My Dearest Friend,
March has drifted in without warning. It has settled in comfortably and brought with it the beginning signs of spring. Soon the boy will begin baseball. The sun stays out just a little bit more everyday. I've had to pay for the kids' yearbooks and spring pictures will be arriving soon. All this to prove what I already know. And that is time continues to move forward.
Oh, how I despise this month. It promises new beginnings and I want no part of it. I never knew it was possible to loath a certain time of the year in the same manner that I loathe a human being. But, I do. It's as if March broke into my home and stole all my prized possessions. Possessions that have no monetary value and can not be replaced.
I have gone days without thinking about you. Days where that dull ache does not remind me of anything. It has become such a part of my life that I no longer pay it attention. This dull ache is more than a sadness. More than grief. And it's worse than either one of those emotions. It is more like an emptiness. A chasm that all memories fall in to. It is where I go and hide when I fear that no one could possibly understand the depths at which this nothingness exists. It makes me nervous to emerge from this dark shadowy place. Most days I live there. And even when you don't cross my mind, I still find myself retreating from everyone else.
And I don't know why.
I still have your old journals. The ones you kept while you took care of me. The ones that followed you through out your naval career. They provide an insight, not only into your mind, but into mine as well. I search through them hoping to find a lost artifact. A treasure that may give some insight into why I feel so lost without you now. A piece of me that you knew that I never did. I feel so cheated. Cheated out of knowledge and happiness. It is so unfair that you died with memories that I do not have. If I could rewind time, I would go back to our last conversation. Do you remember? You asked me to marry you for the hundredth time it felt like. I laughed you off. I told you that I would only marry for love and nothing else. That even though you possessed knowledge of me that I did not, it was not enough to change my mind. Would I have said yes if I knew then what I know now? No. The only thing I would change is the ending of the conversation. If I had to do it all over again, I would've stayed on the phone until daybreak.
A year is such a short time when in reference to heartbreak and grief. And in a couple weeks time, it will be just that. A year. A year since you passed on. I rarely talk of you anymore. I feel like I should be over the initial shock of hearing the news of your death, but I'm not. I feel like those that I could speak to on your behalf are tired of hearing your name. And, frankly, I am tired of saying it. I am ready to have more that just a couple of days where I don't think of you. I am ready for weeks and months to go by before that ache returns and brings with it your scent. I am ready for a life with no dull ache. Does one even exist for me? I have to believe it does. Surely God, in all His glory, wants more for me in this life than dull aches and midnight tears.
I have started sleeping facing your side of the bed now. I don't know why that it is. I remember how I used to sleep. Curled up in a tight ball, my back facing you. You would place your hand on my back to make sure I was still breathing. My lack of movement seemed to frighten you. You were fearful that something would happen to me in the middle of the night and you'd be none the wiser for it. Now I face where you once laid. I don't know when or why I started doing it. The most hurtful thing is to wake up in the middle of the night, facing where you should be, and you not be there. And knowing you never will be. Your scent long escaped the pillow. The mattress no longer holds your body's imprint. It's just me and a wide variety of stuffed animals. It is a lonely existence without you here.
Lonely and painful.
What do I do now? Now that you are no longer here? Who will push me when I need it? There are no hazard lights flashing, no warning signs, to tell me not to venture into this chasm that's taken the place of my heart. No one to fish me out and make me talk. Do you remember how you'd pull me out of my head when I needed it? You would manipulate me into talking. Confessing whatever dark thoughts had invaded my mind. I can still remember putting my head on your shoulder and you playing in my hair as we spoke about whatever was troubling me. Now, I can't voice any of it. Because no one understands. And I don't think anyone ever will. Our bond was forged that night you saved me. It was a bond made from sweat, tears, and blood. I doubt I will ever have anything quite like it with anyone else.
Before I close this letter out, I must apologize for the dark tone. However, I can not help it. And you always told me to stay true to my dark nature. That whoever would love me, would love that side of me as well. I try to heed your words, but it is not easy. I am often judged by it. The judgement is usually harsh and causes me to retreat from others even more.
I miss you terribly, Patrick. I miss you more than I did the day you died. I don't know where to put this dull ache. I don't know what to do with my time. I want so badly to discuss my latest stories with you, but you are not here. The days and nights are empty without you. Words have little meaning without your ears to hear them. Try as I may, I can not get passed missing you.
I must go now. The children are playing outside. Their laughter floats in and begs me to join them. I will leave you now.