My husband is a good dancer, a really good dancer. We have danced in the driveway, danced in the barn, danced in the laundry room and, many times, danced in the kitchen. If there is music playing that gets his body moving, he will take my hand and we will dance anywhere. He has danced me through joy, danced me through tears and danced me through darkness. His hand on the small of my back, small pressures moving me left or right, faster or slower, into twirls and out of twirls, away and then close. And always the rhythm, that singular translation of sound into movement and the ease and comfort of that knowing.
We now move differently together, in a new way. ‘New way’ is his description. My description, ‘awkward and tenuous’, is less kind but likely more realistic. He whispers small steps, small circles when I lose my balance, reminding me to trust that we can move together in this new way, in this different-than-before way. In that moment, I urge my body to remember, to remember how it moved before. I beg the cellular memory to pay attention. But it does not hear me.
I’m happy that we still dance. Even though each step shouts out to me see this loss, see this one more thing disappearing I am still happy that we dance. Glad that his hand still rests on the small of my back, reminding me to quiet the fear, to simply feel the music in the soles of my feet and to just move, however that may be.
But, oh, how I miss the old way.