I awoke this morning to a perfect blue sky flecked with white clouds that the wind was tossing around. Surprisingly—considering how I’ve been feeling in the days leading up to today—I woke up happy.
He died a year ago, today, and my life has been poorer since. But for having had him in my life, for as long as I did, my life has been that much richer, every single day of it. And still is.
For a while, I vacillated: stay at home, cocooned in a comforting warmth of memories and safety if tears should come, or go out, celebrate, after a manner and do something I might have done with him if he was here, if he had ever come here.
Easier – safer to stay home, and yet. I went to Brian’s Grill and ordered a heap of buffalo wings—the best in the city for my money, and something I think he would have enjoyed eating. I also ordered a pitcher of strawberry daiquiri, though that was for me—he was never a drinker.
And I sat on the windy restaurant rooftop and ate and drank in his memory—and read a book, in this case Elizabeth George’s wonderful Write Away.
We used to talk about him visiting me here: If I ever win the lottery, I’m coming to visit you, he’d say; If I ever sell that novel, I’ll buy a ticket for you to fly over here, I’d think.
Neither happened; I think we both knew he would never make it here, and that was okay—he’d done his share of traveling and was enjoying a little stability and the quiet moments of life: fishing in the mountains, playing the drums, a few moments for himself after a life spent for others.
Though he never saw my life here, he once said to me “I carry you in my heart wherever I go: always have, always will.”
These days, I do the same.