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  • For about a year, we've been leaving notes for each other. He leaves notes on my bathroom counter. I leave notes on his command counter in the kitchen.

    Our schedules are so diametrically opposed. He up all night, me up all day. It started with me leaving him drawings - if they can be called that - with notes telling him what I plan to do that day or what is going on in my head, or sometimes just a drawing of a scene in my mind's eye. It was a way to try to keep our lines open.

    Was a time - not so very long ago - when his pestering me about buying too much bruschetta, would have started an argument. Me pushing back against his constant micro/hyper vigilance re food and refrigerator. Treating me like a child and not a partner. Pedantic. Bringing up his obsession with the newspapers that choke the house. He defending his need to know to understand to... question my every move. And express his befuddlement at my outburst. Admitting the papers had gotten out of hand... but what could he do? He couldn't stop that.. Not knowing how to... make it better...

    Life with an obsessive compulsive literary/editorial genius has it's benefits (notice the spelling correction) and it's major drawbacks (notice the spelling correction).

    And somewhere along the way on this part of our journey together, where the end of one of us is so clearly in our sights - we've both eased up.

    I found that well of patience that is more genuine and true than any amount of hollering frustration. I found a way to gently change my tone - the tone of my voice, the cadence of my reasoning, a deeper understanding and acceptance of myself, my boundaries and of him. A way to actually ask for what I need. Sometimes in a way he can understand. (Let's not get too glow-y here... it's a dance that constantly changes.)

    Turns out that helps him a lot. Oh - she needs sweetness. Hum.. I can do sweetness. Let me see here... how does that go...?

    We mirror each other - we try - to help each other understand our limitations and needs.

    Giving each other a space to be without running off in a huff of hurt and confusion.

    A note in the bathroom from him that I see in the morning can remind me that he was up all night, he had things on his mind, he thought of me.

    I've been taking photos of our notes - to remember us by - and perhaps to tell our story later, when I will need to remember the bitter sweetness of this time. The price of remembrance. The precious timing of these lessons in communication.
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