Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Of anniversaries that weren't

Six years ago today, A and I "met" via a PM on a bulletin board, in an exchange of notes that soon became a true correspondence of a growing friendship, and ultimately a love of a lifetime. A too-short lifetime for his part, but still. The first anniversary sneaked up on me; I didn't even realize it, but he remembered the date. I remembered on the second one. And that was all we ever got. Now this day passes marked only by me, and my dear widowed pals who make it their sacred duty to remember these things with me. I didn't even get a sign today.

Four years ago this weekend was the last time I kissed and hugged him. We spent a wonderful Memorial Day weekend together, and then it was back to chat and e-mail until the day he didn't do either. It's a bit of a tough time, now that I think of it. No wonder I've been wanting to wear that bracelet, as I did today, plus the perfume I always wore and spritzed all my love letters with, so he could smell me from wherever he is.

Yesterday as I was driving home from work, I started thinking about how he died, how we'd made an emergency plan "just in case." And it still feels too weird to be true, even though I know it is. I tried to put it out of my mind, because it just makes me sad and miserable and I didn't want to be sad and miserable for the rest of the night. But I woke up this morning, and instantly it was back in my head; maybe in my sleepiness, my defenses were down. And I allowed myself a little bit of thought about it. It is still so horrifying to me that he was alone for 2 days before he was found. That's what my mind chews on and recriminates about; and I'm not the sole criminal in those reflections. But again, I had to set it aside. There was a day to start, dogs to feed, and my dwelling on it wasn't going to change it or mitigate the horror. It just was what it was.

It is not the anniversary that makes me sad; it's that we had so few of them, there was no time to create a ritual, nothing to remember, nothing to sustain me through all the ones I'd celebrate alone. For our second, and last, I'd bought him a functional sextant because he wanted one, and told him it would help him always find his way to me, or something equally sappy. It disappeared with the rest of his stuff. It's almost a non-anniversary, except that six years ago my life changed irrevocably, and for the better. I mean, my life, with him in it, was about as perfect as I could ever hope for. And because I met him, I have experienced the worst pain I have ever known. He was a meteor, a falling star that was so beautiful, until impact, when it devastated life as I knew it, so many dreams and hopes and futures extinct from that moment.

I miss him so damned much. I would give almost anything to have him hold me in his arms and say "I love you, Baby." Such a small thing; such a small impossible thing.


  1. I understand completely...and very poignant, moving words. It makes perfect sense now why you've subconsciously been moved to remake and wear the bracelet. In clearer moments, I can allow that sometimes there's a symmetry and cosmic pull why we feel the things we do: this time of year is momentous for you, so you think of him; the fifth anniversary of Charley's death is crashing closer--only a little over a month away now--and I'm sure that fact is subconsciously calling to me too. Perhaps that's why I unconsciously decided to watch the videos today...and now I don't have to do it again anytime again for a long, long time, much less in July.

    I'm sorry he's not here to read your love letters. I'm sorry you've had to learn to live with the fact that he lay there dead and alone for two days. I'm sorry you had so damned little time with him. And I'm extra-sorry he didn't send you any signs today or this week. Maybe the bracelet was his sign? (Or is it your sign? That whole chicken-and-the-egg thing gets so dizzying sometimes.)

    And while I haven't had the fortune to meet you in person (yet!) and I never knew your sweetheart, I'm sending you hugs as part of my sacred widow-guardsman duty. I'm remembering all the words you've written about him, and bearing witness to your love story and memories with you. Hugs, my friend....

  2. Thank you, and bless you for that. I appreciate it more than I can say.

    Also, I'm game to come to Portland. It's going to happen eventually!

  3. Amen! Amen! Amen!

    I had two short years with my Nelson, and then he was gone. The last six months were long distance, and hard. Then he was gone, and it's been agony...He had just sent me a dozen roses for our second anniversary as a couple...I had just finished drying them when he died... It will be seven months on Friday.

  4. I am sorry, Mellehcimb. On my better days, I can say that he and I WILL have the rest of my life to love, and eternity beyond that. But of course, it's not the same as them being here; and that hurts so much.