March 25, 2014

At the Heart of My Journey

In the post I wrote last week about finding ME and shedding the bulk of my insecurities, there was something I didn't mention.

One of the things that helped spur me on to getting to this place.

I might have thought of it while I was writing that post, but felt uncertain about voicing it.

It might come across as macabre.

It's not as if I haven't talked about it before.

It's just....

I try so hard in my daily life not to dwell on the idea that my husband could leave me a widow due to his myriad health problems, so the longer I can go without mentioning it on the blog, the better I guess I think I'm doing with it....?

I don't know. The truth is, The thought crosses my mind daily. Sometimes it's fleeting and I shrug it off easily. Other times it sucker punches me straight in the gut and I literally have to catch my breath.

photo credit: dlemieux via photopin cc

It's a fine line I feel like I'm walking ever since Mark's arrhythmia two years ago: finding myself and becoming stronger, without pulling away from my husband. While I think I've come to a logical conclusion based on past events that I will outlive him, I never want to start acting like -- or treat him like -- he's already gone.

Mark himself has expressed that he often feels like people are just waiting for him to die, failing to see that he's still right here, trying to live his life to the fullest that he's able to. His wife can't make him feel that way. I don't want to.

I love him and want him here for absolutely as long as possible. He could be for quite some time still. We just don't know. That uncertainty is very frustrating and scary. It makes me angry and sad sometimes that this is something I can't shake, that I think about on some level every single day of my life.

So this is what I left out of that other post: that the potential loss of my spouse is one of the things that has helped motivate me to get right with myself. To figure out what really matters to me, to feel like I'm awesome all on my own.

Because in the event of Mark's death, I will NEED to know that. My kids will need to be able to look to me and see someone who's got this. Camryn and AJ need a strong and capable mom. If they lose their dad, I will have to be able to hold them up, but I won't be very good at it if I'm not already holding myself up.

It's akin to the instructions you get on an airplane about the oxygen masks. What do they always tell us? To place the mask over our own nose and mouth before our children's.

I'm speaking as someone who has been shown the very real possibility of losing her husband. However, I think even for those who don't worry about losing their spouse every day, it is a good idea to get to a place where you feel like you could handle life on your own if you had to.

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