The other half

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Indulge me please. This is a love letter.

Robin,

I planned dinner and a movie. Instead, you got to sit up with me waiting for the ambulance. I was the one on the floor, squirming. You got to visit me early the next morning, where a doctor explained how a new spinal tumour has  cracked  a vertebrae. So it goes, being married to one of the cancerous.

Just over six years ago, I promised to love you, make you laugh and grow old with you. I meant every word. We have had fun, travelled, built a household and created an affectionate, funny, mischievous  little boy.

You also got some things you did not sign on for. I am often cranky or tired, depending on my chemo schedule. We have lost some things financially, and we’ve added an asterisk to each of our dreams (*should not extend beyond three months at a time. )

Those are just the concrete things. I know you have fears you hold close to your chest. You don’t talk about it much, but I’m sure they’re there. You did not sign on to become a widow in your 40s or to raise Will on your own. Maybe you worry about being lonely. I know that if things don’t go well for me, I don’t have to stick around for the consequences. You have the harder job.

Please know that I am not worried about you. I see how you juggle multiple clients and contracts. I watch you engage people with your warmth, humour and curiosity. I watch you care for a young boy, an aging dog and a sick husband. Above all, I see how gleefully you play with Will, making crafts, lining up toy trains, tickling him. Those moments tell me Will’s future is secure.

As was so evident this week, you are the glue, the rock, the load-bearing bridge (Women love to be compared to infrastructure.) You make what we are going through so much easier.

I wish I could promise you a lifetime of fun. I do promise to give you that in heaps, for as long as I can. After that, you will have memories to make you smile, and a son who will make you laugh. (“I’m Will. I tell jokes about poop.”)

Thank you for absolutely everything.

And Happy Birthday!

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