Hope for the new year

I have a lot of hope for the new year. I’m choosing to focus on the positive and to believe that things will be good this year.

In truth, last year was pretty good, too, despite all the weirdness and disruption the Covid virus caused. My husband was declared cancer-free and started a great new job. We were both fortunate enough to continue working through the pandemic. I know that in that regard, we were very lucky indeed.

This year, my middle son will finally start college and my youngest will go away to college, too. My oldest daughter is likely to move out later this year as well. Hopefully, once vaccination for Covid becomes more widespread, maybe my husband and I can return to going out for date nights again. Maybe someday again we can go to concerts. I miss having that kind of fun.

Yet there’s still a reminder that my husband’s not always going to be here and I will be very lonely without him. I want to do all the things we find enjoyable to do together while we still can, which may be one of the worst things about the whole pandemic. It’s stolen a lot of those opportunities from us.

I was honestly making a conscious effort to try not to dwell on the fact that he’s going to die. But yesterday, after he put the Christmas tree back in the attic, he mentioned his plan for this year is to get everything out of the attic and bring it down to the garage, go through it, getting rid of the stuff we don’t use and haven’t missed. We’ll just empty the attic completely.

His reason for wanting to get that job done this year is because he knows that I couldn’t climb up there and do it myself. The kids may not be able to either. It probably sounds silly but that’s one small thing I’m really going to miss about him. (Wow, just typing those words brought tears to my eyes. I really don’t want to think about life without him here, let alone acknowledge the reality that it’s going to happen.)

He’s always been my source of strength, both literally and figuratively. He both gets hard shit done that I can’t do, and he is also my ever-present source of emotional support. I can tell him anything and he actually listens, even if I’m talking about things that don’t particularly matter to him. He doesn’t make me feel judged or weird. Quite simply, he’s my entire world, probably to an unhealthy degree. Losing him will be like losing a major part of myself, and I don’t believe the bond we have can ever be replaced.

But I have faith that I’m not going to lose him this year. That’s where we’re at now: not able to foresee far into the future because we don’t know how long he’ll be here. What we can do is make the most of the time we do have. The pandemic really impacts the ability to go out and have fun but hopefully that will start to change later this year.

For now, it’s also time to prepare. I learned today that it can take many months to collect on a spouse’s life insurance after they die, which makes it all the more imperative that we build up a sizable emergency fund. And yes, also to get the junk out of our attic while he’s still alive and healthy.

It’s beyond terrible that I have to lose him at all. I can’t overstate that enough. But at least we are given the gift of time. I think this year is one in which we have to be mindful of time, of moments little and big, and challenge ourselves to really use them wisely.

8 Comments

  1. Remember that time you didn’t ask me for my advice and I gave it anyway? Oh, wait, it’s now.

    As somebody who has read your entries for a long time, you sounded much better in 2020 than you did in 2019. It’s OK that the world as a whole had a rougher time in 2020 but you had an easier time. In many ways, 2020 was the best year of my life. Sorry world, but it’s the truth. You sound healthier now than at any other time than I’ve read your entries.

    The only thing I’d urge you to do is not live in a constant state of waiting for hubby to die. He will. Maybe in a month, maybe in a year, maybe in 10 years. So will you. And your kids. And me. And everyone you’ve ever met. You may go first, you may go last, you may go together or we all may go together. Don’t live in a state of waiting for the sand to run out of the hourglass. You never know when it will…you just know that it will. Yeah, hubby came too close for comfort, but he’s pulled back and isn’t on the edge anymore. You can pull back too. You need to pull back.

    You should clean the attic because it’s a mess, not because he’s still healthy enough. You should go on vacation once we’re allowed not because it could be his last but because vacations are nice. You’ve always had this gift of time, but you just haven’t appreciated it. Don’t over-appreciate it and live with it as the topmost thing in your mind. Imagine a world where you…gasp…get back to where you were before this all happened.

    Statistically, sure, you’ll probably lose him before any of you go. But he could outlive you all. Try thinking in these terms in 2021. We’re all just one hijacked plane, drunk driver speeding down our street or stray comet away from being done on this journey, but we don’t dwell on it. I think your 2021 is going to be even better than 2020 if you let it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry it took me so long to reply! I didn’t see this before. Gosh, getting better about reading my notifications has to be one of my goals for 2019. 😊

      Thank you for telling me I sounded healthier in 2020 than in 2019. When you’re living inside your own head, sometimes that can be hard to tell. I’m glad to hear that 2020 was one of the best years of your life, too!

      And of course, you’re right. I can’t spend the rest of my life waiting for my hubby to die. A stage IV cancer diagnosis is scary for sure because the oncologists always warn you that it will come back. But they don’t know when that will happen any more than we do. It’s been difficult not to see it as lurking just around the corner.

      Thanks for the needed reminder not to dwell on it too much. Yes, I came much too close to losing him, but he’s still here. Maybe I should just let out my breath a little.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW, this was a very emotional and powerful piece Holly. I am glad your husband is cancer-free and hope it stays that way. I hope you and him can both get the vaccine soon and be able to do the fun things y’all both enjoy. I will tell you this, I miss concerts as well because I love the music and the fun time it always is. My husband works for the hospital system where we live and he got the first dose of the vaccine today. I am hoping that because of my lack of immune system I will be able to get it as well. No one seems to understand how dangerous this virus is and even some people in my family doesn’t understand that it would be my death sentence. You know I have deep feelings towards you and am honored to call you a friend. You helped me a lot with my writing desires and I appreciate that. You my dear are an inspiring and strong person, please never forget that!!!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, Alyssa! (And I’m sorry it took me so long to respond to this!) I’m glad your husband got the vaccine and I really hope that you can get it soon too! This virus is so scary. I am so honored that you consider me a friend! It’s completely mutual and your positivity is always so powerful!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are more than welcome. There is no need to apologize, I know you have a busy life. This virus is stressing me to the max and I am afraid it is going to be a long time before I will be able to get the vaccine. The healthcare in the states is awful and the president isn’t helping things at all. Take care and please stay safe sweetie!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You could not be more right! Healthcare in the states is awful. I am so sick of all the BS in the states. I hope I will be able to as well, but hope you will too! Even once we get the vaccine, it is still important to stay safe by wearing a mask!

        Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s