It scares me when I have those momentary lapses. There are so many things I want to hang on to and when I forget you're gone, I'm afraid I'll forget all those things about you that are so very precious to me.
I want to forget 'that day', but not what happened before. Those memories are special, the peace I felt that morning, sitting across from you at the table. Our quiet conversation, the color of the sky, the singing birds. I never want to let that go, never. I wish the rest of the day would disappear. I want to forget watching the light fade from your eyes, the screaming, crying and pure panic we all felt. The sight of the girls in the hall with their arms wrapped so tightly around each other. I want to forget the paramedics, the word, 'clear' over and over as they shocked you.
I want to forget the look on your face, so empty, so placid. I know it was better than fear, oh God yes, I'm grateful for that. But seeing you so still, so without fight, me so without hope, yes that can go.
I want to forget the hospital. The sight of you when they called brought me in, the tubes, the blood, the nurse saying over and over, 'no pulse' as they pushed on your chest. I want to forget that you were in the same room as Dad when he had the massive stroke that took his life.
I very much want to forget telling them to stop. I know I was the only one who could make that decision, but still, I wish I could un-hear so many things and that is one of them. "Not enough to sustain life" is another one.
So here's my problem, honey, what I worry about. I try to hard to bury those memories, push them so deep inside I never have to think about them again, I worry about them taking the good things with them.
I never, never want to forget your deep voice, or the twinkle in your blue eyes. I never want to forget your hands, the strength and tenderness in them. I never want to forget the way it felt when you wrapped those massive arms around me, or kissed my hair, or patted my ass. Or how you always, always made me tea while I was in the shower and touched me whenever I was in grabbing distance. I don't want to forget how you smell, the feel of your hair, or your soft beard. I want to remember all of that, you making me laugh even during the toughest times, like the time we went to the school for one of the kids and you never said a word, not one word. I was so mad. When she left the room, I said the principal probably thought you were deaf and mute. Okay, you said. When she comes back I don't want you to say one word. I'll do all the talking and she'll really think we're strange and let the kid off easy. I did it, but it was all I could do not to laugh. God, you were such a genius at messing with people and damn you sucked me in so many times and I ruined your jokes. You'd just give me that look that said 'Really? I almost had them." I don't want to forget that, or how happy you made me. You made life fun.
I'd very much like to forget the first time I went into your room after they took your leg. You don't remember it and I'm so glad about that, but even though I knew you were going into surgery with two legs and coming out with one, I was still not prepared for seeing you in that bed. My heart was breaking. I could almost hear it. To see you laid so low was devastating, but I picked my chin up and carried on as we always did.
I was so proud of you, so amazed when they said you had so much strength you didn't have to go to rehab. I could take you home. Remember they sent the lift, but you never used it. My tough guy refused to depend on anything but himself with a little help from me and the kids. I guess it was a good thing we didn't know then what was ahead.
So I guess I have to figure this out, how to keep the good and 86 the bad. I pray about it, but when I start listing the things I want to keep I always cry. You know how that works out. My chest starts hurting and then I can't breathe, well you've held me through enough of those you know how messy it can be. I don't like falling asleep like that, even though I know that sometimes in the morning I sense we've been talking in my dreams. It's almost as though I can hear you laughing, but then I wake up and remember you're not really here.
You know, not for nothing, it's probably a good thing you did go first, because I'm not sure you would survive this if the shoe were on the other foot. Not that I'd ever underestimate your strength, but really this is beyond endurance at times and we both know I was the really tough one. Sorry, just kidding. We both know the truth, you were my rock, the mountain behind me as I bulldozed my way though life. I don't have that strength anymore. I miss you like crazy.
Stay close honey, I need to feel you around me.