In a brief break from a political post, today was a bit of a reflective day for me.
Today would have been my twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. Fortunately, considering the state of the marriage, I only made it to thirteen.
It is funny how you remember that day even if it is long ago, and even if you are ever so thankful you got out. As it turned out, I married a man when I was way too young - and he stayed young, or never grew up. We had some good years, but I never should have married him in the first place. As with anything else, however, learning from an experience is always good. And I learned a lot.
I also learned that after many years completely on my own, I really appreciate the man I am with now. He is the complete opposite of my former husband in almost every way. And I never would have found him or appreciated him if I had not been through the crushing I got from a terrible year of one blow after another - topped off with the even bigger blow of losing any spousal support I ever had to deal with it. Live and learn. The memories are there to reflect on.
In another note on learning, I also saw a client today that I have worked with for several years. She is quite precious to me and I have learned a great deal from her. At ninety-eight years old, her spunk, intelligence, experience, and wonderful sense of humor have actually made her a friend. She has always acted young, always kept her mind sharp. Suddenly today, she was different. It was like everything had caught up to her. She was paranoid, fearful, confused, forgetful, suddenly old. She said she was giving up.
Something today made me reschedule my scheduled client and go see her instead. It felt necessary. When I left I was filled with a sadness and realization that this might be one of the last times I see her. And, as far as memories go, she mentioned how she is having one dream after another and her memories are plaguing her.
People grow old, people change, and life goes on. In both experiences, we realize our limitations, our humility, our vulnerability. In both cases, we have the memories.
What we can take away from any experience is the appreciation of the time we had with that person, even if it isn't all good. My former husband is a distant memory that I don't see nor care to. But I wish him well. My ninety-eight year old client - well, she is not so distant. And, I suspect, that when the time does come, I will carry her with me more than I ever will him.