There’s a line in the movie, When Harry Met Sally, where Billy Crystal’s character says something like, “When you figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” That is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. Now that Lauren’s home is in place, it seems more like a reality than it did when it was, basically, a figment of my imagination. This is really going to happen! Then what?
I’ve noticed a subtle shift in the way I frame the days ahead in my mind and in conversations with my husband. Things we could never do before, or at least in the last twenty-five years, will now be possible. We CAN make last minute plans. We COULD take a spur of the moment trip. We will have NO CURFEW (we always had to be home by the end of a caregiver’s shift. Unlike Cinderella, we only get to stay out until ten.). And, if we do stay out late, we can sleep in the next morning!! Our schedule will no longer revolve around Lauren’s needs. My husband or I can do things independently without concern for the burden of care we may be placing on the other.
The evolution of this change in mindset has been very gradual. It started out with the harder than I imagined necessity of trying to wrap my mind around the changes that will happen when Lauren is no longer living with us. It was a somewhat surreal experience to accept and process the freedom I will soon have – unlike anything I have experienced in my life, (overprotective, old-fashioned parents, married young by today’s standards, long boring story, blah, blah). Soon after the reality began to finally sink in, I started to blurt out things like, “Heh, you know what we could do?” and “Wow, I’ll be able to.....” And now, I’m about to cross the threshold of that hard-to-imagine, monumental change.
So now that I see that “the rest of my life” is so very close, I can’t wait to get there. In the next week I’ll be painting (Please, God, don’t let it take longer than that – five gallons of paint – yikes) and decorating and dealing with the last minute details. By this time next month, Lauren and I could be living “the rest of our lives” – Yippeeeeeee!