I cleaned out Joe's closets on Valentine's day night. The kids were at Meme and Papa's for a party so it seemed like as good a time as any to do it. You may remember that I did the bedroom last summer. This stuff is not fun.
Joe did not have a lot of "stuff". He used to say to me "You know the difference between a man and a woman when it comes to buying stuff Robin? Women buy little things here and there on sale or whatever.... couple bucks here, couple bucks there and men don't do that. Men just skip all that little shit and want the big stuff". That was basically his line of defense when telling me about all the things he wanted to buy. For years it drove me crazy, he'd get on kicks and talk about them constantly for months (I want a boat. I want a sports car. I want a camp. I want a motorcycle. I want a new snowmobile. I want a boat...). I noticed after a few years it was all cyclical. He'd be on a kick or a while, want something and within a few months he'd be onto something else, acting like the first thing was SO OUT and this new thing, THIS is what he really wanted. After a while it didn't bother me anymore. I just waited it all out with the seasons. And truthfully I waited it out with a lot of eye rolling. Afterall, one of my favorite sayings that I have had on my desk for probably 10 years is:
"Happiness is not getting what you want,
but wanting what you have".
I believe that Joe and I were good together because he kept us moving forward....never seeing any impossibility in having or doing anything, and I kept us grounded, remembering to appreciate what we already had. It was a good mix of both. Too much contentment can leave you stagnant; too much yearning for more can leave you not appreciating anything. We were good together.
When I was going through the stuff in his closet I came across this scrap of paper. I wrote this note to him while I was in labor, minutes before we left for the hospital, and I left it on his bureau for him to find some time later. We never talked about it, and truthfully I had forgotten about it until I came across it last week:
I have been crying about this piece of paper all week. A part of me does not know why it makes me so sad, and part of me can list you a thousand different reasons why.