I went to see Keira Grace today.

It’s a 3 hour drive from Chicago to Indianapolis and driving down I heard a lot of songs on the radio that made me cry. Yesterday I cried in the supermarket. I just have moments where the tears spring to my eyes and there is nothing I can do about it. I’ve always been such a non-crier but when my grief comes these days, I have zero chance of stopping it. It just overflows.

As I’ve written on here before no one was ever there for me until I met Michael. No one just unconditionally, no matter what, THERE. It was a comfort and joy that I grew used to. Even when we lived apart due to moves, I knew he was there. The comfort was so wonderful.

Since my breakdown at LaGuardia I realize I just miss him so much. Last night I spoke to him by phone for about 2 minutes and then he becomes confused. Doesn’t follow through the conversation. I was elated…then deflated.

I heard “The Way We Were” on the radio today. And it made me cry…”if we had the chance to do it all again, tell me, would we? could we?” Oh I would walk over coals…give a limb or two or three…if I could do it all again with Michael. And never change a thing.

The song talks about not thinking about the pain when we remember…but with Michael there was never any pain…I could count our serious arguments on one hand. He never made me cry. The last summer before his seizure I thought he was falling out of love with me and it made me upset…but I know now that the “looking through” me and the inability to comprehend what I was saying or to answer me…the odd behavior…was his tumors. The doctors even think that it was “mini seizures” that he was having. I thought he might be having early Alzheimers. I didn’t know WHAT was going on….

Other than that last summer when I found his behavior strange and somewhat upsetting…he never made me cry…he was always there. We simply didn’t fight about stupid things…we refused to tear at each other…we argued sometimes about his spoiling of Gina and how I got to be the bad guy with her..but he would bring the hammer down occasionally. I just had to remember, and tried to remember, that he wasn’t really built that way.

But he was always one of the simplest, most loving, beings on the face of the planet. And even if I had to wrestle him to do things sometimes, he did it.

I think now about harping on him about painting and cleaning and packing the Texas house. It was a 4000 foot house with soaring ceilings in the foyers and kitchen and bedroom. And he painted the entire thing himself. He cleaned everything and he packed the whole damn house, went to the closing and then drove the cats 1500 miles in a mini van while towing his boat. In the rain.

It took him forever to get going on it…but he did get going on it. And he did it all himself. And never once complained or threw it in my face no matter how much I nagged at him to get it done. When it was done, it was done. He packed and moved the Massachusetts house…drove us across the country and then he went back alone to MA and then drove back out by himself. He packed and moved the California house and then drove to Texas by himself with the dog and the cats and then drove back by himself and then drove back again. He packed and moved the monster Texas house and then drove up to NY with the cats. And he never once brought it up to me or complained or said, “I did x, y, and z…” Never.

To Michael that is what a dad does. That is what a husband does. You do it and you don’t complain. You pick up the kids, drop the kids off, keep the kids from killing each other, go to the store, pick up the food, take the dog to the vet..paint the house, pack the house, move the house then the other house and then the other house…and you never complain.

And he wasn’t a martyr or looking for anything for it. If I brought him a half sandwich home that I couldn’t finish, he was glad. He loved his gifts so much he would put them away. New shirts were “too new” for him to wear. I would ask him, “Where are those shirts the kids bought you for Father’s Day?” He would say, “They’re in my drawer. I’m saving them.” I would say, “For WHAT?” and he didn’t know. New clothes are too new for him to wear unless I made him. Souvenier “catsup” taken from a hotel room was to be put on a shelf. So odd and so funny. We all made fun of those things and he would laugh with us.

I know I appreciated him at the time and all the time but sometimes I regret those days when I was questioning…questioning…questioning. Are you talking to the realtor? Are you packing the boxes? Are you talking to the movers? He liked to move at his own pace. A pace that pretty much drove me batty most of the time.

I can’t explain how the memories of these odd things affect me. I just know that every single one reminds me of how good he was…to me, to the kids, to the family…to what matters….

“And it’s the laughter, we will remember, whenever we remember…the way we were.”

There was a lot of laughter. A lot. He was a joy to be around most of the time…and we laughed at ourselves and each other and the kids and the pets…. I miss that so much…all the inside jokes…all the things that said, “I get you and you get me and isn’t that great?”

So I got to Indianapolis and I visited with Keira Grace and her mom and dad and sister. I will post pix when I get home…

Keira looks just like Michael. Even more so than her mom does. It’s not JUST that she looks like him but she has his expressions. It’s so funny. I asked her mom if she thought so because I thought I might be hallucinating or projecting him onto her but no, she does have his expressions…

I know she will probably never meet him…but I will let her know how special he was…and she can know that it runs in her blood.

And the world is a better place for that.

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