Thursday, April 7, 2011

the Circle comes back around...

Last week I put a ring on a man's hand. He put a ring on mine. Sitting in the car outside the head shop, my husband and I discovered that $15.00 rings, and a heart connection can make for a very emotional recomittment to one another.

We've had some hard years here. We've nearly spun apart/imploded multiple times. Having teenagers is really fucking hard. Being in work you hate, and in a school that tells you you're full of shit for your ideas, and discovering just how fucked up a family can be can really make a person miserable. When you have two partners in this kind of emotional place together, and they have completely different coping mechanisms, shit sucks. A lot.

But we kept muddling. We didn't throw in the towel, and then as we went through other important and difficult things... not the least of which was a serious illness... a new perspective emerged. As we got through this long and fairly horrid winter, some things came clear for me. Most importantly, what I value in life, who I want to be, how I want to live. I want to live in love. I want to have fun, I want to have friends, I want to be frivolous and spontaneous. Things don't matter at all. My people matter. Right now, this man and this boy with home I share this space.

 Badlands, May 2009

I determined that through all the shit, I had pretty much shut down, become isolated and resentful, and felt very, very alone. I've become quite untrusting, scared of reaching out to make friends. I just feel so different from the sort-of peers I kind of have. But I kept on swimming, ya know? But what of my husband? He was having a completely horrid time of things too! I got so stuck in how put-upon I was, how stressed and over-extended I was, and how he wasn't sucking it up and doing more was sooooo unfair, that I just got disconnected and emotionally shut down. That is what I needed to do to get through the ongoing crises that were my daily everydays. But I forgot a major thing; I forgot to give. I mean, to REALLY give. I was giving, and that was all I was doing, but I wasn't giving to my partner. I was expecting. I never really gave a thought to where he was emotionally in this whole mess. Even though I've known him now for nearly 29 years, and I know know know how emotional he is, and how he processes, I was angry with him for being, well, himself. And in my anger, I left him kind of out to dry. I wasn't his shoulder, anymore than he was mine, but see, the thing is, he needs a shoulder before he can be one. I hold together in the crisis, and come apart after. He falls apart in the midst of, and bucks up once it's dealt with. I expected him to be right there in the thick of everything with me. But I know he can't do that. It was unfair of me.

As I went through this icky medical crap over the winter, and felt like shit, and was pretty fucking useless, he was there. He fed me, he loved me, he took care of the boy and the house. He was my friend from back when I was a girl, that friend that was there in a heartbeat when I needed him. And I realized just how much this man means to me. I totally got just how empty my life would be without him. He's been my rock for 29 fucking years. There's no one on this planet that knows as much of ME as he does. And yet, he loves me. Completely, and for just exactly who I am. No bullshit. No filters. He knows the rawest, most true me. The worst parts of my history. And yet... he loves me.
Goat Rock Beach, May 2009
As I found myself at this epiphany of the depths of my love for my husband, and the understanding that I'd let him down as surely as I'd felt let down myself, my heart just flooded open. All the ... whatevers ... that had built up; I dunno... protection? Coping? Distance? they just - POOF   All gone. I wanted to give. And so, give I did. It feels so very good! And in my giving, he has opened his heart again too, and he gives, and we are... well... we are partners again.

I'm all giddy in love again! I feel as though we are treading rather too close to barfingly cute for people of our age, but who gives a good goddamn?! We can't keep our hands off each other, we once again call each other by Jim Dear and Darling, and we, losers of wedding rings some 10 years past, bought rings for each other. Slim, sterling bands, bought at the head shop. Somehow completely appropriate for a couple who married on Hippie Hill.

November 8, 1988

May, 2009... same spot!
Then, we got in the car, parked on the curb there on West Leonard, Connor buckled securely in his seat, so very curious about what Gramma and Papa were up to. Jim found the smaller ring, and put it on my finger. The finger that's been wedding-band-free for 10 years, and ring-free for 2, and he said, "With this ring, I thee wed. Again." And I put the larger band on his wedding-band-free for 10 years finger, and repeated his words.

And we meant them. With even more of our hearts than we meant them almost 23 years ago. We've been together longer than we've been not-together. We share children and a grandchild, and a lifetime of memories and history. The feeling - well, I can't even articulate the feeling. Rushes of gratitude, and love, and security, and safety, and just... tingly goodness! It really is an amazing thing, what the sight of a band on the third finger of your left hand, and the hand of your partner, does for one emotionally. A beautiful thing. An incredibly, powerfully meaningful thing. My oldest, dearest, truest friend. My partner. Love of my life. My Husband.

April 7, 2010

Weird as it is, this is probably the best ring I've ever had.


ValVery said...

I just adore this! I'm so happy for you and Jim! It sucks hard when couples drift apart (I've only experienced a fraction of what you have, but still...), but makes coming back together so much better! Wish I could give you a hug! so take one over the lines.

xinem said...

I also just adore this. You two deserve all good things. It's a perfect prelude to Montana--yay!!!