I gave Michael tapes and CDs since we first met (his favorite was when I danced in my seat in the car to Walking on Sunshine, it would crack him up). After he passed I found not only the original tapes and CDs but copies he had made. They meant much more to him than I ever knew. No one had ever made him a “mix” tape before and the first one thrilled him. The very last one I ever sent him was just a CD with Michael Buble’s “Home” on it when we were living apart because he was trying to sell the house in Texas. He had like 12 copies of it in his things when I went through them.

He didn’t know how to make mix tapes or CDs. He couldn’t remember the name of a song or who sang it or how to put it altogether on a tape (or later, a CD) but would say to me, “This song reminds me of you/us.” I used to say “I get my mix tape one song at a time.”

In 2007 we had been living apart for almost 2 years. We went back and forth between New York and Texas often, but it’s not the same. When I made the decision to come back to NY, we thought we’d have trouble selling the house, but had no idea how much trouble. In November of 2006 we spent our anniversary at a bed and breakfast and went to pick out our New York house. We closed in January and because of the northeast weather (which had been horrible, I had to cancel my Valentine’s Day visit to Texas due to a blizzard), we waited until April to make the move.

So in early April he packed up his van with the dog and the cats and put his big bass boat on the trailer and left Dallas. We figured it would be about a 3 day trip. But Michael being Michael he thought he could do it in 2. The problem was that the weather, while not snowing, was raining from the time he left Texas and somewhere in the middle of the trip, the boat trailer blew out a tire.

The last night he was driving through Pennsylvania, thinking he’d be home that night. The weather was still terrible with torrential downpours and he had to be careful driving on winding roads towing a boat.

About 10 pm he called me to say he just didn’t think he was going to make it. He was seeing double and he had to stop for a while and rest. I was disappointed but of course I wanted him and the animals to be safe so I told him to get some sleep and start fresh in the morning, and maybe the weather would be better.

I went to bed. A bit sad but just feeling secure that he would be okay. It took a lot for Michael to admit defeat, especially when it came to driving through the night, but I was fine with it.

But at 3 am I saw the lights in the driveway and it was pouring rain. I looked out the window and saw it was him.

I ran down the stairs in my pajamas and bare feet and into the yard and met him at the car and we just hugged in the pouring rain for about 10 minutes.

We got the animals in the house and then went to bed. He was trying to find his way to the bathroom and you could tell he was disoriented and was literally bouncing off the walls. He was staggering like a drunk person and missed the door to the bathroom completely.

When he came back to bed, I said, “What made you come home?” and he said, “I was turning up the heat to warm the car up before I shut it off and was listening to the radio and heard a song that reminded me of you and I just got back on the road.” I said what one but he never could remember the name of anything. I didn’t know, that night, if I would ever know the name of it given his memory.

About a week later the song “Wherever You Will Go” by the Calling came on the radio and he said, “This is the song.” At the time it seemed so funny because the man followed me around the country (to California, to Texas and back to New York). He used to razz me about it, but it was very clear to me that he would follow me wherever I would go. And though I did not like that he kept driving that night, I loved that he heard that song and just “had to” get home.

I put it on my iPod and felt like it really was such a love song and so poignant for us. I loved it and played it all the time.

After he got sick, the lyrics took on a whole new meaning for me. It seemed so prophetic. I heard it in a totally different way than when I heard it before he was sick. And I couldn’t listen to it anymore. Ever. If I heard even the opening line of the song, I would burst into tears.

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary and I decided to play it for the first time since 2008. The song stabbed me in m heart as I knew it would. It was a definite emotional bloodletting. But then I took a nap with the cats and felt kind of rocked but stills standing.

I still miss him so very much. I work up this morning thinking one person fit me like a glove. ONE. And he’s not here and I really really need to talk to him. Love you honey.

And, as the song says, you will live in my heart for all time.

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