Monday, after the news of John's passing, I began the process of figuring out what I needed to do. I knew that I needed to be at his celebration of life. I knew that if Chris were still here, it would be important to him to be there. I had planned to go visit Dad next weekend, but I wouldn't be able to afford two trips this month. Then there was Michael and the Cabbage. This is a Cabbage weekend. I was supposed to watch her Saturday evening while Michael poured wine at a wine walk. But I also remember how everyone dropped what they were doing when Chris died. It wouldn't be right to not be there and help out in some way. By the time I made it to my yoga mat that evening, my brain was full and I was so anxious that I had to repeat to myself "I will be present on my mat" over and over during my practice. When five minutes had passed on my fifteen minute savasana, I gave up and headed to the kitchen to start dinner. Michael was home by then and asked me about my mat time. I told him that I was too anxious to have had a decent practice and I told him about John and Saturday. He didn't hesitate to say "go", but I was still unsure. I said "what about this weekend? the wine walk? Who is going to watch the Cabbage?". I told him I thought I was leaving him in the lurch. He looked at me and said "that's what you're worried about? No. Go and do what you need to do?" Just like that. No argument. No "I can't believe you want to go without me". Go. Do what you need to do. The relief of this and his words nearly broke me. I could see the honesty of his words in his eyes. He wasn't just saying the things I had hoped he'd say or wished or wanted. I don't know why I expected argument or disappointment or opposition. It's not so much that I expected those things as much as I worried about those things being a possibility during this conversation. I worry about unnecessary things.
It would be easy to say that I am thankful for his response or that I am grateful for his understanding in this situation. I am thankful for those things. But more than that, I am thankful that he is the type of man that would respond with understanding and kindness. More importantly, I am thankful to have found a partner who understands the sensitivity of these types of situations. I am also thankful that he knows how to calm my unnecessary worrying.(Side note: I just looked over at the calender and had a minor panic attack. I can already see the month of April whizzing by.) It's not that I would have settled for less. I would never settle. There is a difference in expecting sensitivity and understanding and being grateful for it. It's like when I tell Michael "thank you" for taking out the garbage or he thanks me for making dinner. These are chores that we would do any way. It just makes us feel better or appreciated when its' been acknowledged. When I say that I'm thankful for his understanding in this situation, I'm saying that I appreciate him.
I am thankful for scooter rides. I am grateful for thunderstorms and the rain that has caused things to sprout in the garden. I am thankful for days that do not require socks. I am grateful for the donations I've received this week to my AIDS Walk page. I am so thankful for all of you.
Here's to a weekend where we celebrate the lives of those we love and a truly Thankful Friday!