I spent the weekend with a very dear and longtime friend (as everyone in my blog has a nickname to protect their "identity", this person will be called LTF [long-time-friend]) and we got to spend time catching up...really catching up. Not that "so-how-are-the-kids-what's-been-going-on" catch up. The real serious type of catch up. The one where you get into how you feel about where you are in your life, how you and your spouse (if there is one) or significant other (if there is one) is doing or how you're doing without one. Not the elevator-answer-the-phone type of how you are - which, let's face it, when someone asks you how you are when they call you, or you meet them in an elevator, they aren't asking you how you "really" are, they are mostly asking if you are vertical and not bleeding.
But this type of visit wasn't designed as a "hey, let's just goof off" visit. This was a "get down to business and really discuss how things were going for both of us" visit. It had been a long time since we were together like this and I had plans to take advantage of it.
I can hear you wondering, 'So what? Meet your friend, catch up. Not clear what the big whop is'. Here's the big whop.
Aha wasn't there. He was watching his beloved Cubbies practice for the big leagues in Spring Training. Those of you who know him, know that most things don't come in front of the Cubbies and yes, that includes even when they are tremendously sucky (um, most of the time they are tremendously sucky, this year is shaping up the same way evidently).
So here I am with a chance to spend time with my friend.
What did we talk about?
Wow! Are we that close? That is soooooooooo none of your business.
Ha, ha, ha.....what would be the point of this post if I don't share it with you.
While I won't get into the details, this is the first time LTF and I have been able to talk at length about Aha's MS. How it impacts me, how it effects our marriage all of it. LTF said something very interesting. LTF said: "This isn't the bar-b-que you signed up for is it?"
You're probably thinking - 10 1/2 years in, now you're thinking you got a different bar-b-que?
The point I want to discuss is the bar-b-que itself. Is this the bar-b-que ANYONE signed up for? Think about it for a moment. Given your life, the way it's gone, is this what you pictured when you were 12? Any of it? Not me folks - not at all.
Life throws us onto the road, the road of life, and it's our job to navigate it. But many times, as my UA says, "life doesn't go the way you plan" (John Lennon also said, "life happens when you're making other plans" but I don't know and love John Lennon and I do know and love UA so he gets the shout out).
So what happens? You adjust. Right? You look at the road you're on and think (or in my case say - out loud) "Well, fuck, this isn't the way I thought things would go" and you get on the new road, adjust your view, your seatbelt and you're off to the races.
Of course, my crap isn't as easy as that. Right? It should have been a hint earlier in life....many signs I now see - in retro-freaking-spect.
What I explained to LTF is that my life isn't just "not the road I thought I'd be on" but I'm not even looking at a road any longer. Aha and I are sailing along, hitting turbulence and looking for the road to land on.
We've landed on something that I think might be a road - someday - but for today, it's not even a cleared path that Pa from Little House on the Prairie would drive his cart on. Aha and I are clearing the path.
How do you deal with being thrown into the air to land on something that isn't the road you thought you'd be on?
In real terms, what do you do when your job isn't what you thought it should be, you had kids/didn't have kids as you planned on, you married/didn't marry, your spouse/significant other turns out to have a disease and you are thrown into the role of caregiver for 30 years.
I don't know. You just do it. "When you've got a job to do, you do it well" as Paul McCartney said in Live and Let Die. I'm just doing it. I don't know any other way. I don't see any other option (look for different post on suicide thoughts). What I DO know is that I married the right guy. I married the guy I loved then and that I love now. I married the right guy at the right time in my life. I married the one that I jumped off the cliff with holding hands on our wedding day and we're still falling - but most importantly, we're still holding hands. I'd be married to him in a dumpster. No matter what I think of other people or how I feel when I see other people (even people who are in the good looking realm of Kevin Bacon - hey, don't judge, get your own crush) , even on really really really really really really really bad days, he's still the dude. He's still the one I want to wake up with and see and the one I want to go to sleep with and see last every day. He's the one I want to share my successes with and cry over my failures with. He's the one who will love me no matter what I do - succeed or not. He and I are in this together. THIS is the "for worse" part....remember that part of vows? The "for better or for worse" part? It's all fun and games during the "for better" part. What makes your marriage succeed is when you survive the "for worse" parts. And this is the "for-fucking-worse" part for sure.
But - what does that mean for my road? For my bar-b-que?
I don't really know...Aha and I are on the Little House on the Prairie 'non-road' road, looking for a bar-b-que to go to.
But the most important part? I'm with him and we're holding hands and that means it will be o.k.
As for the rest of my conversations with LTF? Sorry...what happens in the dog park, the back yard, the restaurant and the Starbucks stays in the dog park, the back yard, the restaurant and the Starbucks - rules of the LTF and me.
Hope your bar-b-que is fun.