Math Problems

May 1, 2006

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I’ve been told than when many people go to a “dark place” in their minds, it’s based on a core fear or horrible experience they’ve had. The healthier ones don’t do this very often (I’m told.)

Well, I fight it off, but sometimes the dark place comes to find me and I just have to be in it for a little while. It usually shows up after a little mental math. Let me explain.

Husband is 51 years old and I am 35. When we were dating, he was turning forty and I was, well, much, much younger as well. Because there were children involved, we took things very slowly and had all the right discussions well ahead of time. It was the responsible thing to do. And we did it.

I knew what the math meant for our life together, but I sometimes had no way of putting into perspective. Only once did my dad ask me to put it in perspective to make sure I knew what I was signing up for in the long haul. I only squirmed a little bit, so, I figured it was okay.

While we were dating and in the early parts of our marriage, we spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with Husband’s ex-wife and mother of OldestDaughter and ArtsyDaughter. It was a very difficult situation that included court testimony, counseling for many, calls to the authorities, many kinds of abuse and more court testimony. This basically meant our marriage was almost solely focused on “battle” and “protecting the kids” than, well, marriage. I even put off having The Swimmy until we got through the brunt of it because I was not going to bring a child into that mess. It was a good decision for us and ultimately for The Swimmy.

But, this delay, while smart, delayed a lot of other things as well and now Husband will be 51 with a newborn and I will be just about 36. And I can say that every now and then this scares the shit out of me.

Essentially I fear The Swimmy (and soon Wiggly) will end up with no parents and little family around them way too early in life. While the thought of ever losing Husband is devastating, I know that we will move through the pain and carry on the best we can. Husband would say the same thing if the situation were reversed.

What I never factored in was if both of us were gone. This episode my mom is going through is causing my head to spin off in many, many ways. I have a horrible medical history on my side of the family and it has occurred to me that it won’t be so much WHEN I get cancer, but WHAT KIND. Or maybe it’s both. Who knows?

I always knew part of my role as wife is “caregiver” in such a situation involving Husband (like my dad is doing with my mom right now). But I never considered it might be me who needs care. And what if it’s just me by then? How will I deal with that burden and keep the kids’ lives relatively stable? Is that even possible?

Some have asked if I would ever remarry if something tragic happened to Husband while I was still “young”. No. I wouldn’t even consider it until after the kids are 18 and in college. It’s too much to ask the kids to deal with and there are too many issues involved in step-parenting. Better to get them “raised” and to “adulthood” before focusing on any major changes in my life. Of this I am certain.

There was a point here somewhere, but I think I lost it. Kind of par for the course in my head these days. Know what helps, though? An awesome combination of a Swimmy hug / snuggle and swift kick on the inside from Wiggly that makes her giggle with surprise and glee.

You can’t stay in a dark place for long with Swimmy giggles floating around. They’re magical.

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6 Responses to “Math Problems”

  1. jen Says:

    All I can say is love and live. Take it one day at a time..that is all you can do.
    My Mom and Dad were only 7 years apart, my Mom being the older of them.
    My Mom never dreamt that she would go through what she did. My Dads troubles all started when he was only 45 years old. He barely made it past 60…
    You just never know what life is going to throw at you, and if you spend too much time contemplating, you miss out on NOW…
    You guys will all be fine..remember…Swimmy giggles are magical!!
    :O)

  2. Em Says:

    Jen is right … love blindly and live with your eyes wide open … actually, I’ve never been a big fan of blind love … but it sounded oK when I typed it.
    On second thought, let me start over …
    Now is such a tremendous time in your life! You and Hubby and kids are finally over the “battle” that was the beginning of your marriage, so just hang on tight while it’s all smooth sailing.
    Of course you already knew this stuff … but I understand that sometimes we all get totally freaked out … and it’s understandable with all that is happening (major change) in the lives of you and your family.
    Hang in there,
    Much love,
    Em

  3. HaelHazel Says:

    You can’t second guess any decision that you make and change the outcome. The only thing you can do is to live your life to the fullest and be the best person you can be whether it be a spouse, parent, child, friend or sibling.

  4. Tina Says:

    When you are 46 and 49 and have a 2-year-old, and all of your relatives are old or nutty or both, you live in this dark dark place wondering what if what if. We’ve made a will to the best of our ability and that is all we can do. Oh yeah, and we pray. A lot. When Sean is my age I will be in my 90s if I’m still around. I’m 46 and I still need my mom, so that thought is too frightening to rest upon for very long. All that to say, that dark place, is my vacation home.

  5. Jet Says:

    Being Old (39), and FAT with 3 children under the age of 12, a job that just let’s say I have mixed feelings about, in a city that I hate,and minus any immediate family (all deceased) keeps me in a pretty dark place most of the time. I speak about death and dying all the time. So much to the point that one day my mid-son(9) says, “Mom, Just Live, Just Live and get over yourself”. What could I say to that? So, take you know who’s advice…. And, besides that… You have a life that most people would give their eye teeth for. Have your darkness and then wake the h*** up and ride your wonderful ride of life.

  6. bill Says:

    If the Grim Reaper would give you that calendar of your life, and the lives of your loved ones would you look at it?
    We are fortunate now and our charges benefit from us in the present moment. Plan for the future, fine, but focus on the moment because that’s where you all are.
    You are such a wonderful and giving person, my friend, mete it out slowly or you’ll swamp us all in joy. We can only take so much at once!