When you are a woman who dates and ultimately marries another woman you are well aware of the drama that might befall your relationship. According to television and movies at any time one of us could be shot, unless we happen to be a bulletproof lesbian(this identifier only applies to my wife), as a bisexual I could suddenly realize I need to be with a man(Tina from The L World is a prime example), or both of us or at least one of us will ultimately cheat because we aren’t going to communicate our feelings and just decide sleeping with someone else is the best option available for us(see again The L Word because it happens a lot). What these representations don’t prepare you for are the actual things that could happen to you as a couple when you aren’t living in a soap opera style environment.
Krista and I live in an exceptionally small town, so small that most of our neighbors are Amish and when we need plowed out of our house someone on a sled pulled by horses shows up. The smallness of our town means that we are the only queer people we see on a regular basis. I happen to work somewhere with a few other self-identified queer women, but Krista has very few coworkers and none of them fall within the LGBTQ+ umbrella. We do not have a gay friend group we can hangout with outside of the internet and that means we spend a lot of time together, which we both enjoy. The fact that it is just us is not something that media ever seems to show. If you are queer there is always somewhere or some group of people that you can hang out with. We do have some online friends that we have met in person, but again this isn’t the same as having people around all the time.
Beyond just having so few people around that identify the way we do, we also have dogs. For some odd reason television and movie female/female couples never seem to have pets and if they do it might be one cat you like never see. Admittedly we do have a cat and he does often disappear into his own secret hiding places. We though have dogs and Krista even had two dogs before I moved in with her. Belle and Lilly appear frequently on her Facebook and Twitter and as our relationship became more and more serious I became their long distance second mom. When I moved in I was finally their second actually in the house mom. Belle had been sick prior to me moving in and while Krista did everything she could, Belle had bone cancer and even after amputation and chemo the cancer was still there. We made the decision to make her pain go away and she was put to sleep. This was before we were even married and we were both a wreck. We still both miss her tremendously and still wish she were with us.
For those who follow either of us on social media you will know that Lilly, Belle’s older Rottweiler sister, was recently diagnosed with bone cancer and based on the vet’s recommendation and our own concerns that she would continue to be in tremendous pain, which could at any time get even worse as her left rear leg could break at any time, we also had to say a final goodbye to her. We were miserable after that and we are still grieving her, even though she did get to live for almost 11 years. I selfishly told Krista that I felt cheated by the fact that I never got to celebrate the birthday of either Belle or Lilly and had been hoping Lilly would live long enough for that celebration. Beyond these two deaths, Krista’s cousin, who helped to plan and decorate our engagement party, was diagnosed with cancer and died very soon after being diagnosed. The amount of loss that we have had to experience is just exhaustively high. We have yet to be married a year and we have had to work through so much grief together. We though do have one thing that many couples on tv and in movies don’t have, we have communication. We try to work through everything together and be there for each other. Krista has more than once had to tell me that we can cry together, I focus on taking care of her and feel selfish crying when she is upset but I am working on that. We have to also take time for ourselves and allow ourselves to process everything that has happened. We know that it is hard, but we do everything we can to make sure that are able to understand each other and how we are feeling.
On a positive note, we do currently have two puppies that we are raising together. Bruni the fourish months old Blue Heeler mutt and Chloe the close to two months old Rottweiler. They are both keeping us pretty busy and in the case of Chloe still keeping us from getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep. We are an evolving family that is doing our best to be there for our new members while still keeping the memory of those who are no longer with us very much alive.