I assumed you’d always be there.
My first contact as soon as I open my eyes. The first good morning from my lips or fingers, depending on whether I wake up next to you. The last I love you long after the sun surrenders to the dark. The point to my counterpoint.
My steadfast companion in weekend shenanigans. My sounding board for daily struggles and minutia, an audience for my long, waxing stories, puns and jokes. My kitchen dancing partner. The one with whom I (badly, most times very badly) try to harmonize in the car, hoping you don’t hear or judge too harshly when it’s (usually) awful.
My workout partner. My hand holder, and forehead kisser.
Yesterday, my mind stumbled into a scary, sad place. One without you in it.
I was driving. We talked on the phone. (Handsfree. Huzzah, bluetooth!) I had both hands on the wheel, steadily guiding myself into my driveway, yet felt like we were careening at top speed off a cliff. I told you I thought something was wrong. That I can’t be things I’m not. That maybe I wasn’t the girl for you.
I felt sick.
I hung up the phone, and sat in my car. Sobbing. Heaving. Already missing your scent and the scruff of your beard on my neck when you snuggled in behind me as I brushed my teeth.
I went in the house. Threw on the mask of being Mom and strong and happy for my little audience of two who needed dinner and hugs and kisses and help with homework. I hoped we could talk later and resolve things, but I hated that I couldn’t see your face. Responsibilities meant that just wasn’t possible.
Like clockwork, I messaged you when the house was quiet. And we could talk. You said you’d be there in 3 minutes.
And then, you walked in the door.
I hadn’t heard you open the garage, or pull in the driveway, or your footsteps on the stairs. But, there you were. With open arms and more red roses than I’d ever seen gathered together in a beautiful bouquet.
You showed up.
We talked. And I could see your face. Your eyes said it all. You were scared, too. You held me, and assured me, and listened, and offered a hand that hoisted me out of that horrible, terrifying, solitary space, and back on the path where I belonged, with you.
We need to be brave. And stay soft. With our eyes and hearts open to whatever comes next. Because I know, there’s Game of Thrones episodes to watch together, and silly dances in the grocery store, and nights at the arcade with our kids, and trips to the batting cages, and stupid selfies, and snowmobiling weekends, and a million other things in store for us.
I’ll never just assume you’ll be there. But, I’ll fight like hell to be there, too…because there is where you are. And that’s where I want to be.