Today is my parent's 36th wedding anniversary. A few weeks ago I went over to the Hallmark to grab a few birthday cards and decided to pick up an anniversary card too. There I stood in the back of the store, tearing up as I picked up and read each beautiful card. They were all the same, "Congratulations on your anniversary...here's to many more happy years together...may this year together be
the best, etc". Ugh, this was hard. I couldn't buy them a card about wishing them many more happy years together, when that might not be. About 5 cards in, I found the one and that was it...the tears came swiftly now and I got a choke in my throat. I bought the card and high-tailed it, sniffing out the door.
I could have been crying at the thought of my own anniversary, which in two weeks would have been the 8th. But my own marriage is slowly crawling towards the end as we have finished filing all papers to divorce and now just play the waiting game. I certainly could have been crying about all that and the loss of my dream to stay married, though in all honesty I've not cried one tear in all these years about it.
No, I stood there fighting back the sobs in the Hallmark at the thought of what might be my parent's final anniversary. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer in May and given a year to live. Every day is like pins and needles, watching and waiting to see how he feels, how he's reacting to the medication that day, looking for any signs of irreversible deterioration. It's been a difficult summer, anticipating the unknown is painful for us all.
Mostly that day, I cried for my mom and the thought of her losing the man she's shared over 36 years with, her best friend, the person she does everything with. I cried for my mom and what might (or might not!) be her last year with Dad. I left the card on the counter for them this morning, wishing them all the happiness on their anniversary but no mentions of the years ahead, keeping those prayers in my heart but not able to talk out loud about what might (or might not!) be.