Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not your usual good times

I don't know what it's like out there for the rest of you married folk, but Joel and I have this thing we do where we take each other for granted. Like, the whole excitement of living in the same house after three years of living in different cities (and sometimes different countries) wore off about as quick as a Playland hand stamp, and now we're all thinking that we can just forget about doing nice things for each other or spending quality time together or that we can just up and get mad for no real reason (that last one's mostly me). I feel like, somehow, we're not supposed to feel this way, and the universe seems to agree.

One night, about two months after we got married, I had gone to bed angry (which everyone says you should never do), and I dreamed that Joel died. Not just that he had died and that was it, dream over, but that we were hanging out, and then he was diagnosed with leukemia, and then we had to go through treatment and it was long and drawn out and there was all this hope and then hope-crushing and finally, one day I was saying good-bye (because in my dream I still lived in Burnaby) and he said, well, this is good-bye forever, because I'm going to die before I see you next, and he did sure enough, and I grieved him for ages. I know that in real time, this probably only took five minutes, but in dream time, I lived the whole thing and it was awful. I woke up not mad at him at all.

About a month later, a guy Joel went to college with and who married a friend of mine was travelling through the mountains to go to a wedding in Alberta. A semi-truck flipped over and crushed the driver's side. Joel's friend was killed instantly. He and his wife had only been married about a year (I never blogged about this because of the trouble I had getting over this post, and because when someone dies for real, and not just in a dream, it seems irreverant to deal with it in the same flippant fashion, and impossible to deal with it in any way to do it justice).

This past weekend was supposed to be the next-to-last wedding in the flux. It was called off at the last minute because the bride's mother is dying.

So here I am again, taking a break from my usual complaining and making fun of people and blabbing about my business to think about what a waste it is of the very short time we have. Nothing is promised to you. My friend Katherine has a zillion tumors (give or take) and at least ninety other health issues completely unrelated to those tumors. Eight years ago, they gave her two years to live. I asked her if she feels like she's cheating death. She replied that we all cheat death every time we get up in the morning.

If you've cheated death by getting up this morning, make sure you appreciate it.

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