Last night I was watching “How I Met Your Mother” a show that I watch only because it’s on after a show I love (Big Bang Theory). The show’s narrator, Ted, is telling the story to his kids about how he met their mother. For the show’s history we have yet to meet the woman who would be their mother. The show leaves little hints about what to look for as the arrival of “the mother” draws closer. But I have to confess the show bores me to tears most of the time because there are not enough hints to keep me involved and I really don’t like Ted all that much. While waiting for the appearance of “the mother” we get to experience Ted’s many failed relationships.

Last season Ted was left at the alter by Stella whose ex, Tony, (played by one of my faves, Jason Jones of the Daily Show) had been invited to the wedding and they reunited. So Stella left Ted standing at the altar.

Ted runs into Tony who thinks he wants Stella back. Ted says “She left me at the altar. What kind of person does that? I don’t want her back.” (finally a likable Ted moment! Go Ted). That remark causes Tony to break up up Stella and Stella runs to Ted saying “I don’t know what you said to him but you have to talk to him because he broke up with me.”

Ted asks her why she wants Tony and she says, “Because he’s the one, Ted. He’s the one.” And Ted says he wants what she and Tony have and what Marshall and Lily (two regulars who are his friends) have together. He doesn’t think he’s ever going to find “the one.”

Stella says, “She’s out there Ted. She’s on her way. And she’s getting here as fast as she can.”

And without any warning whatsoever, I burst into gutwrenching tears.

I remembered what it was like before I believed in “the one” or that he was out there “somewhere.” I didn’t know there was a one. I didn’t know one existed. I didn’t even ask anymore before I met Michael. Looking at Ted’s face, who wants–so badly–to believe Stella, I just identified with his questioning, his confusion and his disbelief that it was ever going to happen for him.

Before Michael, my relationships were just so doomed. All of them. And not in small part to me. I was thinking about it last night. I can be difficult, stubborn, hard to please, opinionated and overbearing. I can be a host of other negatives. And while I try to complement with a string of positives, my negatives make for a strong, difficult to live with sometimes, personality.

I never thought there would be anyone who would get me or who would see, as the Celine Dion song goes, “the best there was in me” without thinking of how high maintenance I truly am. I never thought I’d meet anyone like that.

But I did. Michael always took me in stride. I never ruffled his feathers even with a stomping around disagreeable day. And Michael held my positive qualities in such high esteem and thought they were so rare that he thought they more than made up for my high maintenance self. He said that all the time. When I first asked him why he loved me he said, “Because you are who you say you are.” and if I asked him right now he would say the same.

No one had ever been as loyal to him, as willing to fight for him and on the same side as him. No one had ever made him feel as if he wasn’t alone. We used to think that 6th Avenue Heartache by the Wallflowers was our song (“the same black line that was drawn on you was drawn on me”) as evidence of being the black sheep of the family and the odd person out. We got that about each other. And he certainly got that when I was allied with someone I would fight the world to the death for them.

He must have known that had he ever gotten sick I would have fights with doctors, nurses, hospitals, hospice workers, caregivers, insurance companies, everyone and anyone. I have had his back throughout his illness and he knows it. He tells everyone, “She has my back.” And he’s always known I always would and that meant the world to him.

When I was being persnickety, he never lost sight of how I do battle for those I love. And he had a way about him that was slightly bemused by my persnicketyness. No one else had ever been so unintimidated by it as he was. Truly go with the flow. My crazy flow.

And in watching that show last night, it hit me like a ton of bricks that Michael was truly THE ONE and that there was no other one and will never be another one. No one else has ever gotten me the way he has gotten me. No one else ever thought my faults so damn amusing.

And we used to bemoan the fact that we hadn’t met 20 years earlier, gotten married and had all our kids together. We knew, intellectually, that an earlier marriage would have ended badly. Neither of us were ready. Neither of us would have made it.

He got here as fast as he could. I know that. That is what made me cry. That he got here when he did and that he got here at all. The miracle of our meeting, the chances in a million that it would have happened…and that it would have stuck. And life would be as good as it became and that I was loved, for once in my life, like all get out.

It was a wonderful, magical ride. I do wish it would have started sooner, but I know he got here as fast as he could.

But he’s leaving way too soon.



Too soon.