This has been a long 3 years with my husband in law school, yet just a couple of weeks ago we attended his graduation luncheon and I felt both thrilled and exhausted.
I was happy to cheer him on but I couldn't bring myself to plan a party or even setup some kind of reception event.
Funny how I had romantically day dreamed up this great moment in celebrating and in welcoming everyone we ever knew and all those who supported us through this difficult time to come and party it up (in my mind's eye like it was going to be like a scene from "The Great Gatsby.")
Then on the morning of receiving his law school diploma I realized how we are now 3 years older, my gray hair feathers around my ears and my energy to even get there on time seemed tighten.
I am done, was all I could think to myself that day.
The very first Professor I had met running in late to the meet and greet BBQ in that first week of law school, was the same professor who gave an amazing powerful speech that morning about not chasing the money but helping the people. I sat there in awe of everything, the flash backs to that sunny morning my husband woke me up early saying "I don't want to miss the ground breaking of that new law school downtown." I groaned and protested back "Why do you want to go to Law school again? and don't tell me it's get rich that will only piss me off...." He grinned back "How about we go to breakfast afterwords? ....should only take an hour maybe?" I flew out of bed to the promise of breakfast like always, he laughed and I was dressed in 10 minuets! That feels like years and years ago now.....The ground breaking ceremony and the tour through the new library these are things I remember trying to learn everyone's name in that first year and noticing how different my husband and I really are, back then I would call up my best friend Benny crying that I don't like who my husband was becoming among all the crazy schedules, high stress finals and his complete disappearance from my everyday life.....Of course she would talk me down from such an emotional roller coaster I was on! Then after Benny died in the 2nd year of law school I stopped worrying about my marriage so much, if it survived this that would be nice but if it didn't I would still be okay.
Because he wasn't the beginning and end to me anymore, my whole world view shifted and I loved being all alone in my own thoughts and questions.....Yet I still cheered him on, helping him study with flash cards and driving him everywhere then finding my own identity in simply being me. Being alone never felt so good during the hardest time of our shared lives...we joked and laugh at how different we were, for having even 5 dollars in our bank made us feel rich, and feel safe again. I made dinner once after 2 days with no food realizing I still have some stiff in the cupboard on one cold dark winter's night, it was an "Ah Ha" moment for me in which I said jokingly "I love being so smart!" the soup was of tomato juice and canned mackerel. I ate it all up with a side bowl of popcorn drizzled in coconut oil since we didn't have even butter.......If ever I mention that soup moment Tony gags and vows to never be that broke again.
On the day Nelson Mandela died it was the 4th night since last we ate during a very stressful time, where I had bought a single can of dog food mixed it with cooked rice for our pets thinking I had truly failed them but they loved all the new combinations I came up with to feed them that week, the radio shared this national sad news while I cried and cried thinking there is no escaping death....being broke or hungry is a silly worry when death is how it all ends. In that sad moment of crying over Mandela's death my husband jumped in the car with a huge hungry smile "I got 20 bucks today! let's go eat!"
That night turned into such a magical moment of warm french fries and lettuce wrapped hamburgers we ate 2 each and laughed about the fact we always seem to make it.......we barely make it all the time!
I said thoughtfully feeling better with food in my tummy "Nelson Mandela was famous, a peacemaker and wise man but I wonder.....I wonder if he was a good family man, a kind always there father? Because you can't have both without really knowing how to balance everything, you have to be incredibly smart to know when your kid needs you and when your society needs you." My husband replied with a mouthful "I am just living from day to day right now...." I laughed and smiled "To whom could that not be said about?" The years of Law school will be the most struggling for me and yet I would NOT change who I am today because of it all.
And I wouldn't blindly follow my husband over a cliff with that puppy dog loyalty that I use to have, in fact I kinda of feel like I did that exact thing going through law school for him. Funny I wouldn't do it again not ever, but I like who I have become through it all......confusing even for myself I think.....
A friend of mine asked "So why did your husband decide on law school?" I replied "Because he is very smart, likes making his own hours of work and helping people better their lives. He likes a job that is never boring which is the law of course. But for me it's was a struggle and a fear he would change into a real asshole. We are almost done now though!" She laughed watching me carefully "You don't strike as a person who needs nice new things in order to be happy." I exclaimed and choked on my coffee "Oh god no I sure don't! Before law school I was simply fulfilled looking around at our 2 little chairs and lamp with a dog in each lap and a warm coffee mug in hand, we use to sit and talk for hours together, when he said he had decided to go to law school and I asked "Why? we want and need for nothing more then this moment right here and now?" then I realized he had to do this for himself so I stopped fighting him on it." She burst out "Oooooh Honey you simply just loved him! He did it all for your life, that's TRUE love not wanting more then the moment of being with each other! You are Brilliant my dear and smarter then your husband, he needs to you bring him back to world! I hope you guys can always be together like a yen and yang. That's an incredible story!" I had never had someone point it out to me that I was in love with my husband back then! Oh how I had forgotten what that felt like in 3 long years!?!? So I went for a walk thinking over what makes a smart person, really? For it was the second time that week I had been told I was smarter then my husband. Deep down I never wanted anything to change back then but looking back now everything has changed even my independence and sudden awareness has grown. Benny's sudden death change me too because I bounce all my thoughts off on her to help me make sense of this life in law school. Realizing we all die alone, brought me back into the real world and real time once again, I know I will always choose magic over logic, I will die with my imagination seeing sunsets and eagles flying, I will embrace the love I carry and not really worry if I am smart or not, because I truly believe in my soul that no matter how smart you are if you can't be there for others then you stupidly missed out on the most important part of your life.
My husband exclaimed "Why don't you just go buy some shoe laces!?!" I replied back with my crochet needle and yarn "I will not use gas money to go to the store when I can simply make these for my shoes!" He snorted and rolled his eyes "We have money now." I paused thoughtfully "But I can never go back to spending it, my creative juices thrived when we were broke.....I will always put my smarts first before I ever grab my wallet!" He shrugged and I smiled, yen and yang indeed!