This holiday weekend snuck up on me. I didn’t realize the double effect it would have of being a “holiday” weekend and also the anniversary of the day we met.
It’s not like “the holidays” that everyone warns you about. But I’ve found it to be much worse- because it’s not the kind of holiday where you get together with relatives you don’t really want to see, but just a long weekend break- the entrance of summer- the kind of holiday you spend with friends and your immediate family and the kind that you enjoy. I didn’t realize the sense of incompleteness I would feel starting yesterday. I didn’t realize how if you were here, our weekend plans would be complete- even if the three of us just hung out around the apartment- but without you here- it felt like Audrey and I were supposed to do something, go out, be somewhere. I finally let go of that notion and decided it was OK if we weren’t joining in the barbecues and holidays (though we did attend one today).
And attending a part of the “festivities”- that was equally hard. At first, I had expectations (which I usually don’t have anymore)- that it would be so much fun to go to a barbecue with friends. Then, immediately- once there- I realized we were missing someone and that our hosts knew it too. Upon making small talk with the guests I didn’t know, I wonder if someone has told them- if they know- no one asks me where my husband is- probably.
The hosts are old friends – both Dan and I knew. They have a 14 month old baby and are pregnant again- the guy is Korean and the girl is caucasian. They have a new home with a back porch and a sandbox and turn the sprinkler on for the kids. Another old friend of ours who I haven’t seen in years is there- I am sad when I see this Irish man because it is you who were better friends with him and would’ve been catching up with him here. What I feel is “helpless”- helpless to offer him what I feel he should receive- a hug and hello from you. It’s only me here.
The barbecue is relaxed and lovely but I find myself so low on energy. I see there a life that I might have had. And I also notice two things: I am used to attending events alone now- already- less than a year. I am used to being a woman and her little girl. This saddens me. On the other hand, I still hear you beside me like a phantom- laughing at certain things- making small talk about soccer and Guinness with another Irish guy there that we don’t know. Another friend – also a Korean man who doesn’t have kids of his own yet- is playing with Audrey in the sandbox and she looks delighted- suddenly I can hear in my mind your voice playing with her- the things you might have said, the creative ideas you might have come up with. The host chases his 14 month old boy around while dribbling a basketball- I see you there too.
I am home now. I am tired. I miss you Dan.