The Night Before

It hasn’t been a bad day. I was busy at work, which was a blessing. Then I had a really good session with my therapist – lots of tears, but also some important realizations. When I left, she told me she’s only a phone call away if the next few days get bad.

On the way home, I stopped at Trader Joe’s and picked up a few things, including a dozen red roses for Mike’s altar. I arranged them in a lovely vase from Crate & Barrel that I didn’t realize I still had until I unpacked in this new place. (I thought my ex had gotten it in our separation ten years ago along with most everything else.) I warmed up the rest of the lemon-garlic shrimp I made last week (overcooked, but I’m learning) and ate them over rice with Trader Joe’s crab cakes, a Stouffer’s spinach souffle, and a glass of pinot grigio. I put on the jazz station for background music, did a little journaling…

Now I find myself thinking back to one year ago tonight, the last night of Mike’s life. He spent most of the evening sculpting, trying to finish a commissioned project before the deadline. I checked in with him when I got home from work and was SO relieved to find him working, productive, not sunk in depression. I took a glass of wine into his workroom and stood talking with him while he worked. I don’t remember what we talked about, except one thing:

A few days earlier I’d learned that an online friend from one of my message boards had ended her life. Her suicide had triggered all my fears about losing Mike the same way, and I’d been crying about it a lot. That night I told him that I still couldn’t wrap my head around it. I wasn’t close to her, so of course I didn’t know what was going on… but even her closest friends said they had no idea she was in such a dark place, and they wondered why she hadn’t let them in, hadn’t let them try to help her. Mike paused in his work and looked at me over the clay hell hound. “Well,” he said, “I think your life is your own, and maybe sometimes you just decide that you’re done.”

I wish I’d known he wasn’t just talking about Bella. I wish I’d known it was our last night together, that the time was precious. I spent most of the evening reading Stephen King’s Under the Dome, and because I was so close to the end of the book I stayed up past my usual bedtime to finish it. When we got in bed, we talked for a while in the dark. Then Mike wanted to make love, but I was tired and gently brushed him away, promising him good sex tomorrow night. I never dreamed we wouldn’t have a tomorrow.

I miss him so much tonight.

To be honest, there are things I don’t miss. I don’t miss worrying about him every time he got into a bad depression… seeing that bleak, haunted look in his eyes and fearing the worst… holding him close and struggling for the right words or the right touch to give him some hope, make him hold on one more day.  I don’t miss the feeling that I had to hold up the sky for both of us, all the time. And when in time I find a new relationship, I will not be signing up to do any of that again.

I don’t particularly miss living in a messy apartment that had been taken over by Mike’s guitar/creature shop and which I’d given up all hope of keeping clean. I don’t miss discovering that he’d used the good silverware to mix plastic or stained the dining room table with paint. I’m liking my new place with its brand new hardwood floors and no one to mess it up but me.

But I do miss coming home to Mike, telling him about my day. I miss our long, rambling conversations about absolutely everything. I miss his hugs and his neck rubs. I miss falling asleep nestled together like spoons. I miss my lover. What I wouldn’t give to have just one more night with him…

I really don’t want to go to bed alone tonight. I’m glad I took tomorrow off work, so I can stay up late, reading and drinking wine until I’m too tired to keep my eyes open. I miss you, baby. I wish you were here.

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~ by hourbeforedawn on March 2, 2011.

8 Responses to “The Night Before”

  1. Stay strong. You’ve come such a long, long way. Thinking of you.

  2. Many hugs – exceptionally impressed that you are taking this time alone; doing things that give you pleasure – reflecting & being honest (as always). Hopefully, you are drinking good wine! Love ya!

  3. Wishing you strength and love and joy from across the Pacific, Lira.

  4. Love you.

  5. Wishing you hope and healing over these difficult days, Lira. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

  6. still thinking of you with love 🙂 hold on….

  7. Thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers for peaceful and healing feelings. Love ya Cousin.

  8. Peace to you…

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