Thursday, December 19, 2013

The passing of that one lover...

December 19, 2013

I suppose, having been with my spouse for twenty years, I shouldn't have some things marked on my calendar. You know - the birthdays of old boyfriends and dates special events happened with them. Like when they won the karate championship. That sort of thing. Maybe it's in bad taste. I don't really know. But there's one notation that pops up on my calendar every year on December 19 that I don't care if my partner knows about. I will not remove it: JRH, 2009.

It was foolish of me to believe old lovers, forever young and virile in my memory, would live forever. Life has proven to me they do not. It's also been proven that to mourn in private silence is unhealthy, yet in this instance that is my lot. Perhaps had I been able to mourn openly I'd be over the loss and this year I know I am not.

You know the story. It's a common one. Thirty or so years ago I met a man.... and we shared so much. The ending isn't one found in a romance novel. He wanted to travel a road I did not and I would not bend. He went one way and I went another. We saw each other, sporadically, and it was enough to know he was happy enough in his choices, one of which I may have forced upon him.

And then a mutual friend delivered the news - he was gone.  

It's odd to know I'll never meet him on the road again. I'd gotten used to suddenly looking in my rear view mirror and seeing the grill of his Chevy pickup about three inches from my bumper. He did it just to hear me yell profanities at him and he'd always laugh. I will always miss his grin and the quick kiss on my cheek he always gave me.

Life is full of loss, and it's what we do with those losses that shape and prepare us to handle the next one with more grace. I didn't get to say so many things to him, not even goodbye. I didn't get to tell him I wouldn't forget him and that every year I'd stop and remember the long talks we had and the secrets he told me. It is one of the few regrets I carry. 

His passing at the age of forty-nine reminds me to cherish the people I care about and to take the time to tell them they're important to me. I need to say the words as much as they need to hear them. Because I don't want to miss another chance to tell someone I care about them and they matter. 


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