Today, I woke up before my husband. In the morning stillness, I listened to the sound of him breathing next to me. And once again, I told myself to remember this sound....him breathing.
I tell myself to remember things a lot.
I tell myself to remember how it feels when he hugs me, kisses my forehead, holds my hand. Remember the sweet smell of his skin, his laughter, his blue eyes, the sound of his voice......but what I want to remember most is him breathing next to me.
I know modern medicine tells me I can expect him to have a nearly normal life expectancy, but there is a part of me that feels I should prepare for the worst. Its that part of me that wants to always remember these intimate details of what he means to me.
I would never tell him I'm trying to remember all these things, I feel slightly guilty even admitting them to you, but it helps me cope with the realities of his illness. We've all seen the pictures of dying AIDS patients in hospital beds. Skinny and serious. If that's how it will end for him, I don't want to remember him like that. I want to remember him breathing next to me.
Now I know, he may not even die of AIDS. He may die in a car accident tomorrow, but its just the nature of an illness like this. You imagine the worst.
Most of the time, I'm not quite so somber and I enjoy each moment with him, not thinking about anything related to his health. But deep inside of me, in the deepest core of my heart, I'm already mourning him.
Its a mourning lay-a-way. If I do some mourning now, then when the time actually arrives, it won't be as difficult because I've already mourned some of it away. And when the time arrives, it won't be so devastating because the sound of him breathing has been seared in my memory.
At least that's what I'm counting on.