I thought I wrapped these up last year. As our anniversary has drawn closer I've been missing you something awful. Of course.
There’s something that’s been eating at me. Gnawing away slow but steady and relentless. So many of the memories...I remember the moments and the feelings but the pictures get a little dimmer with each passing day. There’s one that sticks with me, sticks in me, stabs me over and over. You were still in the hospital whlie we were getting hospice set up. Early in the morning. Just you and me. I did that thing I do when I feel the world spinning away from me. I find something to do. Some problem to solve. Something that stills the screaming, twitching, terrified child inside. My seemingly calm panic response. I told you we needed to write a will. We needed to get all that legal shit addressed so we could put it aside. You looked at me blank faced. So I made my case. Gently but persistently telling you why it was important and how it would help makes things easier for me and the girls. How I needed your help knowing what to do as things progressed, the living will part. Me. How I needed. How it helped me. So wrapped up in steering my mind toward a thing I could address...away from the one, the only thing I gave a damn about, my worst case scenario come to life, the one problem I wanted and needed to solve but couldn't, couldn't, couldn't...that I didn’t at first notice you nodding your head faster and faster while tears welled up in your eyes and finally pulled myself out of my fear and saw those tears tracking down your face, that beautiful face, my favorite face. And that small voice, the one you had when you were scared and hurt and your eyes so pained and pleading and scared as for just a couple minutes that impressive wall of denial revealed itself to be the house of cards that it was. That tiny voice…”don’t give up on me. We could still get our miracle.”
Oh my girl, my girl, my beautiful perfect for me girl. How I hurt you. How I devastated you, wrapped up as I was in my own pain that I somehow looked at you as a problem to solve, an obstacle to conquer and forgot, forgot, forgot that you were the one who was facing the hard road of dying.
My one, my onliest, my one true Jill. I couldn’t bring myself to tell you that people like me...we don’t get miracles. Yet, somehow I did. It’s like there was a clerical error in heaven and a miracle for someone more deserving was somehow sent to the wrong address, like when a bank inadvertently deposits a million bucks into the wrong account. You were my miracle, even though I’m sure that miracle was meant for someone else.I sure as hell wasn’t giving you back.
I’ve Googled my ass off and consulted religious texts galore. None of them tell you what happens when the miracle ends. There’s no manual. Not even a bullet pointed set of guidelines or annoying BuzzFeed listicle. It’s not that the world is any worse than it was before the miracle of you fell in my lap. It’s just that it pales in comparison.
I miss you.
I miss you curled up against me, on me, across me. I could tell by the sound of your breathing when you’d fallen asleep. I would have stayed there forever, my arm going numb, if you’d let me.
I miss you.
I miss talking to you every night, you’re voice slightly tinny as it zinged across the airwaves. But still your voice. Though the tone was off, the music of it was all there.
I miss how the world was somehow more vivid and precise.
I miss being the other half of you.
I miss how full you made me feel.
I miss waking up in the morning happy because I’d see you. Or when I was away, happy because I was one more wake up closer to you. The absence of you hurt but the anticipation of seeing you was a gorgeous torture.
I miss singing to you. I can sing for you. But it ain’t the same.
I miss how we’d lift each other up and somehow become more than we were apart. At least, I did.
I miss the taste of you, the breath of you, your chaos and your stillness, your madness and your calm, your fury and the sweet, delicious yielding. I miss the way you would exasperate me. I didn’t know before how good exasperation could feel.
I miss us. I think of the cloying idiocy of that old movie and the overwrought “you complete me” and God help me Tom-fucking-Cruise was right.
I miss my long held certainty that Tom Cruise was never right.
I miss how beauty was more beautiful, music more musical, life more liveable.
And still, and still, and still…
Not so long ago on this day, you said some words and I said some words and there was a ceremony and a bunch of people and when I break it down like that it seems so silly. But those things happened and we were a thing called “married”. Such a little word. Such a big thing. Such a fine thing. So there’s this thing now called “anniversary”. The only thing worse than all this missing I’m doing would be if it had never happened and I didn’t have this anniversary thing to knock me around. I’d say those words again. I’d listen to you say them over and over. I’d marry you every day. So I could become yours, again and again and again. And that, somehow, is everything.