Since it is back to school season, Patrick is at our new home working and I am still at our home-home finishing up my last bit of Rad Onc before going off-service. So, I am having what is our millionth episode of intermittent long distance in the last year.
The whole thing is kind of a glimpse at what life is like if I were single. I mean, sure I still talk to him every night and we text through the day and such, but during the week, I am spouse-less.
I wake up alone. And cold. Because I need a Patrick in bed with me to make sure I continue to maintain my body temperature. I don’t loiter in bed as long because I have no one to cuddle with (I know, disgusting). My getting ready for work routine is unchanged because Patrick is never conscious in the morning anyway). Oh, except there is nobody to demand me to eat in the morning. I have been eating. But, Patrick reminds me to eat like Mrs. Claus on the old Claymation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie.
Work is unchanging, of course. Because work and spouse don’t go together. Unless one has a work spouse. I do not.
After work, I come home to an empty house. I make supper for myself. Although I get super excited to make things that Patrick normally wouldn’t eat (like white sauce and spicy food), I still miss him when I cook. I have a problem with making enough food to feed a family. And I love leftovers. But, when I cook for myself alone, I wind up with enough for days sometimes. And one can only eat so much chickpea curry before it gets tiresome.
He isn’t around to cart me places. Or tell stories to at random. Or watch TV with. I can’t randomly break out in song (well, I can, but it isn’t as entertaining as when there is someone to cause and/or encourage the randomness).
And, at night, there is nobody to tuck me in. Or log roll me when I roll to the wrong side of the bed (wait… I don’t mind that part so much).
All in all, it is lonely. Even though I am enjoying my alone time and my food and having reign over the bed.
I don’t miss being single. I never really have. I do miss having a cleaner house (boys are messy). And sometimes I miss only having one family to visit (but then again, I would never have gained a whole other family). But, there is something about sharing a life with someone that is truly advantageous.
I was never really the sort that wanted to get married and such. I was fine with whatever happened. But, now I can’t go back.
A few weeks ago, we were driving in the car and I was serenading Patrick with Adele (in a rather sarcastic fashion). He was laughing (because nobody sounds pretty when they try to sing Adele). I asked him what would he do without me. He wasn’t sure.
When you start to spend what you think is the rest of your life with a person, it becomes routine to be together. I feel like we are already broaching some old married couple tendencies and we have only been married for a few years. Despite our having to be apart for work and such fairly frequently, it still feels strange to be apart. Although, at the same time, we are veritable pros at it by this point.
Working in the Oncology department, you see a lot of people who are pretty alone in this life going through pretty difficult things. Some of them had someone. Or they have never really been close to anyone. Or their people are far away. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to deal with difficult treatments, scary news and all sorts of things alone.
There are others with excellent supports. Family, spouses, friends who would give anything to care for their loved ones. People that have been together and supporting one another for years. People with supports often do better.
The thing is, if something happens, and the person dies… Those supports, the ones who care and want to do everything are left alone. Not completely alone. They still have the others in their lives. But, they have a new void. That piece of their life that is gone.
It makes me grateful for what I have. I may be without my spouse for a few days or weeks at a time. But, it is nothing compared to not seeing one another again in our earthly lives. I feel sad when I am waiting for one of us to have to leave again in the imminent future. I can’t imagine being the wife of the man with metastatic lung cancer, I am sure the fear and anticipation is even stronger, but so is the enjoyment of the small victories and little moments.
We are built for relationships. God made us that way. Look at Genesis…God made Adam and then Eve… Partners. He made Marriage. So, I guess it makes sense that a spousal relationship is so important. God made us to depend on one another and to love one another. It helps us to get through all kinds of things. Even if we are in different places from time to time.
The beauty part is that even when we are physically alone, our spouses are still there for us. And even when we are seemingly completely alone… God is still there for us.