On March 15th, I will be moving into an apartment with my boyfriend of 2.5 years, Nick. We signed the lease on Valentines Day. (which was just a coincidence, but ended up feeling somewhat romantic and sweet). Over the past 8 years since Don’s death, I have moved 3 different times, finally ending up back in my home state of Massachusetts at my parents place. Now Im about to move literally 5 minutes away, but it feels like a much bigger deal than that. It IS a big deal.
Don Shepherd, my husband for 4 years and 9 months, was the only partner Ive ever lived with. When we moved in together, it was with the understanding that a proposal would soon follow, and marriage. I wasnt interested in playing house, and when I asked him if he planned on marrying me, he laughed and said: “Do you really think Id be packing up my comfy Florida life and moving to New Jersey if I wasnt planning on marrying you? Who the hell moves to New Jersey?”
We lived together easily. We made a team easily. Most things involving Don were done easily, or with ease. We didnt let small things bother us, and we were very good at finding the balance between spending time together, and honoring each other’s need for personal space. Two independent people who loved their time alone, who absolutely loved each others company. We didnt fight or even argue often. There was an ease and a comfort about us that made everything feel like a sigh.
Nick and I are different. We are intense. We are stubborn, and we maybe bring out that part of ourselves when around each other. We communicate in a way that is not always understood by both of us. There are misundersandings, hurt feelings, and complicated emotions. We both have been through hell and back. Life has served us both up some serious trauma and grief. We are a bit older now, so we are getting set in our ways, and its harder sometimes to compromise. When we are both in a good place mentally, things with us are beautiful and incredible. When one or both of us is struggling, things can be hard.
Im nervous. Im excited. Im 48 years old, and Im about to try and start over with someone again. I am in constant fear that he will die too – that we will pack up all of our boxes and start creating our new place to call home, and then everything will suddenly disappear all over again, before it ever really began. I am TERRIFIED of this happening. I am doing my best to deal with these thoughts. Im in therapy. We are in therapy. Couples counseling, and individual. I think we are doing all the right things and have a great chance of having a continued beautiful relationship.
But yeah – Im scared.