Half a dad

It had never occurred to me that the only reason why my father was always well dressed was because my mother would dress him. But it became obvious once my mother died, that it had never been him behind the impeccable style that I always recognized as his. It was always her. After my mother's passing, not only did my father lose his sense of fashion (that had never been his to begin with), but he also lost all interest in relating to people. I knew he was an introvert, but I never realized how much of his character actually derived from mom, and not from himself. At first, I assumed it was the pain, perhaps his way of mourning was to withdraw and spend time alone, but as the years passed by I realized that was simply him. He grew quiet. He stopped making jokes, the jokes that we had always thought were part of his personality, he'd only really tell them to make mom laugh. He always said there was no sweeter sound than mother's laughter. It was so painful to see, on so many levels. He also lost his interest in cooking, which had always been something he enjoyed greatly. Mom never learned how to cook, so it was dad's thing to cook for the family. Even when he was working crazy hours, he'd make sure he prepared delicious and complicated meals for us. It was his love language. They often joked about the fact that this was the biggest reason why mom had decided to marry him. She'd say she knew he was the one when they agreed she'd never have to cook a day in her life. But everyone knew that was a lie. Mother and father adored each other; I never saw anything like it in any other family, and I certainly have not seen it again yet. They had a secret language none of us was able to understand - They communicated with their eyes and small expressions on their body language. If mother was feeling uncomfortable in one corner of a big room, surrounded by people, she only had to give father a look and he'd come rescue her. They'd speak across a crowded table without saying a single word. Mom and dad were married for thirty seven years. They met briefly and six months later they got married. Whenever people would say they rushed into their decision, father answered: "we were forced to wait for six months, I would have married her after the second time we met". They always knew they'd end up with each other. Even now it's difficult to imagine a time in which they weren't together, I still can't conceive it, although she's been gone for a while. There's something in my dad that makes me think he's simply waiting to go meet her again. Like their goodbye was only temporary, like he's never alone, because she's always somehow present for him, and when she’s not, he's just waiting to get back to her. My father became half a person, because my mom was quite literally, his other half. I've battled with the idea of wanting such a love for myself, too. I recognize in their devotion, the signs of an everlasting bond. Unconditional love. Real love, some would say. But I am unable to phantom how I'd comply with such standards. Would I ever be able to love the way they've loved each other? Would I ever be able to live if my person wasn’t with me anymore? My dad’s life after my mother’s passing has reduced him to a thing that waits. Sometimes he is quiet and I can almost see a memory arising in his mind, a smile twists the corners of his lips. And I know for a fact it’s a memory of her. Would I want to live like that?