An unexpected moment made me realize what I have — and what I would miss.
The house is dark and silent. You and the kids have all gone to bed, tucked in tight even though you don't need it. You're all furnaces when you sleep. I have yet to figure out a way to harness the energy you output so we can sell it and retire comfortably off the profits.
Sitting with no company but the cat made me feel for a moment like I was experiencing what it would be like to be single. To be alone.
But that wasn't a completely accurate feeling. I had the comfort of knowing you were here, healthy and content, in our home that you work so hard to keep for us. I have basked in this comfort for nearly 12 years now. It was jarring to think that someday this might not be the case.
Someday I might have to learn how to live without you.
I will enter a dark room that is heavy with the absence of your scent.
I will climb into sheets that have not been kissed by the warmth of your body.
I will listen to the air that is lonely without the stir of your breath.
I will wake in the morning without the feel of your lips saying, "Goodbye."
I will wander the house in a sweater that smells of my musk and not yours.
I will learn to endure a day that does not carry the sound of your voice to my ears.
My eyes will look, but never find, the shine of your smile.
My arms will never find relief from the ache of needing to be wrapped around you.
My neck will long for the feeling of your breath tickling it from earlobe to collarbone.
My toes will no longer know the strain of bearing my weight as they grant me a few more inches to steal a smooch when you come home from work.
My fingers will caress every textile they come across but never find the texture that is your hair.
My heart will leap at the approach of someone from behind me and fall at the realization that it isn't you.
You know far better than I do that your line of work is fraught with danger. Being a power lineman isn't for the faint of heart. Weekly, I read of accidents in your trade. Men disabled, crippled, or killed doing this job that I'm so proud of you for.
And even if your job wasn't so inherently dangerous, just being a human has its own level of peril. Driving a car. Climbing a ladder. Enjoying the sun. Breathing the air. Too many things can take you away from me in the space of a heartbeat.
Because the odds that I will not always be able to are too great.