I'm slightly drunk right now, following up a couple glasses of wine with a rum and diet coke (we are short of non-alcoholic mixers). It's been a rough week for Tori and me. Hell, it's been a rough three months. First the miscarriage; that was pretty rough, but we managed okay. There are times we find ourselves hit with "what if" moments, moments where we think to ourselves, "by now we'd find a heartbeat" or "we'd know the gender soon." April 4th of next year will be particularly problematic for us; that was the estimated due date. But overall we've been hanging in there.
And then Mimi, our middle-aged cranky calico, started having some health problems. She's been fighting some nasal infections, and she's been finding it more of a chore to breathe. First it was thought she had feline herpes, but she tested negative for that and positive for some nasty bacteria. We gave her antibiotics (much to her disgust), but she was better for only a few days before her nasal problems returned. We took her to another vet for a second opinion, then a specialist. She got a CT scan yesterday, and we got bad news: Mimi has cancer.
I had feared this for a while, because she had been losing quite a bit of weight over the last month. But the news hit me hard. I've had family members die on me, most recently my father six years ago. But he was far away; I had a 900-mile emotional barrier, and I could forget that my father was dying when I needed to. That's not the case now. This cancer is in my household, and it's a lot harder to run away from this one. Besides, Dad had a living will; he could (and did) die on his terms. Mimi's condition is a different case: her death is on my (and Tori's) terms. And yeah, she's a cat, but she's a member of our household, and she is deeply loved. And to decide when to let a loved one go is the hardest thing to do in the world. In a way, I ducked that responsibility with my father, but once Tori and I receive the results of the biopsy, it's us, and us alone, who must decide. I'd give away every one of my possessions for someone else to make that decision - as long as Mimi gets to live.
Under these circumstances, Tori's and my fifth wedding anniversary arrived today. (Well, not anymore, as of ten minutes ago.) It's sad that we had to cancel our fifth anniversary party, that we cancelled our anniversary dinner at Russian Tea Time. It's sad that we're both stressed, that we find ourselves having tense discussions about trifles because we've been hit by so many things in the last six months, we're hypersensitive.
But this is what we signed up for. We didn't sign up for "everything will be totally awesome" in our wedding vows. We didn't vow that "Now that we're married, nothing bad will happen, dammit." We couldn't, and the reason is obvious: we can't hold off the future. Time is neither good nor evil: it simply is, and we are pulled along because we cannot do anything else. There will be good things in our future, and there will be bad. Our love for each other cannot prevent bad things from happening, but it gives us someone to hold onto when one or both of us needs to howl at the moon. And I could not have picked a better life partner with all the knowledge of the universe.
Tori, my love, my darling, I am here for sickness and in health. Get used to it, babe.
Happy anniversary, sweetheart.