Yesterday was the one year mark of the last date night I ever went on with my boyfriend. Of course, it was Valentine's Day. We went to Outback. It was delicious. Looking back now, I realize that I had some feelings then that I dismissed but have bothered me ever since.
First, all of the good thoughts I had. I remember looking at him sitting across the table and thinking that I was a lucky, lucky woman. Here was a man who loved me without question. Even when I was a brat or quiet or moody. He was so polite and personable with the hostess, the waitress, the manager, the strangers sitting across the aisle from us, the couple who returned looking for a cell phone they thought they had left in our booth, and to me. I felt proud. Just proud that I got to be part of his life. To know that he loved me for being my flawed self.
Then came the confusing feelings I felt. As my heart filled with an overwhelming love for Terry, I also had thoughts come to mind that THIS was an important date with him. I looked at his hands intensely. I love his hands. I felt as though something way, way deep inside of me wanted to memorize everything about him that I'd seen a thousand times before but felt like I was just noticing for the first time. Then, (and this is the weird part) I had this feeling that I wouldn't have him with me much longer. He wasn't well. He had been suffering from the flu off and on for a long time. He also had been having trouble with his lungs...pneumonia! He just couldn't shake it. But for that one night, he was there sitting across the table.
He must have been having similar thoughts. When I told him that I expected him to make it to our 20th anniversary, he just laughed. He said "You know I won't last that many more years." That only made me mad. He had always told me throughout our entire marriage that he would die young. His dad had died young of a heart attack. His brother-in-law had died young leaving his wife to raise small children on her own. The same with his nephew. I always thought that he was merely saying those things because the odds were stacked against him. And they were.
He suffered silently for so long. Of course, I probably knew him best and knew when he was struggling. He put on a good front to hide all the pain he had the burdon of carrying since his High School years. He suffered emotionally as he hoped and prayed that his children would make a connection with him after his divorce. (which they did!) He was such a good man. He would always tell me that my job was harder taking care of him that it was for him to live with chronic pain. Always thinking of others...that was my Terry.
So, this picture is one of the last pictures I would ever take of Terry. It was taken from an app I had called "Action Movie". He got the biggest kick out of it. He wanted to see it over and over. But, what was hysterical then, is morbid now. You can film a short clip and then a bomb comes flying through the air and blows up the subject. Like I said, not the greatest thing NOW. But he did love seeing it. I can hear his laugh now. Oh, that laugh.
I love him. I miss him. I hope I can hold it all together over the next few days.
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