bay not to fix it, or that I actually couldn’t. For if I tried, my survival of fight would not. It was how I survived. Knowing the enemy and not engaging, that is how I win battles and arguments in life. That is called, ‘the compromise’. It’s something you do in marriage to make it work. ---Jody-Lynn Reicher