Midweek last week, I decided that today was going to be a happy day. Today was going to be spent honoring you, doing things we enjoyed doing. I even went so far as to tell myself that “Sad panda status would be suspended”. Oh, that me of last week was so full of hope…
The me of last week didn’t know that loss would strike again nor how much that loss would make me want to call you, just to make sure you’re alright. The me of last week didn’t know about the lack of sleep and lack of words that would befall this week’s me.
This morning I was unintentionally up before my first alarm, and took the time to try to harness the hope from last week. Where did that me go?
It was still dark dark out, and I muttered to myself about it being darkest before dawn. The bathroom light seemed extra bright and I blinked a few times in protest of the offending illumination. As my eyes focused on the reflection staring back at me, I knew I needed to do something with that. I shook my head at myself, and my eyes lost their focus.
In my mind’s eye, we were back at the house in Littleton. You were standing at the bathroom door poking fun at me for not knowing how to “be a girl”. My hair was down, my dress and shoes were laid out for my first date with Greg, all I needed was to figure out the makeup.
I could hear your laugh echoing in my heart this morning as you watched teen me, the girl with the eye phobia, try to get a mascara wand anywhere near my eyeballs. I recalled the “What…? I know things, okay!” response to the look I gave you after you mentioned using an eye lash curler. For the record, I still think those things are some kind of midevil torture device. No thank you!
My sleepy self regained focus, and once again glancing at myself, thought “Do your eyes!” I’m far less timid about the process than I used to be, but really I don’t do much. Still, knowing that you would have made it a big deal, made it a big deal.
The memory of that day, way back, when you were giving me a hard time about the eye makeup kept popping up throughout the day. Sometimes it was after someone commented on my eyes, others it was just my heart trying to recreate that feeling. See, you gave me guff upto the point when you realized I was getting flustered and frustrated. Your comments quickly went from “Jeeze, what’s wrong with you, how do you not know how to do this?” to “You really don’t need it, you’re already pretty. If he can’t see that, he’s dumb.” I’m pretty sure you even offered to help at some point, which was quickly declined!
That feeling of the balance between “You’re a pain in my ass” and “I love you and am so lucky to have you in my life”… whatever you call that feeling is what I strived for today.
So at o’dark thirty, I did my eyes for you; mascara and purple eyeliner, and I didn’t even poke myself in the eye! On the way into work, I stopped to get fuel and there was chex mix as an impulse buy- checking a box I didn’t even think I needed. RCPM was the soundtrack at work today, and I was grateful on more than one occasion that the mascara was waterproof. Scott and I met up, played some pool and raised some Knob Creek Rye in your honor tonight. The moon was stunning at both bookends of the day.
My heart hurt today, like it has since this day last year. 52 weeks to the 1,918 that I had you in my life, that’s quite a gap. “Sad panda status” was not entirely suspended today, but there were moments. I don’t know that I ever want to acclimate to life without you, but I do hope that in time the “Happy Sad/Sad Happy” feeling gives way to the “Man could he ruffle my feathers, just to smooth ’em out again, brotherly love” feeling that I miss so much.
I miss you friend, and yet I know you’re here, woven in the stories, habits, songs and hearts of those who love you. Thank you for the gift of knowing you. I love you Lewis!