I've just returned home from Mema's funeral. Surprisingly, I didn't get emotional during the service at all.
Well, then there was a moment when Papa got a chill down his spine. I asked, "Did Mema just give you a hug?" He smiled. Then he lit up and said, "You need to sing! What's that song?" I had sung Amazing Grace at my father's funeral. Now... he wanted the same for his dear wife of 70 years.
My nerves were shot but I pulled it off. He was happy and then jokingly said, "See? I didn't even laugh at you."
My family is pretty silly when we're all together. I really wondered if the funeral director wasn't going to kick us all out.
No, I wasn't emotional until I saw Papa sitting alone in his chair as I closed the door behind me. I hated to leave him alone in the house he shared with her.
After 70 years, I worry about Papa now that Mema is gone. I know that he will miss her dearly. I know that he loved her.
But I also know that much of what he will miss are the little things from having her there with him. Those habits are really hard to break.
I have no doubt that he must feel as if he's missing a limb or something. We become so strongly identified with who we are in relation to someone else that we tend to have an identity crisis when that someone else is gone.
Rascal sends me a "Mornin'" message every morning by 10:00 a.m. at the latest.
Every night, around 10 p.m., he texts me and then calls.
We've created a habit.
It scares the crap out of me.
Knowing that our relationship is a temporary fix, I do worry about getting too attached. Then when I begin to pull away from him, he gets upset and pulls me closer.
I hate when fear rears it's ugly head.
The funny thing is, I don't think that I am falling in love so much as creating expectations that I know will be unfulfilled at some point in the future.
Is that what falling in love really is? Do we actually fall in love or fall into habits?
Yes, one day he won't text me all day long telling me what he's up to. One day, I won't lean on him when I'm having a bad day. One day those late night phone calls will end. It will suck but life goes on, right?
Maybe that's why the tears began to flow when I saw Papa sitting alone in his chair while Mema's chair sat empty next to him. Some habits, 70 years long, must feel like the strongest ache there is.
And seeing that pain right in front of me, really makes me question a lot of things in my life.