A chance meeting backstage when we were both still too young to drive. Days at the Reel Theater and the years after of reminiscing about them. Rubin and Ed. A first kiss on my birthday. Rides on his motorcycle. Visits until the early hours at his work. Late nights in both of our dorms when we didn't want to say good-bye. Letters from California. Boston Market, sunset, the poem he memorized and the way his voice shook a little with nervousness when he proposed. A beautiful, perfect ring. A beautiful, perfect August day. Watching the glow in the dark fish from the end of the pier at our honeymoon resort in Mexico. Hunkering down and weathering tropical storm Chantal without getting evacuated. A cute baby gecko that lived in our room. A funny little first apartment with the kitchen in the front hall. A psychotic cat who ate all the box elder bugs plaguing the house. Cooking dinner together. The gym, dinner, The Simpsons, Blind Date and bed...every night. Flirty emails every day. Love notes on the bed or the bathroom mirror. Warming his hands when he went to scrape the cars in the morning. Him letting me warm my feet on his every night. Reading Lord of the Rings and homemade bread. Long talks about our future and our family and our love and comfort with each other. Sleeping in. Driving to Southern California in the summer in an un-airconditioned car and our unique ways of cooling off. Army fatigues and a sad good-bye at the Oakland Airport. Letters every day for five months so he would know how much I loved and missed him. The look of joy and relief on his face when we finally found each other in the crowd at his basic training graduation. The best hug ever in a long line of amazing hugs. A perfect first anniversary weekend before I had to fly home. Driving through the front gates at Fort Jackson for the last time after AIT and being so excited we filmed it. 3 weeks on the road, visiting friends and family and seeing America. Virginia, D.C., Gettysburg, New York, Boston, Niagara Falls, Church History sites and just reveling in being together every day after 5 months apart. Evenings laughing and cuddling up against the cold and reviewing what we had filmed that day as we "camped" on an air mattress in the back of the new SUV. Wal-Mart Parking lot and a birthday gift. Showering at truck stops. A lot of dollar menu meals and a lot of wrong turns. No rush. Coming home to feather a new nest. Selling plasma, counting out change and eating a lot of spaghetti to pay the bills. A positive pregnancy test. 2 consecutive weekends devoted to watching the first 2 seasons of 24. BBQ chicken pizza on '24' nights thereafter. Piles of lilacs every birthday, roses every Valentine's Day. Curling up in the same hospital bed and watching in awe as JS, only a few hours old, breathed and became ours. Adding to the love note book. Acquiring a magic blanket (the standard by which all other blankets would be judged). Disneyland trips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Fondue Parties. Late, late nights frosting cookies or making bread for marketing treats. Another summer in California together with J's first self-created company. So proud. Company #2, working together to make it work. Touring house after house, looking for one we could picture ourselves in. Finding one. Having to paint almost every room twice. Winging it through home improvement projects. Getting 'Lost.' Working out together in the mornings. A second joyful baby boy. J getting up most mornings with the kids so I could sleep. Company # 3. Constant "scheming". Cheering him on, still so proud. Planning future vacations and how we wanted to raise our children. Always gratefully coming home to a clean house, 'thanks honey, you are perfect.' Covers turned down for me every time I came to bed after him. Feeling like a "real family" with 2 kids. "Want to watch something funny?" Dreaming about moving back to our home town and building our "forever home." Laughing at our boys and talking about the kids to come. It's a girl! Talking, not about everything we should have, but always talking. Arguing current events, comparing pasts, dreaming futures. A family. Loving our kids, working together. How could I have known?
Last week I managed to not care for three days in a row where he was or what he was doing. I felt like I had maybe turned a corner.
Then, there are the days when I miss him so, so much that everything aches...not just my heart.
I can't help it. I still miss my best friend. And I still feel stupid for feeling that way.