I want you to remember, amidst the horror, despite the surrealness (is that a word?), there were laughs. And hugs. And kisses. Hand holding, reminiscing. Smiles.
We had not been alone together for 14 years. No dates. No baby sitters. We were in it for the children, yet made time for each other and never regretted it. We looked back on those 14 years, and the 13 years before it, leading up to it. We had a lot of fun, and went on many adventures.
Tonight, while looking for old Halloween costumes, Autumn stumbled upon a heart shaped box of Kim's. I had no idea what might be in it...Turns out, it was filled with her sweetness. A couple of the homemade Halloween costumes she had made. The lion, which all three bambini wore. The jester cap, which went with the Jack in the Box costume that Cody wore when he was 5 and again at 7. There were a couple of letters I wrote her back in college. And several poems. Yes, apparently I thought I was a poet (please do not try to suppress or stifle your laughter, I even rolled my eyes!). There were movie stubs. And concert tickets (Bowie at Veterans Stadium - 84,000 people attended the Glass Spider tour!). Napkins, chop sticks and business cards from our favorite restaurants in southeast Pennsylvania. There was an old hotel key from the Hotel Elton in Beach Haven, NJ, which we frequented. That place had rooms so small that when you opened the bathroom door, it hit the bed! They had rooms without bathrooms, with a shared bathroom at the end of a long hall - but, we splurged! Autumn sat there for over an hour pouring over everything. And over. And over. Asking endless questions.
These are the things Kim and I would talk about, together. Where we went. Our favorite states. Hangouts. People we knew. High school stories. Jr. High stories.
It has been hard. This last week especially. Surprisingly hard. I know there will be ups and downs over the next few weeks - again, the 'anniversary thing'. But, I find, on a day like today, when I was surrounded by positive people (you know who you are!), I can remember all of the best times - or, as Kim and I liked to say after a particularly great night, weekend, roadtrip, whatever - 'another greatest time!'. Too many to mention - but, I guess, over the last year, I may have told you most of them!
Couple more photos of Kimmy - her graduation photo - Class of '83 from Liberty High School and sleeping on the love seat at her friend Tracy's in Alexandria VA.
We have a triangle of loss in my 'hood. Right here on my corner. I spoke to my neighbor, Rob, tonight. His wife sent him a 'Dear John' letter from Afghanistan while he trained for special forces. The guy behind me, his fiance committed suicide. Rob is struggling with his loss, and I spent some time refocusing him and trying to lighten his load. When comparing myself to these two neighbors, I feel blessed to have had the wonderful 33 years Kim and I shared. Oh sure, we had our ups and downs, just like anyone else. But overall, it was an amazing time. And I had the chance to share her last days, say our goodbyes - did I have more to say to her? More to ask? More to discuss? Absolutely. But, unlike my neighbors, we expressed our love for each other, prior to Kim leaving...and, as I've told you a bajillion times, I have a great morale support system. Thank God.
I will get back to the emails. I know they seem dark. But I need to exorcise those nights, those horrors, those feelings of 'why can't I save Kim?'
But, for tonight, I wanted to share the good memories of those times...which were so much more plentiful and amazing.
Don't worry, we'll find our way...