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  • Today you told me you missed me. It was the second time you said that since we’ve been apart this time. You almost never said it before.

    Before now means before the cancer. Before your leaving was so clear. Before we knew it would not – whatever it was – it would not last f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

    We are rational people – though you sometimes thought that word only applied to you – we are. We know nothing lasts forever.

    I suppose somewhere in our darkest regions we thought smugly that we were the exception to that particular rule. Exception proves the rule. There has to be someone somewhere that is the exception. Us. We.

    Are not.

    I wanted you to miss me. I wanted you to tell me you missed me. For years. Bitter sweet. Bitter. That now you do. Now. You. Miss. Me.

    Now you believe that love is love. It means love. It means doing things that look like sacrifice that are not.

    I took myself out for dinner tonight. To a place where they know my name. Where I’ve been going since we parted that last time when I moved far away from my broken heart and our broken-ness to a beach town with a wonderful Italian restaurant (surprise!) – where they know my name. I drove there for a late late quiet dinner at the bar. It had been a long time since they’d seen me. They remembered. It was nice.

    I missed you. Surrounded by couples with whom you have nothing in common. I could hear your ‘oh!’ under your breath. The darting of your eyes, your wide-eyed observations, like a child pretending to be undercover – though you could never (ever!) successfully be undercover – a linguistic forensic agent. A foreigner in a foreign land. I chuckled to myself, thinking of you there. The Editor In Chief. Lord.

    I would squeeze your knee and hiss in your ear to knock it off with the staring at people. Which you could never help when you were fascinated by some subculture you came across. ‘Facinating’.

    Indeed.

    Blending in is not your style or your ability. You make me laugh.

    Driving home tonight you were with me in the car. I thought of Edna, whose husband died just a year ago. Her bereavement. Her stoic acceptance. Her front.

    I screamed that this is not fair. Loud. With passion.

    It didn’t help.

    We didn’t have – haven’t had – the kind of long term marriage that she had. We are bumps and hugs and love and disappointment and push and pull and what did we ever see in each other and why is it inevitably you I come back to.

    Lea said a few days ago that we were always an unlikely couple.

    True.

    Even to ourselves.

    You missed me today. And I missed you. And that may be the greatest silver lining (for me) in this experience. This growth experience. This time we get to be in together. This gift. The gift of a little time to face and acknowledge that we are not the exception.

    And that love can come and be realized at any point/stage/time of our lives.

    This is that time.

    I love you. Darling.
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