Sunday, March 20, 2011
For the last two mornings I have awakened with a song in my head. The lyrics that resound are From this moment… (I can’t make out the middle verbiage) I will love you as long as I live, from this moment on. (then the musical ending)
From this moment… I think we are splitting our paths.
Dave is beginning to drop one-liners about his death: You’ll be the ones to worry about that; I hope you’ll keep donating to them after I’m gone (SPLC); She’s working on her inheritance.
Wow, that one got me. Leah was hinting boldly (!) about taking her back to the SAM (Seattle Art Museum) to see a textile exhibit she attended recently. I was saying I needed go to Seattle at the end of the month for an appointment and perhaps we could make a day of it. Dave mentioned that he thought Leah could stay with him when I traveled there. Somewhere in the conversation Dave just said I was going “to plan my inheritance.” Wow.
Inheritance. That’s really a loaded word and I didn’t know it. I’ve been avoiding the word actually. I think inheritance for his kids but not for me. Dave’s Retirement. Not mine, not ours. His retirement. I am not of an age to “retire” yet. We are supposed to just phase into the income going into my name somewhere down the road. Smooth, peaceful, planned. Like automatic deposit.
I heard, between the lines, in an earlier conversation we had that he won’t be a party to his retirement. Our plan said June, 2012, although I was never sure he would retire since he loved teaching. He’s genuinely happy that the investments will take care of me. I know that gives him peace. Yet, I wonder why after 27 years married, three cancers, two major life threatening illnesses, parenting, maintaining our household, sharing our lives, and growing together that I feel like I don’t deserve to continue the lifestyle to which we become accustomed? I’ve become accustomed? (Where does this come from?! Do I really feel this way?) We have an enjoyable life, with some notable luxuries, although far from lavish. If he just lived to be 100 years old like he promised Leah this wouldn’t be a concern for me. Dave should get time to read, write, think and talk all he wants during his retirement. This is just not how it was supposed to happen.
I have a sense of selfishness. I don’t think it’s a matter of deserving the funds, maybe more that I want to be generous. But I have to protect my interests, too, and that feels selfish. I want to stay in our home for a while, or as long as I’m comfortable and can afford it (I anticipated downsizing soon anyway). I want to continue to “buy a hamburger anytime I want” (Dave’s standard of living well). I want to be able to make choices. I still have too many unknowns. I need answers. I need to really understand how far I can stretch the inheritance during my lifetime.
Dave has been an excellent provider for us. I know in my heart I will be OK financially, but I have questions. This is scary to travel this path. Alone. I think the sense of security is my fear, more than the money. I have always been independent and can take care of myself. Of that, I am confident.
This feeling is more about the fear of traveling alone (emotionally), from this moment on.