Like every married couple, my husbandand I didn’t insure eye-to-eye on everysinglething.
One thing we agreed to disagree on was the best way to die. He considered the way my Dad died nothing short of wonderful and thought the style his Dad died sucked.
It goes without saying that dying sucks no matter the circumstances, but there was always this ongoing debate as to whether it was preferable to know in advance that you were going to die, so that you could bid proper farewells to your loved ones or merely “peace-out on-the-fly” as my sweetie set it in his hippie vernacular.
I would often get annoyed with him after my Dad died because he would say,
“Oh Man! Your Dad would’ve loved the way he died! He genuinely went out in style! ”
My Dad died from a massive coronary at the age of 63, one July afternoon in 2001, after playing 18 pits of golf while eating a bowl of seafood gumbo at lunch with my mother — quite literally the three greatest passions of his life.
I always regretted that I did not expect my Dad to die so young and never truly got a chance to wrap things up, so to speak. To say a proper goodbye.
Unfortunately, my hubby’s father wasted away from illness before the very eyes of his loved ones. While Jimmy always agreed there was indeed opportunity for “closure, ” it was awfully painful to witness the suffering involved.
I know I’m selfish that I’m so hurt God took my Jimmy when and how He did. I guess he was God’s Jimmy and not my Jimmy. But, I know he would never have wanted to be taken from us so soon.
At just 54, we had far too many unrealized dreams. I know he wanted to float that last baby girl down the aisle. And he wanted to finish raising his sons. He wanted to see more grandchildren born.
Nonetheless, it’s actually left me with a lot of unfinished business as I’m sure Y’all might imagine.
I lie awake every night and I wonder if I was actually a good spouse. I wonder — if I had a crystal ball and I knew that he was going to die so young, would I have doubled down in some key marital areas? For instance:
-He would’ve taken me out to eat every night, but I said “no.” I was always on a diet.
-He would’ve done the hokey-pokey every night. I never said “no, ” but sometimes I wore actually, really ugly pajamas on purpose.
-He liked to travel, but I complained that it induced me motion sick.
You get the picture.
So, the other night I did what any crazy widow — not entirely in her right mind would do — I started scrolling through all of our old texts. I was trying to analyze what kind of wife I was.
I feel like I’m losing view. Was I nice? Was I loving? Did I build him happy? Did I “do him well all the days of his life” like Proverbs 31 said I was supposed to?
Maybe our old texts would give me a clue…
I came across the following text and took consolation in the fact that I was schlepping around out there one day trying to get my human some sinus medication — because we all know it’s kind’ve a pain in the arse. You have to show your ID so they know you’re not operating a meth lab.
But, then I found this one. And it was painfully obvious that he was better to me than I was to him. Not that it was a contest or anything, but gosh…
I is important to recognize I was somewhat fostered when I stumbled across this little gem, however…
It’s fairly stinkin’ endearing and I think it speaks volumes about the depths of our devotion that he guessed I was going to ferret out a recipe for something called “babaganoush” and make it for him. I’m not sure where he was or who he was with on the 17th of January, but how cute is that? It kind’ve built my heart sing. Notice my response?
I don’t know if I was running for the cookbook or Epicurean.com, but what I suppose matters here and what I’m choosing to focus on, is that he believed I was going to make this concoction.
I can’t remember the last time I did anything meaningful with squash. But perhaps I was going to build that stuff — you really never know with a person like me. I’m full of astounds and super loving, as evidenced by the sinus medication effort.
Sometimes I tell myself I shouldn’t have let mychildren’sfather ride that motorcycle — to the degree a spouse actually lets her husband do something. But I do know he loved me so much he wouldn’t have ridden if I had really pressed the matter.
But, like my Dad, he definitely died doing something he passionately loved. So, all that’s left for me is a lot of time to scroll around for evidence that I loved him like I was gonna lose him…