We're going to ring in 2009 with record-breaking cold in my neck of the woods, complete with just enough snow to make the roads dangerous to those who are not smart about drinking and driving (i.e., those who do it).
Here there is a large pot of lentil soup beginning to simmer, there are children playing with their Christmas presents, and there are plans for festivities on the town tonight. (Festivities for which we will be very, very warmly dressed.)
Beloved and I had a wonderful Christmas with my family, followed by some difficult days together. Out of respect for her privacy I will simply say that her health continues to be a concern, and your prayers are coveted.
This morning she and I met for coffee at our favorite place whilst the children slept in. We went over some papers together... she sometimes asks me, even though I know little about her business, to look over things like insurance policies with her, just for a fresh eye. At a certain point, we discussed the upcoming visit of her daughter and family (for whom the lentils simmer). Beloved is thinking about things like long term health care in the event of emergencies, and she wants me to be a part of whatever kinds of decisions might be made. (Don't fret; nothing like this is imminent. She has not received a death sentence, aside from the one we all live under.) She told me that, should it come to this, she wants me to care for her, rather than her daughter. I told her to get that in writing and witnessed by a lawyer pronto.
I am both shocked and gratified at her decision. Mostly when the concept of long-term disability enters the conversation, Beloved is of the "Get me a gun" mindset. (I am quite familiar with it, having grown up with it in my mother.) That she... trusts me, and would allow me the privilege, as complicated as that would be, well... it's significant. It is as great a statement of our mutual commitment as either of us has made.
Later, as we were finishing up our work, this song came on. Beloved told me that she wants it at her funeral. (Again, nothing either of us expects for a long time, though her health has her thinking mortal thoughts.) Like an ass, I teared up. Upon which, Beloved threw herself to the floor as if to suddenly drop dead. (She does things like this, and not just to me.) Then I began laughing, and she popped up again, bad penny that she is. "It's about us," she said.
It feels odd and yet entirely appropriate to enter this new year thinking and planning how we shall be together all our days, whether those are played out in 40 or 50 years or at some earlier point. I end this year, if anything, more grateful and more in love than I began it. I end this year stunned by the goodness of God to give me this relationship.
Give me a boat that can carry two, and both shall row... my love and I.