The Agreement.

I have a spider bite on my knee. It is puffy and red and itchy. I am quite sure the spider bit me on the second day after I made an agreement with it. I would not kill its large hairy black ass if it would just leave me alone. On day three or possibly four we had a showdown in the shower. Luckily the curtain was fabric – unlike the stick on your body plastic ones –  and didn’t interfere very much with the wild and awkward movements of the face off.

It could very well have been a conversation between us.

” I am weaving a web, while I watch you move about, living your life. Keep loving how you love, and trusting in the unknown –  as you have shared that obsession with me. I shall build this web very strong.”

I watched the spider moving about the top of the shower. It moved along the lining and in the corner of the ceiling.  It seemed to be holding a few eggs. I knew I didn’t want to harm it, as it would seem to me,  it only wanted to protect its own.  Protect its eggs. Is that not what we all try to do?

“I won’t harm you, I only want to be close and I appreciate how the water replenishes me easily as you stand nearby.”  

The replenishing vigor of another being confidently moving about its life, building and breathing on the notion, that another is trusted to love, honor and protect. These ideas are easily reflected in the dream state of watery lies of omission. How could I not agree to share a space? I have my space, the water was hot and steamy and I only had to keep one eye open to make sure I didn’t swipe the bugger away by accident with one of my hands. Seemed like a fair arrangement and we should both do just fine.

My shower grew long as I had been in a hotel for days and tired and honestly, a bit manic. Elated in senses by passion rekindled it felt wonderful and filling to let my body absorb the humidity as it cascaded over my skin. I closed both eyes and let go of the worry. I felt the warmth on the tops of my eyelids and began to relax. Relaxing in the comfort of closeness.

“I cannot hold on anymore, this isn’t what I expected, the walls are very tall and the idea of sharing them with you seems tumultuous, I am jumping.”

It ended with a size 10 Birkenstock against the wall, knocking it down into the tub and some heavy breathing. The spider broke the agreement and I did my best to protect myself. Agreements, contracts and investments do sometimes fail – and if they don’t flat out fail, disappointment seems impossible to avoid. We are human and are not meant to be perfect. The agreement between the spider and I was diluted heavily by a Human Rainforest in my mind.

I am thinking lately a lot about personal goals and at the same time saying goodbye and accepting the facts of what my life was three years ago and what it is today. How this idea of a “modern family” is every bit as stressful as it sounds these days. These long and what seems to be an ever rolling front of fog enveloping me.

My mother in law died recently, the idea alone of her not being here in the house anymore gives me a feeling of definitive “finished”. My husband and I built our house around his parents, to take care of them and allow our children to live with and be close to their grandparents. Something we both value strongly and have always agreed on.

The “Chief” died six years ago and DeDe has been a strong and solid presence in our home all these years. An anchor if I may. I loved her like a Mom. She raised a large Irish Catholic brood, often on a shoestring – and with her share of heartache and challenges. She shared stories of her life and childhood with me when we would drive places. We haven’t gone out together in probably a year, her body was failing and my mood is often so dark or scattered; I avoided downstairs a lot. I didn’t want to talk about it.

She knew of the sadness and struggles upstairs – never once in all the years living with us did she mention it. She supported me as a woman, her grandchildren’s mother and her daughter in law. I am very lucky in that respect as I know lots of people have nightmare mother in-laws. She loved her son and seemed to know we have been working a life of business and living separate lives for many years now.

Her love and acceptance of how we built our family is priceless. Technically our contract is over. We took care and she is gone now. Now what? My house feels empty and stressed now. Is it the usual displacement or the obvious stresses of living together and separate? Possibly it is the sense of freedom I am feeling after successfully following through with the commitment of care-giving till death.

I am not sure what the next right move is. I only know this isn’t working anymore. I am so tired of standing guard, literally standing where I am. I am banging at my keyboard on this Formica counter upstairs alone in the apartment. I feel like I am in a corner, trapped and mostly ready to pounce. Missing my children, when they are only 30 yards away.

Opportunities for success, love and a rose garden of my own are in my hands and I don’t want to lose sight of the light and goodness that I have been so fortunate to regain sight of, or brush it away with a comfortable shoe. It is a bit of an agreement with myself. Doing the next right thing, and to not give up and walk away from everything I have worked so hard for. It really is about staying strong, believing in the universe and not jumping without something to land on.

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