Today's word is TRY.
There will come a time, when your spouse is slipping from this life, down the weeks and months and perhaps years, that your paths will start to diverge.
You'll be in the workforce, involved with church, involved with family, and if you have kids of school age, involved with their activities, while your spouse is turning inward.
The turn inward comes both from the battle with a terminal illness, but as things progress to the point where one has to leave the workforce, cut back on travel, cut back on social engagements...he or she is going to be finding a different paradigm to make the rest of their life worthwhile, or at least bearable, and it is likely to be quite different from yours.
So try to remember.
Try to remember the times you shared, the fun you had, and the challenges that brought you along the road to today. Pull up the memories, open the scrapbooks, sit down on the sofa and talk about them.
And try to remember why you married this person in the first place, why you pledged your life and your heart, till death do the two of you part...at least for a little while.
Try with intention, because sometimes the remembering will be hard. I am very different from the man Barbara married; in trying to make sense of this, in trying to put something horrible into a positive context, I've slipped away from what I was.
Would she have married the man I am now (well, if I was like this, but not sick)? Hard to say, and I'll never ask.
But she has to try to remember the man I was in the wedding pictures on the living room wall.
You're doing it for your spouse, yes, to stay connected, to give him or her the sense of being loved in a continuity...that's something you owe, part of the vow you made.
But you're also doing it for the you that will be...after.
The you that will be going on alone, leaving a memory frozen in emotional aspic. If you turn away from the memories now, while they can still be touched, while they still have warm blood in their veins, you'll be killing a part of yourself; killing the validity of years of your own life, because if you say goodbye from a distance that's already become great...
...it's a tearless goodbye.
And you, dear reader, deserve better.
This was a tough one. How'd I do?
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