Two, A Pair
Today, it’s been a —
It’s been two years. Sometimes, those two feel like long ones, but not always. I can’t always say that it’s been a long two years. Lately, it just feels like
Combined, they make a unit, of sorts. One would cease to exist without the other. As old lovers on a park bench, they are a couple. They are a pair.
A strange pair, though. Three months ago, or a week, even, and the two would not have seemed so defined as an entity. Or they may not have.
I have realized that what, two years ago, seemed to be an isolated event cannot be separated from all the other events of my life, events that have melded to shape me into who I am today. How I think now that I’ve known this singular pair – how I am, now that we’re more than merely acquainted – is forever altered.
Before, I could see that Joe’s diagnosis and the constant flux of his life compelled me to grow more lax in my own plans, to become more flexible, at long last. I grew more patient; more sympathetic. I became more understanding. And while it has been quite some time since I’ve consistently worn my emotions on my sleeve, within the past two years, I’ve also learned to compartmentalize to an even greater extent.
This – this intentional, measured forgetfulness, this coping – keeps me from things. From hurt. From cancer. From pain. From Joe. I feel cold. At times, a bit heartless. I know this must not be true, but I am still compelled to remind myself of this fact.
I know that I still love. I know that I still care and hope and believe. I know that God is still good.
The unsolicited pair, the two that have held fast to my hand, linking themselves on either side of me, have kept me here. They forbid me to forget them.
And I cannot. Life will go on. I know it will; that, too, I know. Yet with me they will remain; these two years will be with me, always. They are an inseparable pair.