Recently I was stuck in the waiting line to get help at the Apple Store at the mall—because of course when my husband died nearly two years ago, he took all the passwords and pretty much all the technological knowledge about our home computers, iPads and devices with him. I am a complete moron when it comes to figuring out anything in the 'general/ settings/ preferences' tabs on anything in this house. So I sat there waiting for someone to help me get through my Apple ID issues that were close to forcing me to toss my computer out a window.
And as the tech was trying to help me by completely re-loading my phone (which by the way didn't work) she sat a girl next to me who needed help getting her Airpods fixed. Airpod girl and tech girl started to chat and the topic turned to Airpod girl's upcoming wedding to her fiancé, because you couldn't miss the huge diamond engagement ring on her left hand. She went on about wedding planning details and dress shopping, annoyances with wedding party attendants—the normal bridezilla-type stuff that old gals like me know don't mean shit in the long run. She went on for about 20 minutes, and it took everything in me to calmly and quietly sit there and listen... because "can you believe they wanted to charge $200 more for the dress at a shop in Columbus than at a shop here?!"
But I broke y'all. I know, I know. I shouldn't push any bride off her wedding planning bitchfest soapbox and I don’t need anyone to tell me now that I should have kept my mouth shut because I know that. But I just couldn't help it. I looked at this girl and said, "You know, someday you'll see that none of this will matter. None of what you waste time and energy on worrying about now will matter one bit in the end." I told this poor, stunned bride-to-be that I was a widow who knew a little about weddings and more about marriage even if it was a little too late. The only thing that really matters, I told her, is whether or not you can see yourself in absolute thick and thin with this person forever—money or no money, job or no job, sick kids or healthy, miserable in-laws or perfect ones and God forbid someday fighting a terminal illness.
Will you still look at him with love and endearment when he can no longer speak and his body is weak and sick and on the brink of death? Will you hold it together when you bring him fistfuls of medicine daily, realizing there likely will be no more happy times with him on this Earth? Would you unabashedly say yes to do it all again if you knew you wouldn't get any more than 15 years together? Because, sweet Airpod girl, I was exactly you just 17 years ago, full of worry about church flowers and wedding photographer woes, DJ playlists that wouldn't be followed and a thousand other little crap things I wanted to go right but didn't.
Nobody told me I wouldn't f-ing care someday. Nobody told me that my biggest regret would someday be time—time to share, time to laugh, time to travel, time to enjoy together with kids... time to love.
The health of your marriage and of your person is and forever should be what you care about. All the other things are just noise in the background. Ok, I won't lie, it actually will help if you can get him to write down all his passwords and computer wizardry tricks and shortcuts just in case... but truly nothing you fret about right now will ever matter. The only thing you should focus on and cherish together right now is your TIME.
Andrea Remke lives in Northern Kentucky. She has a degree in communications and journalism from Saint Mary’s College, South Bend, Ind. She is a widowed mom to a 12-year-old, twin 9-year-olds, and a 7-year-old. She is a freelance writer and blogs at www.kymomtotwinsandmore.com. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.