I’m sitting across from Marla as she finishes the last of her tasks for the zoo to come. I know this would not be your cup of tea, but it’s all my family in one place.
So, who was I kidding T? Thanksgiving might not be a favorite holiday for you but for me it’s just the beginning of the holiday season I’ve come to love because of its romance that I shared with you. I’m not sure if it was my romantic vision that you accepted or you just jumped in with me body and soul and even enjoyed when I started singing to my favorite Christmas songs at the top of my lungs as we drove together. I’m going to lean toward the latter.
As I think about it now, without you here to add qualifications to the conversation, we were both ready to share 20 years of romance – both of us open,fresh, and ready for our life adventure- our chapter together.
I’m not crying as I write this letter to you. Often I am but today at Jeff and Marla’s kitchen table I am freed from your house, my apartment, Rockland, Paramus… just away basking in unseasonable sunshine after a morning at Christine’s school, working with her- documenting a interviewing piece with her students. She is quite the educator, as you know, but it’s always wonderful to be invited back into her space, sharing it with her,chatting with my HVWP buddy- Ann and teachers who remember my work with them from years ago-still remembering it fondly.
After a pre-holiday lunch with Christine, I took a backroads trip from Newburgh to Ellenville over rt 52 thinking about times that I shared the views of our valley with you. I almost stopped for pictures, but I just kept going, taking it all in as I drove with a new album hot off the press from Adele, remember her? Even though she is personally happier these days her lyrics are still filled with reflection and sadness- yup, perfect for me. I might look like I’ve returned to myself on the surface but I’m not ready to smile away my sadness that you aren’t here anymore to share your life with me, that we have no present or future together. Now that’s hard to write: no present, no future, just a past. Good thing you let me take lots of pictures of us- I have lots of fresh past.
Ahhh… it so good to be just sitting here, remembering you, considering next steps, taking a breath, embracing the love of family and friends.