I vividly remember that day, sitting alone in the break room of the new job I had started. I hadn’t made any friends there yet, in the end, I never would. Except for you. I don’t know what you saw in me, definitely looking the part of one who had recently escaped a nightmare. Yet, you did, while I sat in confusion, wondering what someone so handsome would see in me. Then you stood up and walked over to where I sat. That, was the beginning of our love story.
As in many stories, our beginning was near fairy tale quality. We loved, we laughed, we lived, we really lived. In a single wide mobile home in a park across town from my parents. Close enough to visit but no worries of interference you feared. After a while, the problems in living in a trailer park, even a nice one such as that, got to you. We got an acre of land from my parents and made the mobile home live up to its name. We cleared the rest of the acre, we had a well and septic tank dug and installed.
Living behind my brother was nice, he was close but not too close. Close enough to come to the rescue that night my husband almost stepped on a Copperhead in the dark. Close enough he scared away the dogs that were attacking the young goat my husband had got for me just because I wanted one. My parents lived just a short walk up the dirt road, but you learned quickly, they respected privacy and left us to our life.
My maternal grandfather left us to join my maternal grandmother, while I was expecting our son. Mom bought her brother’s part in the house and they moved down there. We bought my parent’s house and moved in here. You were working, so I packed our belongings and moved all I could up to the house. One never knows how much you can fit into a small space, until you go to move. Being seven months pregnant made the adventure even more interesting.
We spent hours sitting on the front porch enjoying coffee and the peace. As long as you were able, you enjoyed hiking the woods, taking which ever dog was part of the family with you. Our vacations from one end of North Carolina to the other, from Georgia to Tennessee, we didn’t go all that far, but we still had adventures filled with the above mentioned love and laughter. You did a lot of things, that you really had little to no interest in, but you knew I did. Our yard was filled with flowers, because you knew I love them.
You changed careers in the hopes of doing better for us. The career choice carried you for ten years then folded. You had to take a change that was drastic. You went into driving long haul in an eighteen wheeler. You were gone more than you were home, but we made it. We talked often on the phone, you calling when you could, me answering when I could. Times have really changed over the years as far as phone service goes. Your time home was always special, whether it was overnight, a short three days or a vacation week. We filled it with love. Thirty-two years worth.
Its been just over four years my love, I miss you. I still remember the feel of your arms around me, your kisses. I remember the frustrations of your pulling all of the covers your way, or wanting to watch television even knowing I needed to get up early. That television has not been turned on since you left. I remember and at times, still hear your voice asking for another cup of coffee. I have a queen size bed to myself, no need to fight for cover. I don’t have to worry about finding space in the fridge for the food from your truck when you come home. I only have to make coffee for me.Walks in the woods are solitary and my phone rarely rings.
The deep, aching, lonely pain isn’t so bad now. That part is fading, healing, but the memory remains. I will always remember, I will always miss you my love.