this morning i drove the husband to the airport. he is on his way to tokyo, on business, and i wondered, as he walked away from the car, if he knew that he was carrying a giant piece of my heart in his carry on luggage.
i don't remember the exact moment that we became one, but it seems like it's been many, many years since i have been able to take a deep breath without him near. i know this bonding didn't happen on our wedding day. the terrified twenty year old bride and the even more frightened twenty-four year old groom were too young to understand love, much less deep and enduring commitment. it didn't even happen when our children were born. though those children were much wanted and adored, we always seemed to be one child ahead of our bank account, in those days, and the tensions and pressures of too many children and not enough money, used up much of our emotional energy. when the children got older and the bank balance larger there were other issues that consumed us. we were still young and married in a culture that suddenly valued only singles. there were temptations and feelings of missed opportunities. days and nights of questioning past decisions and trying to make new ones.
strange as it may seem, it was the years of broken hearts and broken promises that began to bind us together. weathering the storms of crises, either emotional or medical, forced us to seek shelter under the same umbrella. learning to trust again after trust had been broken caused each of us to examine why we had married in the first place and what kept us in this union. sitting terrified, together for two days and two nights, at a beloved child's hospital bed creates a glue that can not be eroded. battling cancer and emerging victorious is an experience that creates an enzyme that causes your veins and arteries and bones and muscles to meld and blend as one.
no, i don't remember the exact day we became one but i do know for sure that we are. as i watched the husband walk away, i whispered a silent prayer to keep him safe and bring him home to me, because without him, there is no home and there is no me.