"Don't go anywhere because I love you too much..."
My husband whispered into my ear as he was climbing into bed. I had been asleep for a few hours at this point and was woken by his words just enough to process, mumble a quick response, "where would I go because I love you too?" and start to drift back to sleep. However, just before I slipped back into slumber a feeling of dread and sadness filled my heart. Before I could figure out why those words made my heart break, my thoughts were lost to sleep.
A few days later my husband and I found ourselves sitting on the front stoop with glasses of wine. The night air carried the perfect feeling of spring, the neighborhood was quiet with slumber, and we were discussing the events of the day gone by. There was a quiet lull in conversation and I tipped my head back to see thousands of stars dancing above us. Even after all these years the stars seem to surprise me with their glaring presence in the city. Just as I was about to comment on the beauty of the night sky my husband uttered those same words he did the other night,
"Please don't go anywhere. I love you so much."
My heart filled with that same sinking dread it had the other night as I responded. "where would I go? My life is here with you and Kaylee." But even as I was said the words I knew what he meant. I knew it all too well.
"But you are going to die and I don't want you to leave me."
And there is was, the reason for my dread and his desire to ask me to stay despite knowing that it was a promise I was sure to break.
"I am doing everything in my power to stay here as long as possible"
"Just give me 20 more years."
And the thought of twenty more years stretched ahead of me felt overwhelming and impossible. Look how much my lungs have been destroyed by this disease in the past 30 years, how would I ever survive another 20? 52 years old, still so young to the average person, and yet I couldn't imagine how this broken body could make it to such an age. But when you love someone so much that hurting them hurts you even more, you sometimes are willing to tell small lies.
"I think I can do twenty." The problem when you love someone so much and that love is reciprocated they know when you lie. He knew. I turned to him, thinking of my mother in her in 50s and how youthful she still was,
"You will only be 50, still so young."
"But I won't age well," he said with a smirk, "so everyone will think I am 70, at least!" It is a running joke we have, that we will age so very horribly. And I guess when I put it in writing it isn't funny at all and yet it always leaves us with tears in our eyes from laughter.
And somehow all that sadness that enveloped us under that night sky seemed to be washed away in laughter and talking about how horribly wrinkly and old my poor husband will be at the age of 50. Through all our years together sadness and fear often weaves itself into the lives were are creating together and yet it has made our bond stronger knowing our days may be limited and that the future is always uncertain.