It was a simple question: “How long have you been married?”
I turned to look at Katie, my wife of 35 years, and answered, emphatically, “Not long enough.”
“Oh, that’s so sweet,” the nurse smiled and beamed at my wife. Katie squeezed my hand.
I wasn’t trying to be “sweet” – I was trying for a laugh to stave off thoughts of my mortality. I was lying on a gurney, about to go into surgery, and I wasn’t totally assured that I would be waking up when it was over. “Not long enough” was, I thought, a clever way of saying that “I’m not ready to stop having anniversaries.”
Well, obviously, I did wake up, and I’ve even celebrated another anniversary since then. But the sentiment remains: I have not been married “long enough.” And I’ll feel that way all the rest of my life.