12/5/12: I/We and Our/My

One of the quirks about this journey is the use of pronouns…when did “we” become just “I” and “our” become just “my”? I’m not sure others pay much attention but I am so very aware that when I say something like “Come on over to ____ house after the game…” I am hesitating before choosing the pronoun. In my heart it is OUR house and always will be. It’s the place we shared so many moments–both significant and silly–it is the home of memories. Perhaps one day I will live somewhere that I did not share with L, but will the address really matter? As long as the structure is furnished with “our” things won’t it still be ours?

Okay then there’s “we” vs. “I” — this one kind of works because it seems that natural to use past tense with we as in “We always loved to…” or “One time we were…” If someone extends an invite it’s also pretty natural to simply say “I’d love to…”  Clearly I’m not yet so lost that I have fantasies that “we” could accept. So it’s the possessive that gives me pause.

But underlying this struggle in semantics is a deeper more painful coming to terms with the fact that these days only the past is “our” and “we”. The present and the future are both single…I…me…my.

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4 thoughts on “12/5/12: I/We and Our/My

  1. Mrs. Schmidt, I just finished A Groom for Greta. I truly enjoyed reading Greta’s story and waiting on Lydia’s. I then read your remarks at the end and thought what a brave and strong woman you must be, to write this story and dealing with letting your spouse go. May God bless you during this journey.

    1. Thank you for your note–it’s contact with people like you that add to my strength as I make this journey. My husband worked so hard to make sure that I would be as ready as anyone can be to face this future and he reminded me often to be open to “the kindness of strangers” — like you!! Thanks. Anna
      PS: Lydia’s story is titled SECOND CHANCE PROPOSAL and will be out in the spring. Enjoy.

  2. I thought of you when I saw the new addition to the usually-banal retirement commercials. Normally it’s “what does Norma/Sam/Jim do on their first day of retirement?” – where trivial pursuits replace a life of work.

    But the new one shows a woman asking how she will handle retirement, when suddenly she’s facing it alone, after 35 years of marriage (focus on photograph of deceased husband). Fully expected the captioned name to be Jo S., but it wasn’t. 🙂

    I don’t think you’ll just wake up one day and switch to “I”. It will be a gradual process. So much of your life is still bound up in “we” that it’s natural and normal to talk in those terms. But you will be making new memories, always aware that someone is missing from them, but less and less painful. And the “I” will start to feel like a new flannel shirt. Doesn’t replace the old one, just hangs next to the old one in the closet.

  3. Wow, I’d never thought of that as I often use the plural pronouns as well. Honestly your husband will always be with you as will mine. Praying for you as this is such a painful time and struggle. Blessings

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