Sometimes forever isn’t long enough
iKen: i’m not goin’ anywhere, i’m gonna love you forever.
ken is gonna turn 74.
good news, right?
the good news/great news is that he’s here — literally — and he’s turning 74 in January; loving his life, enjoying every second. he’s so very good at that. he loves his life. like to the fucking hilt.
the bad news is that for me, he’s turning 74.
it fills me with, you know, fear.
i’m not gonna pretend, or make-believe.
and yes, i know, i know… 70 is the new 50, the new sexy, the new levi’s, the new iPad, the new GE: it brings good things to life.
it’s not as old as it used to be, it’s all in the attitude, it’s just a number… i get it. I GET IT. i do.
but actually, truthfully, i don’t get it.
i’m trying desperately to get it.
i’m trying to embrace it, go with it. be joyous.
and god knows i can go from worrier to warrior, and fearful to fearless, but some days… s ome days.
like when he backed into a parked car, he didn’t look where he was going. i said, “honey, baby, uh oh, whatdya think?” he said, “blindspot.” I immediately went straight to — thought, blindspot… nope, dementia.
and when the knob on the dishwasher got all fucked up, and it stopped working, and he decided a good way to attack this problem, was, well, to literally attack the problem with a screwdriver. i said, “hey hon, why’d you do that, attack the dishwasher with a screwdriver?” he said, “well, you know, uh, i was, uh, stoned.”
“huh,” i thought, “stoned?”
i immediately thought memory fucking loss.
i thought, assisted living.
i thought, holy shit…
and so, these little things, small things, these new small things, scare me.
i’m not gonna bullshit you.
talking about it helps me.
writing about it.
because, when i get scared, i retreat.
and when i retreat, i go to my room,
and when i go to my room, i go deep inside my head.
and when i’m deep inside my head the chatter is about dementia, and alzheimer’s, and incontinence, and i envision wheelchairs, and ramps, and dribbling and more incontinence, and then i think, oh my god… oh my frickin’ god, my future is HERE, HOLY SHIT, I AM HERE NOW.
i think: my mom. i think about her horrific decline, and how absolutely cruel it was, cruel & unforgiving. i think one minute she was buying new lipstick in her favorite shade, and then the next minute she was using a purple sharpie pen to fill in her eyebrows.
and I gotta be honest, being in the NOW, living in THIS MOMENT is virtually impossible for me. i can recall being in the NOW a couple of times, and once had to do with a pap smear.
but, i don’t wanna retreat. i wanna be present. so, i will leave my room, and all that nasty bad chatter behind, and i will walk into the living room where ken is cozy: sitting in front of a lovely fire, reading the NY Times, and I will look at him and he will look at me, and i will look at him long & hard… and i will slide in, cuddle up, right next to him on the couch, and he will laugh.
his gorgeous, hearty, sexy laugh.
a ken laugh.
and in the moment, in the NOW moment, he says to me, “i’m not goin’ anywhere, i’m gonna love you forever,”
and i say right back without missing a beat, without holding my breath and counting to three because sometimes you’re not supposed to say what you’re thinking, but i think, fuck it, and let it rip:
“you know,” i say, “sometimes forever just isn’t fucking long enough.”
have a grand day, people, fill it to the brim.