Chris Atkinson is terminal.
You couldn’t tell that by looking at him.
He’s happy. Most of his physical pain gets subdued by medicine. The remaining portion gets subdued by the harmonious environment he’s created around himself all his life.
Whatever’s left of his life is still a pleasure. He looks forward to it.
He won’t be sorry to go, though, for he carries with him a huge sense of accomplishment.
For starters, he’s had a flawless marriage. Neither of them have felt the need to fight.
He has been faithful to her and has given her everything he possibly could.
She has supported him selflessly in every venture of his. She has never abused the financial freedom he’s given her. Also, she’s never been jealous of his intelligence.
She has not nagged. That’s a huge one, and he knows the value of his good fortune.
Furthermore, she has overlooked the “too-much proximity” clause, and has allowed him to work from home in peace. She has even added to the harmony of his work-sphere at home.
He’s not told her he’s terminal. In fact, no one else knows, except him and his doctor.
He has always wanted to work till his last day. Also, she should see his smiling side till the end.
What about after that?
Will she be safe?
After all, before her marriage, Jane Atkinson was probably the most tech-unsavvy woman alive.
Forty something years with him have completely turned that around.
She is financially independent today. More importantly, she’s able to access and manage her personal funds and investments independently. She doesn’t need to contact any fund-managers, brokers, bankers or the like. All her accounts are online, and their logins and passwords are sorted, stored, and accessible only to her. She is able to move her personal funds worldwide with a few button-clicks.
He has taught her fantastically.
She has learnt very well.
Initially, it was a slow going.
The most important thing was, there was no ego from her side while learning. She knew he was teaching her something really important. Though she was not the least bit interested in it, she respected his seriousness and intensity, and decided to learn as diligently as she could, without insulting his earnest attitude.
Slowly, she’s gotten the hang of it. Slowly, her interest in money matters has awakened.
It’s also worked because he has been very patient with her. He’s never blown up.
His monthly “lectures” on saving have converted her from a champion spendthrift to a slightly serious saver. She still spends a lot, but has been managing to save a bit every month. Since his monthly allowance to her has been huge since the beginning, the bit she saves equates to a lot of money in her personal account at the end of every month, money that’s waiting to be invested.
And now comes the kicker. She knows how to handle idle funds. Her knowledge on investing comes purely from watching him in action. She has watched in bits and pieces over forty plus years. She has shared his professional tensions, allowing him to speak freely about what has bothered him. Her mind has soaked in all this information. Because of the long time-span involved, she has digested the information and transformed it subconsciously into a usable form. Today, she is not only financially independent, but also financially capable.
So, no, he’s not worried about her on the financial front.
What’s eating him a bit is the emotional side of life. How will she take it?
He knows she’s strong. She’ll be shattered, though. They share a bond that most people don’t have. They don’t need to speak in each other’s presence. There’s so much mutual love, that life is telepathic. Her mental strength will pull her through, he tells himself. Their happy memories will sooth her feelings.
If you ask him, he’ll want her to move on. As in, he’ll want her to find a new and suitable relationship. She won’t, though. They have something a new relationship will not be able to replace.
He knows she’ll plunge further into her charity work, and will keep busy.
She’ll remember and miss him every day. That very thought takes away any of his pain that remains, physical or mental. He feels wanted, and will do so till his last day and beyond. Feeling wanted is a tremendously satisfying state of mind.
He has always been aware that she is emotionally dependent on him, and has never abused this knowledge. Over the last four decades, he has made her aware of her emotional dependence, asking her to work on it.
Today, he feels she’s capable of handling his permanent physical absence. It’ll hurt her, but she’ll handle it. She’ll cry, but joyful memories will pull her through.
Don’t cry for Chris Atkinson.
When he goes, he’ll go on a happy and fulfilled note. He’s had a great life.
Many couples wish they would live their lives like Chris and Jane Atkinson have done.