What could have been and what is

I think about what could have been if it wasn’t for brain cancer.

Where would we be? How would we as a couple have fared? How would our relationship have grown and deepened? What do I miss?

It is easier to think about all the things I dont miss.

Smelly feet. Sweaty unwashed gym gear. Late nights drinking. Always the last man standing. Sport on the tv every night.

I loved and understood these parts of Mick but I rarely miss them!

On our wedding anniversary, I mourn the robust relationship with all its dimensions that we had established together. I am sad that we did not get to deepen it any further. I weep for the life we could have had and our dreams for a family which I am now raising on my own.

We had a relationship built on respect and trust. We loved each other faults and all.

We went in knowingly to our marriage – clear on the rough edges, the abrasive and difficult parts of each of us.

We loved each others families with all their quirks and idiosyncrasies.

We loved each others friends. The broad networks that we had established ourselves and together.

We respected and encouraged each other’s careers.

We respected and supported each other in pursuing our own interests and making time for ourselves. Yet we also enjoyed sharing in and seeing other aspects of life through each other’s perspectives, friends and passions.

We felt comfortable calling each other out on what was fair and what wasn’t. We were willing to listen to feedback from each other. We were reasonable. Sometimes it would take us a while to digest suggestions and observations but that was ok.  We were both independent, at times bloody minded but we listened and we had each others backs.

When Mick died our marriage ended. The wonderful elements of our relationship that we had established together were lost.

What I didn’t lose was the community of our parents, family and friends at our wedding who pledged to support our marriage. When tested, they supported us with tremendous love. They  continue to support me as Mick’s widow and to support our children – the product of our marriage. Not a week goes by when I don’t hear from someone checking in to see how the three of us going. I feel Mick’s presence in our lives through his friends and frequent visits from his parents.

Mick was a deep thinker. He was a big man with a big frame, a big laugh and a big heart. He wanted the best for everyone he loved – especially me.

He would know that my life now without him provides opportunities to re-think my values and priorities.

He would hope and want me to find another relationship with similar elements and values to our marriage but also encourage me to use the opportunity to build a relationship that suits my interests and passions now.

He would want me to be true to me and for my life to be enriched.

Whenever I glance at my eye catching engagement ring, which I still wear, I am grateful for the time we had together. I think of what he would say.  “You’ve got to keep living and loving Clare. It is the only way.”



Related post – Turning Point (Removing my Wedding Ring)

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