In my new life as caregiver, I have developed several routines. Friday is laundry day. In the “delicates” load was a pair of black panties and a black brazier. And then my mind wandered off into the weeds.
When we were much younger and it was early in our marriage, I let slip to her that black underwear was for me a big turn-on. Through out our younger lives she kept this in her heart. She would let it be known through certain hints, glimpses in the mirror or direct conversation that this was a good night for what she referred to as intimate time.
On various date nights or other occasions the clue phrase was “I am wearing black tonight”. Somehow the wine in the restaurant tasted better. The conversation was closer. I quit seeing the surrounding tables. I quit hearing the surrounding conversation. I guess pheromones intermingled with testosterone does that.
Sometimes I would initiate the contact. Is this a black night? No, she responded, I thought red would be more appropriate. Well it was! It is hard to go slow and stay with your partner when she is wearing black underwear. Much more so when she is wearing red. Holy cow, I miss those days.
I guess she does too. A couple days ago, I do not recall where we were off to, but I was pecking away at this computer and she, after finishing her shower, stood in the doorway of my home office wearing only the two items that were now in the load of laundry I am folding to put away. “I’m wearing these today”, she announced. My brain went spiraling off into the weeds. Holy cow I miss those days. Sorry. I am repeating myself.
Even now I am distracted by those thoughts. Our intimacies in many ways are much closer now even though less sexual in nature. Love is a lot of things. Only a small part is sexual.
It is hard to express how much closer this journey has made us. It is hard to express how this illness has opened my eyes to things in her that I did not notice before. I am more aware that my words can hinder her. I am more aware that my words can hurt her.
This is an eye-opening experience for me as well as her. I have taken on many of the domestic day-to-day tasks – laundry, cooking and others. We have hired out the cleaning to my niece who has her own cleaning service going. We moved into a condo situation so that lawn care and building maintenance is contracted. I am amused by the fact that I have become somewhat protective of my own methods and how easily I become annoyed when she or anyone else critiques my method.
She takes care of me as much as I take care of her. I miss the younger us. I miss the crazy running around chasing kids sporting events. I miss the, “I’m wearing black tonight.” And the opportunity to make more kids. But I really love her in this moment. I just hope I am able keep caring for her and I as fear for the worst outcome, and cannot fathom why my feeble brain goes there, I realize how deeply I love her.
The black underwear still looks good.