I can’t quit thinking about the things we won’t do. Some poignant and some stupid. We won’t be the longest ones dancing at weddings when they hold the dance for married couples. We won’t be buried side by side. Wife may not be in my epithet. We won’t babysit our grandchildren together. We won’t have mimosas together on Christmas mornings. You won’t be surprised by what the kids unwrap.
We won’t celebrate our golden anniversary. We won’t get as far as my grandparents or yours, even though, for a time, we both wanted to.
All those pipe dreams. Dozens of what ifs. Oh, sure, I can do them alone, but half of the fun was going along with you. Half the fun was the shared dream. Half the fun was the planning and talking and spitballing.
Half the fun was zipping links to you via text and having you say “make it so”.
I have always been an optimist and able to see the silver lining behind the clouds. I’ve looked at the darkness and found the glimmer every time but this one. One day in the future, I’m sure I’ll find it again. One day behind the depth of this shadow, the sun will peek through and I’ll know that I’ve made it to the other side without you.
The Christmas tree is in the back yard waiting to be burned after I tore it down the day you left the first time. Cadence was proud of herself for dragging it back to the fire pit and now I see it back there as a relic of time gone by that won’t come again. The girls and I will set that fire alone and burn the last vestige of our last Christmas as five.
I remember writing, long ago on another topic, how hard it must be to be an earthly family of four when you used to be one of five. And then, it happened to me and my Mom slipped away, leaving the previous five of us as four and now it’s happened again. We are four together. And you are four together; but we used to be five. Five felt right and comfortable. Exactly one hand. I’d count us on the way out the door. Now I fall short. Just three marching out in front of me.
I leave room for you. The four to my five.