“Before you started to fade
you gave me something to believe in
and that’s the best thing anyone can give.”

~ Shawn Smith “Wrapped in My Memory”

Yesterday I went out to do some Thanksgiving shopping and I realized I just miss the Michael that used to go with me and take me places. I don’t normally feel lonely but I am. I put this Shawn Smith song on in the CD player and cried and cried. I got my act together to get in the bank and the store and promptly lost my credit cards. I always forget that grief makes you inattentive.

A few times in the cooking store I wanted to turn around and ask someone something. And no one was there.

On the way home I put on the song again and cried some more.

Once home I spent some time sitting with Michael. I gave him a few hugs and spend some time sitting with him and holding his hand. We talked about our honeymoon in Italy and how he chased the chestnut guy down in front of the Coliseum. I still think it’s funny. He still doesn’t know what the issue was that we came out of this incredible place and he smelled the chestnuts and went running down the street after the smell.

He chased food all over Italy often leaving me standing there wondering how I was going to find him. As a hundred percent Italian, he just went wherever the food was. I would say, “Look hunny, the Trevi Fountain!” and he would say “Do you think they have gelato in that store?” I would say “Look Mount Vesuvius!” and he would say “Can we find a restaurant to get insalata di mare?” I would say “Wasn’t the Coliseum awesome?” and he would be running down the street chasing the chestnut guy and yelling “Roasted chestnuts! I haven’t had them since my grandfather made them when I was a kid!” And I had to run chasing after him. For him, Italy was all about the food. We laughed about it as we always do. Then he slowly faded away and was out like a light.

Today I woke up about 6 am and went downstairs. Michael was awake and I said, “Happy Anniversary honey.” and kissed his head and then kissed him on his lips. He pulled me closer and said, “Happy Anniversary, hun, the past 12 years have been better than they would have been without you.” I smiled.

Before Michael I wasn’t sure that there was love or that there could be love or that you could matter, really matter, to anyone as I’d never known that in my life. He’s been more to me and meant more to me than anyone ever has. And most importantly, he’s made me believe that you can be in love and happy at the same time and have that last over years and years. Who knew?

I will always hold his love in my heart as something to believe in.

And that’s the best thing that anyone can give.

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