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March 11, 2017: The Home Life: Until Death do us Part

There are very few certainties in life. But there is one. If you are a part of a coupled unit, one of you will die first, and the other will die second. There may be a time lag of a few seconds or a time lag of a few years. And in that lag, the one alive will realize that the other is dead.

I am stating the obvious here in order to state the inobvious, the inobvious being that everyone who is married at one time or another wonders, what the hell am I going to do if I’m the one left behind? It’s easier being the one who is the first to go because then you don’t have to pull the cart that you both have been pulling together, alone.

When Pete dies, I’m going to be in a bind. This thought often rises to the surface of my conscious and then sinks to the depths of my subconscious. Yesterday it floated to the surface like Ahab’s great white whale. I opened the refrigerator door and discovered that the refrigerator wasn’t working. All the food was somewhat warm. This included the ice cream in the freezer.

I did what I always do in such instances. I told Pete, who sick and taking a nap. He got up and lit the pilot light. I mean, this is what I think he did, because all he said was “pilot light.” I knew that the pilot light had gone out, this was the most obvious thing, but I didn’t know where it was. And I didn’t know how to light it. I suspect that if you have the lighter on too long than the propane that is wafting around the kitchen could ignite and boom, you’d be awash in flames. No, this I rightly determined was the job for the man of the house. Let him singe his non-existent hair.

What would Alys do? The answer is obvious. I would have called the Amerigas Propane representative and pleaded my case – really pleaded, of course telling him or her that my husband had just died. And if their directions were too nonsensical I would have begged them to send someone over and fix it. The deal is that a widow can only play the dying husband card to a short period of time, say, a month, and this is pushing it. In today’s society (har har) it’s expected that a widow by then either has her ducks lined up or that someone is keeping them in line for her.

HUSBAND. WIFE. I am not an advocate of marriage because once you tie the knot it’s difficult to untie. It’s also way easier to go your separate ways if you are not married. Staying together and remaining wretchedly unhappy because you said the words “till death do us part,” is no way to live.

But, here’s the catch. Should your mate die and at the time you are married, you are eligible for financial remuneration. This includes life insurance. So then you can call the Amerigas dude and also give him a tip. And who knows? This may be the onset of a new relationship. Most importantly, you won’t have to worry about not having enough cold ice cream in your refrigerator.

And having food in one’s refrigerator de-intensifies the grieving process. It’s probably not as lengthy or as intense if you have plenty of frozen ice cream on hand. You can’t share drippy ice cream with anyone.

Had I realized the enormity of the phrase “until death do us part,” I would have not gotten married. But back then this was just another one of those things to do on the lengthy list of summer tasks. Live and learn, and pass the word on to others.

Next: 71.3/12/17: Happiness, Play, and Horse/Human Interaction

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