Those old people, the adults in my life. The ones in charge.
They always seemed so confident, so capable, so unafraid.
Answering questions, managing home, paying bills, making sure I made it to adulthood
alive and as safely as possible.
Then, as I aged, they became those older adults, not really very old but sort of like the wrinkled ones. You could see it coming in them. A crease around the eyes that wasn’t there before. A few more strands of gray that weren’t there yesterday. Bits of evidence here and there.
I wonder how they felt.
Not yet old, but on the doorstep of aging.
Not yet wrinkled or frail, but barely peeking in through the window of aging decline.
How did they feel?
Just before the door opened and they were swept in to the old house where those with white hair, trembling limbs and a certain number of years all must eventually reside.
How did they feel?
Just before the world stopped looking at them, stopped touching them, stopped noticing them.
Did they feel the way I do right now?
He left this morning, early, and was gone all day. I came home, his personal effects were gone. His place in the bathroom vacant, empty, hollow. It hurt. For so many reasons it hurt.
I thought we had something.
I thought we were building something together.
I was investing my life, my self, my heart because I really thought we had something, and not just any something, but something good, something that could go the distance.
He returned home this evening, mentioning he will be gone tomorrow. He let drop the news that he’d interviewed for a job two hours away. How long has he been planning this move, I wondered? What else is going on that you aren’t telling me. I voiced my questions aloud and received only unconvincing answers which confirmed my worst fears. He’s been planning this ending for a while. When he was going to let me in on it, I have no idea. Maybe he was going to write me a letter and leave it on his pillow. Or maybe I’d just figure it out when I returned home from work one day to find all his things cleared out.
Tonight I’m in pain, because this new revelation that he’s actually been planning to leave me for some time is news I cannot bear. How do you live with someone you know loves you, allow them to pay your bills, feed, you, house you, and all the while you are planning the cruelest sort of reciprocation: instead of “I love you” it’s “Good-bye.”
I do not understand this.
Worse, I have no idea when this change occurred in him. I just sensed things were amiss, I addressed it, and he’s gone. He was merely biding his time looking for an out.
I thought we were good together.
Apparently, he didn’t agree, and I missed all the clues, until now.
I am a fool to have cared. I am a fool to have trusted. I am a fool to have believed.
Tonight I pay for my foolishness with tears. Tonight I cry.
The stress and lack of sleep and lack of exercise, but mostly the lack of sleep lately and the stress, weakened my germ fighting abilities. Early last week, I got sick. I lost my voice. Continued to work, which is tough to do in my job, but there were Important and Stressful Events going on so I pushed through it. This last weekend was my first complete weekend home and all the kids were gone to their respective other homes. My body must have sensed this, somehow, because I ended up in bed with a pretty severe head cold…which I think…turned into the flu.
This has not been fun.
Of course, now, when I most need rest, I cannot get it. Even with decongestants and cold medicine my head is so stuffed up I can’t breath and my body hurts so badly I cannot get comfortable enough. I merely pretend to sleep. Then I get frustrated and come down here and write. If I don’t write, I’m tossing and turning all night long trying to find that elusive comfortable position in which I can both breath and not have my body screaming at me. There are many things that keep me up at night; add sickness to the list.
In reality, it is the other things that keep me up at night that contributed to weakening my immunity. Things like money, relationships, the kids, the ex’s, worries about the future. The same old stuff. These concerns haunt me, stalk me, never leave me. I’ve just made a monumental move at a time of year that is probably the most stressful for me. The only other time I could think of that would be worse, is Christmas, which is exactly why I chose to move now. Christmas was the next option. I knew it would be a push. I figured it would be worth it. I pushed. I pushed hard. I collapsed.
Now…too congested and in pain to sleep…I think and worry.
I worry about the upcoming pay cuts which will come through on my check this next paycheck.
I worry about the gas I’m now spending with the increase in transporting children around. Maybe I can offset this by walking or riding my bike to work?
I worry (wonder?) about the relationship I’m currently in. This could be topic for a whole host of future posts.
I worry about my kids. I worry about financing Christmas. I worry about my job. I worry about how long my car will hold up. I worry about the fact that I still have money left on my flexible spending account and, yet, nothing I can deduct or get reimbursed. I worry about aging…and death.
I try not to. I do. But in the back of my mind all the “what if’s” lurk and stalk and wait to pounce until nights like tonight when I’m wide awake once again.