I seem to be stuck on a theme in life. If you've been here more than once, you know my never ending dwelling on life in the bittersweet and can I tell you, I'm there yet again.
Always right on the razor edge of the past and the future, the sweetness of love and the sharp cut of loss.
Tonight I'll go to the funeral. Now we call them celebrations of life. It's still a funeral. It's still a strange contrived attempt to put closure on something that doesn't make sense in the heart. The brain understands. We are mortal. Our bodies fail. We understand. And yet, the heart doesn't always get the message.
My heart is stuck a bit.
For some of you this is an odd post. You don't know me in real life, you didn't know Bob. But I did. And this is my blog, my space to clear my head.
I'm doing what I've done since I first knew Bob, processing my life, pen to paper, and today it's with Marillion blasting through my ears.
There's a small smile and nod from those of you who knew him.
I'm standing in a strange place today. I'll go and try to recapture and put to rest something I can't quite even put my finger on.
More than 20 years ago, Bob did something amazing.
He loved me. He gave me the opportunity to love him. He listened. He let me simply be me. He helped my find my way while I was lost. He gave me freedom when I asked for it.
In a way, we were just kids playing at love. In a way, though, love is always real.
My start at CHS was so much harder than I ever expected it to be. There was a small handful of kids who tried to help me through it. They became my safe place. Some how I never really figured it all out. Looking back, I have those thoughts like everyone does. I wonder what it would have been like if I....
But I didn't.
I am who I am partly because of Bob. He helped me find my voice and my dreams. From a distance over a lifetime, I watched him following his own dreams and it is a part of what has kept me walking along after my own. There was always a small back ground of if he hasn't given up yet, neither should I.
At CHS I couldn't find my place. I never built those connections I longed for. I have those what if's... What if Bob and I had stayed a couple? How long would it have lasted? Would I have ended up with the amazing circle of friends that he has?
All those years ago we turned away from each other. I went my own way, floundering and still searching.
I can easily say, I am jealous. I am reading all the memories and comments being left about Bob and I see what I've missed over the years. We never found a way to be more than casual friends after dating. High school is just like that.
One of the things Bob did for me all those years ago was to simply, without saying a word, fold me into his circle of friends. Somehow it was easy for him to just have me there being a part of whatever. It was never fake, I was just simply wrapped into it with him.
When he and I were over I didn't have the confidence in myself to try to stay in those circles of friends. I probably could have and I definitely should have tried, but I was too afraid. I'm watching now and see the closeness, those forever friendships that were cemented then. I know they were built long before I came onto the scene at CHS because small towns are like that, but I still see it.
I will come tonight with all the same old fears and feelings and hope for one last time that the magic will be there and I will again be folded in. My life is such that practicality means I will come alone, without the security blanket of The Mr.
I know there will be lots of people that I will "know" because we were classmates, but also that I will know no one. My connection to all of them was Bob. I never managed to do it myself. I'm hoping the memories will be enough to let me belong one more time.
It is a sharp day of bittersweet.
It is also the close of the break for Chicklet. For a month she's been underfoot and it's been good. We didn't do anything big or special. We fell right back into the easy familiar of life with her here. It's so hard to explain the way that it's always been just like she's always been here, always been a part of us and the smooth, easy way it just is. We did a whole lot of what besties do, make a memory out of nothing. The time was short, we lost a lot of it to her health. But that's ok.
It's like my kids say over and over, "you get what you get and you don't have a fit"
Damn good life advice if you ask me.
So today is filled with the last things to get done before she heads back up north to school. It's heavy with the things besties know about each other. 2 of the 3 of us have way too much on our hearts and minds and yet we'll stand together and walk it through in this season.
Right in front of us is potential and opportunity and possibility and hope.
And my dear sweet Peeps, love hopes. We three know it well. Love hopes. So we'll walk forward.
And tonight, I won't be saying good bye. I'm going to live in denial as I've often been accused of.
I'm going to let Bob live in my heart the way he has for 20 years.
A good man. A very good man.
A man who blessed me years ago by loving me and giving me a place and a voice and a comfortable, safe, easy place to rest in my quest to figure myself out.
A man who blessed me with the opportunity to love him.
And I did. I loved him as deep as I was able to in those years.