As our 10th anniversary approacheth….

It’s late, I’m not sure how late because I’ve been asleep for a while, but definitely late.

He finally comes to bed and curls his head into my chest ready to talk. These moments when he wants me to listen, when his tongue loosens and the thoughts flow easily, I treasure these, even in the dark of morning. He’s often so taciturn.

I think he’s finished and have almost drifted back to sleep when he says, “If I die before you I want you to find someone else to marry you. Someone who will just be good to you and love you and the kids.”

I smile in the dark and respond, “You better stay alive then, that sounds like a lot of work.”

A while later, as a tag to another conversation he says it again. “I really do hope you will find someone else to marry if I die. Someone who will just be good to you and take care of you. I know I’m difficult to live with sometimes.”

“Yes, but that has been necessary for me to grow.”

We both correct me at the same time, “Well, not necessary… but useful.”

It’s true, marriage to him has helped me grow in ways I didn’t even realize I needed, and I’m glad it happened, because it really was needed.”

“That’s what I mean though, I want you to marry someone who isn’t so hard to live with.”

“So, someone who isn’t an asshole then?”

“Yes, exactly. Truthfully though, I kind of hope you go first. Because I think I’ll be able to to get on with life after sooner than you.”

“Oh I have this fantasy that you will fall apart completely and realize that I’m the best thing that ever happened to you when I go.”

“Probably, but after I’ll be able to get back to living sooner than you would, I think. I could be wrong.”

“Possibly. But if I linger and you are helpless to do anything you will probably go crazy. You hate not being able to do anything.”

“Yes, well, I’m talking about after you are already dead.”

“You could be right.”

“Would you want me to get married again? Have you thought about it?”

“I won’t care. I’ll be dead.”

“Yes, but do you have an opinion while you’re still here?”

“I think it would depend a lot on how old the kids are when I die. If they are little I hope you would find someone else to take care of them with you.”

“Yeah, if they’re grown I’ll just have casual sex. Well, the first time might be casual, ” he amended, “I’m not sure I could actually do that.”

“If you do remarry I think I owe it to your future wife to write her a few letters of friendly warning. It probably took me the first 3 years just to understand what you mean when you say things because it’s completely different from anyone else.”

“Yeah, I’d have to break in a whole new wife to who I am.”

“In the beginning I thought the American Canadian thing was a factor, but now I realize, Hon, you are a cross-cultural marriage, all by yourself. I’ve never met anyone else like you.”

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