Today would have been my 36th wedding anniversary, and my first without John. I miss him in ways I can’t fully describe. I’m still getting used to functioning without him; learning to adapt and adjust. Every so often I still get teary, in fact it’s happening now, but overall I’m learning how to be without him. I’ve always wondered if I could live independently because when I married John I moved from living with my parents to living with him. I was never fully independent or forced to deal with things on my own. Now I am and, although I’m proud I’m doing well, I wish I didn’t have to learn that answer.
I decided to pull two Tarot cards reflecting what anniversary gifts John would like to give me this year. Using the vibrant & joyful Pearls of Wisdom Tarot, I drew the 4 of Cups reversed and 3 of Pentacles
As soon as I saw this I understood my husband’s message. Looking at the 4 of Cups, I immediately heard the lyrics from the song Jesus sings in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jesus Christ Superstar, “take this cup away from me tried for 3 years seems like 30”. The cup in this case is my brother-in-law Edward, who is deaf and developmentally disabled. I have been his primary caregiver since 2009. It was difficult enough when I had John here to help, but for the past year it’s been exhausting and overly stressful. John is telling me that soon the cup will be taken away from me, the responsibility removed from my hand, and that he’s watching over me and helping in any way that he can.
The 3 of Pentacles is John pointing out that once I have my freedom I can start exploring new learning opportunities and new experiences. I can go back to school or take classes to acquire new skills. My future will be under my own control. I can build the future that I want, and I have John’s love and support to do that.
The amazing thing about our relationship is that John fully supported me in whatever I wanted to do. He was my biggest cheerleader, even if he thought what I was doing was not a good idea. He let me make my mistakes and then gave me a bit of an I told you so but didn’t gloat. We often spoke about what might happen if he pre deceased me, not that we expected it to happen when it did. He was always clear with me and anyone else he discussed these issues with that he did not want me to be trapped caring for Edward for the rest of either of our lives. As much as I care for Edward, and want to see him in a safe nurturing environment, I can’t provide that for him. So this is John giving me his stamp of approval for taking steps to find some place Edward can be cared for in a way that will best serve him. It’s truly the best gift John could have given me.