There are 4 extra grown men in our house this weekend. That is all.
Wait. There’s more.
I added some of my own pictures to this blog’s background. The horribly stretched looking one was taken at one of my favorite places – a cemetery on a hill where a dear friend is buried. It’s beautiful, tranquil, intimate and for me, a place that is genuinely peaceful. I took this a few weeks ago; I hadn’t been to visit the grave for probably a few years. I needed to.
Tim died in 2000. I think about him a lot, probably more now that I ever did right after. I wonder what kind of woman he would have married, and what he would have ended up doing. I wonder what he would think about Mitt Romney and about his brother’s silly Facebook posts. That his little brother teaches math at our high school. He entered college as an education major, but called to complain about cutting out letters for bulletin boards and laminating things (which, for the record, are some of my personal favorite activities). I wonder if he thought he could “do better,” because he wanted to switch to pre-med. I know he wanted to help people who suffered like he did, but that could have been a lot of pressure for him. I imagine the average doctor has a lot of pressure anyway, but a survivor? I don’t know. These are the things I wonder. A week before he died, we made plans to see a movie. I never got to talk to him again. Which is sad, sure, but nothing was left unsaid. At least at the time. But what I wouldn’t do to have that kind of friendship again, the kind from childhood where I could be totally immersed in someone else and in myself with no other care, the future wide open –
But he made me consider so much about life and even now, when he’s been gone longer than I really knew him alive, he still has a way to help me learn about myself. And to remind me that a lot of things I worry about or freak out over don’t matter that much, not really. Even when it’s bad, it’s manageable. And truly, he’s inspired some bit of spirituality in me that I might never have had otherwise.
His and my years together were those early ones where we were gaining our independence. More than anyone else I’ve loved and been separated from, either from death or something else, he sticks around. Like a real one would. We just had a thing; not a “thing,” but a thing… a kind of we-don’t-need-to-talk-about-it-but-we-genuinely-and-mostly-platonically-love-each-other thing. I don’t know what it was. A thing.
This thing was about riding with the top of the Jeep off, getting stuck in the snow, Blink 182 and hitting Red Lobster. I don’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday… but I can still hear his laugh, and see his jerky, clenched fist mannerism thing.
The thing also helps me get back to the top of the hill – not often, and never in the winter really, but enough so that I can see the earth over him has finally sunken down to level with the rest, and that the grass has finally grown in full and thick. I planted tiny purple flowers there more than 10 years ago and was surprised to see some very similar looking plant growing beside the stone, though it’s flowers were gone for the year, showing healthy, green leaves.
I really miss that thing a lot.
(Thanks, WordPress. I needed that.)