38 Years

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary.

I don’t know why, but this day is even harder on me than the anniversary of Will’s death. I spend it feeling absolutely horrible, and I teeter on the edge of tears all day. This year I didn’t cry, but felt empty and sad, and if it weren’t for the distraction of having the guys hang out with me for some of the day I would have been in even worse shape.

Thank God for the good memories, though. I reminisced about how exciting it was to marry the love of my life, and our sweet little hippie wedding. I also remembered our brief honeymoon at Disneyland and meeting another couple who had gotten married the same day. Strangely enough, that led me to thinking about buying our waterbed shortly thereafter. It came with a beautiful velvet bedspread that the cats promptly peed on, and it cost $500, which was a lot of money in those days. (Hell, it’s a lot of money now.)

Man, did we enjoy that bed…not just in the marital sense, but it was the most comfortable one we ever slept in. It was a HUGE pain in the butt to move; we had to drain it completely, then fill it back up and sleep on a cold water-mattress for a couple of nights before the heater kicked in. But it was a great bed, and even though we ended up replacing it with a conventional bed when we moved to an upstairs apartment, I still wish I had it.

I also thought back to the difficulty we had squeezing into our wedding garments. We had both gained weight since our fittings, and we were taking half-breaths all day. It wasn’t just nervousness! I looked at some of our pictures yesterday, and I can’t believe how young we were…I was 21 and he was 29, and he appeared even younger. I remember when we’d go out for drinks; sometimes he’d get carded and I wouldn’t, which pissed me off. He didn’t even start aging until he hit 50, and even then he never really showed his years until the cancer robbed him of his vitality.

I recalled the wedding gifts we received, one of which was a set of stainless steel bowls which I still use on occasion. Among other things, we got a Mr. Coffee maker that lasted 10 years, an electric skillet that lasted even longer, and a bread box we used until we moved to the manufactured home in 1998. Now I see these kinds of items in antique stores, and it’s rather shocking to think of anything purchased in 1980 as “old”…but 38 years is a long time.

Today is a better day; the sun is still shining, the weather is perfect, the trees are changing from green to red and yellow and gold, and I’m in a good mood. I continue to be amazed at the complete absence of bipolar symptoms, and marvel at the difference that increase in Zyprexa has made in my life. I feel optimistic and grateful for the blessings of good people, good meds, and good surroundings. Yes, I’m lonely, but I’m learning to live with it; there are folks here who keep me from feeling too alone, and I have role models at church who are teaching me how to do widowhood gracefully.

It’s been a long time coming, but even with all the heartache of missing my mate, I’m OK.


Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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