When Michael and I were first married, we watched this movie, To Dance With the White Dog, because we both loved Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn.

I have no idea why but when it was over I cried and cried. I cried so hard that I went into the bathroom because I had never cried like that in front of anyone. I had no idea why but I was crying from the depths of my soul it seemed. I simply did not get why it unhinged me so. I could never ever explain it. It just did.

Michael fretted outside the door, tenatively saying, “Are you okay hon?” and I was like, “Yes, I’ll be fine.” When I stopped sobbing I went into the bedroom and crawled into bed beside him. He just held me and patted my shoulder. I never ever ever had to explain anything to him. If I had, he would have listened, but it was my call.

Yesterday I went to my brothers house. It was the first day since Michael died that I did not cry all day. Even coming home I just listened to upbeat music. I needed a day off.

I bought To Dance With The White Dog ages ago but could never bring myself to watch it again. I always said I wanted to see it again to see if I could figure out why it made me cry so much the first time. But I could not bring myself to watch it.

Tonight in the middle of reading, I stood up and popped it into the DVD player. I took Michael’s blanket and pillow and wrapped them around me and lay on his couch in the dark watching the movie. I cried from beginning to end. I sobbed when it was over. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore.

I had no idea why it upended me the first time I saw it. But I knew why tonight.

At one point Hume Cronyn’s character, Sam, is reminiscing about proposing to his wife, Cora, who has just passed. And he imagines her saying, “You always liked trees better than people.” and he turns and says to her memory, softly and sweetly, “But I liked talking to you.”

People used to say that about Michael. That he never said much. That he didn’t seem to like being around people. He liked to fish.

But he liked talking to me. He talked to me about everything and anything. Even in the very beginning he was so talkative to me and I always felt special. Not only did he talk to me in a way he never talked to anyone else but he would call out “Hey hon…” randomly during the day and evening…whenever something crossed his mind.

He would say, “I have a question for ya…” and I would say “You really don’t have to announce that you have a question…” It became a running joke. He liked to ask my opinion on everything. Even when he didn’t agree, he would consider it.

Michael was not even a good conversationalist. He would say, “Did you see that thing on the news where those people did something?” and I would go, “What?” That too became a running joke.

When I would start to talk, I would say, “So…” and pause he would jump in with “I need more than that to go on.” Almost every single time. He thought it was so funny. So when he would do the “Did you see the something about the you know?” I would go “I really really need more than that to go on.”

He called me a lot to say, “Hey hon what’s going on?” I told him once he didn’t need to call me so much and he said, “But I like talking to you.” Even though he really didn’t talk about anything…only said that maybe something happend to some people somewhere and did I know about it.

I liked when he would talk about NASCAR and I would glaze over and he would say, “I know you don’t care but….” and go on and on. Or about fish. “I know you don’t care but….” and I had no idea what he was even talking about.

He didn’t like talking to people. But he liked talking to me.

At one point in the movie, Sam looks out the window shortly after his wife has died and he says, “Beautiful morning.” Then he pauses and says softly, “I miss you.”

Today was a spectacular day. Michael would have been fishing and watching NASCAR (if the race is on Sunday this weekend…I don’t even know. Part of me wants to look and part of me doesn’t.)

We have two sets of French doors leading out to a deck in the family room. While I was watching the movie, I had them open and the gentle sweet night air floated in. After the movie, after I peeled my sobbing mess of a self off the floor, I got up to lock up the house for the night. As I was closing the French doors I paused, looked out into the dark and whispered, “Beautiful evening.” “I miss you.”

I think that somewhere something happened to someone.

And I have no one to tell me about it.

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