After nine years of courtship, my partner Richard and I are discussing The Future. Children, marriage and home ownership are now notching out deeper spaces in our daily dialogue.
Like many couples, we’re both scared of The Future. We’re concerned we won’t be fully equipped for what may come — those ripples that may make life a little more difficult. We’ve already experienced hardships that we’ve routed by the skin of our teeth. Despite the courage we possess individually and as a unit, though, we still fear that which we can’t predict.
In our planning for The Future, we also find ourselves preparing for the inevitable — traces of which already contour our daily lives.
The fact is Richard, 28, has Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), a slowly progressing, degenerative disease that affects the strength of his muscles. While he can walk, lift objects and climb stairs without assistance — albeit at a delayed pace — those abilities will continue to gradually fade and, because BMD is unpredictable, neither he nor I exactly know how that’ll look in The Future. So we try to plan for all possible scenarios we can conjure.
The problem with planning, though, is that we can’t plan at all. Sure, we’re able to determine some of the accommodations we’ll need, like a single-level home or ramps. But, in spite of our need to control The Future, we can’t.
As someone in love with a man with BMD, I sometimes worry I’ll fail as Richard’s cornerstone now and in The Future…