Today is just not my day, I tell you what…  I had that lovely little stroll down heartbreak, er, I mean memory lane earlier today…  Among other things, the chain in the toilet tank upstairs decided to snap, so every time I have to pee tonight, I have to walk down stairs to do so… 

          So, here goes…  I came down here to make myself some tea and flipped the calendar page to write a reminder when a friend would be in town for the last time before she is deployed for God only knows how long to Korea.  She’s going to be in town the weekend of July 4th, but has to be back on base by the 4th…  I write her name in and draw a line through the days she’ll be here.  I stop at the 4th…  and there it is…  “Gram – 73”  Just like that… 

          It’s like being bashed over the head with grief…  Only not because I can’t feel anything.  I still haven’t cried, and we all know I am a crier…  big time.  My eyes tear up and then it just…  stops.  Maybe one sniffle and then it’s stuffed back to wherever it came from and I think about anything and everything other than…  Well, that.  This time last year, I was with her…  Enjoying her warm, comforting smell…  Running my fingers over the veins in the backs of her hands like I did was I was small enough to do the same thing, only sitting in her lap…  Watching her just *adore* Mega Man and take in his every move…  Hearing her laugh with Mega, just being silly…  Seeing her eyes light up every time someone mentioned us, or even her new title “Gigi,” just like her Mother…  If I had known…  I would have changed so much…  But I assume that’s normal for people to think.  If I had known it would be the last time she really SAW Mega, I would have been more present for her…  I would have sent even more pictures and video footage…  I would have done more footprints and hand prints and stayed longer…  I wouldn’t have been so difficult and stubborn…  I would have just loved her and not let anything get in the way of that…  Just seen her and taken in as much as I could…  It’s never going to go away.  It’s never going to get easier.  Because she was all of it…  All of the things that I wanted and needed.  All of the things I trusted.  All of the things I sought.  She had faults, yes, I know.  I am not blind.  I have others to love and that love me; I see that as well.  It’s just…  different.  When you feel like someone is fighting the hardest battle they can possibly be asked to fight FOR YOU and you didn’t even ask them to…  When you feel like someone it always standing behind you, even when they know you are wrong, not because they are blind, but because they love you so much that it doesn’t matter if you’re wrong…  When you’re completely unconcerned about what others think of what you just did and who you are, but you worry about what they will think…  It’s different.  Just last year…  Can it really have been that recently?  Can it really have been that long ago?  It’s both…  simultaneously…  I saw her 3 months ago and yet it’s 3 lifetimes ago…  It’s hazy from time and yet it’s crystal clear.  I can see her eyes…  swimming and trying so hard to see me…  I can hear her…  trying so hard to speak just a few words…  I can feel her hand in mine…  So soft and cool… like velvet in the shade.  And I can hear the last thing she said that I could understand…  And in my head, I can see her heartbreak as I tell her I am leaving…  And I want so badly to convince myself it IS all in my head…  That she understands and holds nothing against me.  That she might be watching over me, but that she’s not disappointed in me.  That if she really does know everything, past and present, that she doesn’t think any less of me…  That no matter what, she still loves me. 

          There was a morning a few days after she passed that I would have sworn she was next to me…  I could feel an impression on the edge of the bed, as if she were sitting there, just watching me sleep…  But the longer I was awake, the more sure I was that it was wishful thinking on my part.  And now I want something – ANYTHING – like that…  Wishful thinking or not.  I just miss her so much that I can’t stand it…  And I guess that’s it right there.  I can’t stand it…  And that’s why I can’t cry.  That’s why I haven’t faced it, even though it stares me in the face every day and challenges me.  Because I just…  can’t.

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