Yes, he needed me, just like I needed him.
But he also wanted me, what a difference that makes in a relationship (even a friend-to-friend relationship).
He didn't care what my hair was like (he had his opinions which I respected and usually followed because of love), how much I weighed (he had seen me at my worst - both ends of the spectrum), how scarred my legs are (long story), he didn't even care what my teeth looked like (another long story).
He loved ME.
He wanted ME - my hopes and fears, my dreams (good or bad), my heart, my mind with all the thoughts, ideas, memories ... and yes, my body.
The body part was never the main focus of our relationship, tho.
The hugging, forehead kisses, hand holding, the companionship ... that was what we were SO much about.
Thank you Rick for loving me, for needing me, for wanting me - Just as I was for all those years.
Thank you for your support no matter what.
I love you ... and I miss you.
When Rick was in the hospital the last time, about a month before he died, he had me lay in the bed with him, holding me best he could with the tubes and wires going everywhere.
Softly he kissed the top of my head and he said these words,
"I want you to promise me something. That when I am gone, and I will be gone long before you are, I want you to promise me these things: *You will not grieve yourself to death. *You will live again. *You will laugh again. *And you will love again. *You are too young, too beautiful of a woman, to be alone. *Let someone love you, open your heart and love them the way you have loved me. Promise me."
With tears streaming, and a pleading that he not ask that of me ... I promised him.
He had no idea what he was asking.
I had no idea what I was promising.
I haven't been "looking" for someone.
(How do you even "look" for someone? I never "looked" for Rick. Sigh)
I have been allowing myself to grieve for my husband.
I have been allowing myself the time, space and distance for healing to begin and do it's painful work.
Yet, in talking to others, both men and women, and doing a lot more listening lately ...
I realize that I am not the kind of woman that anyone is looking for these days.
I know my worth and my value, but I have also been made sharply aware of all my shortcomings, faults and failures.
I have "baggage", simply because I am 57 years old, and I have actually LIVED this life for all these years.
But at this age in the game of life?
I also haven't been asking for that "something more" out of anyone.
The "something more" that my heart aches for, that my being yearns for?
It is different than what the standard given definition is of "something more" these days.
And as of today, 3 years, 3 months, 10 days -
not ONE person has asked me what that "something more" is for ME.
(just a lot of WRONG assumptions going around)
I have few if any expectations for "love" in this life now.
Is my heart open to "love"? Yes
Would I consider a long-term relationship? Yes
Would I be able to live life with someone without comparing him to Rick? Yes
Or without expecting him to fill Rick's place? Yes
However, the only whisper of hope I know is ever so often, that perhaps, just perhaps, there may be a companion to share my life with.
I will forever love my husband.
There will never be a moment, a celebration, a sadness, a victory or a defeat, that I will not miss him, that I will not ache deeply to share it with him.
But that part of my life is over.
Never to be again.
So, this life I have been given, goes on.
I feel an urge to scream at the top of my lungs - that just because I am learning to live, to laugh, and perhaps even to love again, does NOT mean that I no longer love Rick, that I no longer miss him.
Or that I do not deserve some measure of happiness in this nightmare.
But then, what good would it do?
So, I just breathe ... and I say not a word.
Knowing that there will be those who will judge me and criticize me no matter what I do.
If I stay alone ... or if there is a 2nd chapter for my life and heart.
And that's ok - if that is what it takes for them to lay down and sleep at night.
Again, this is MY life.
I only hope that one day Rick really will be proud of me.
My son has told me often in these 3 years, and told me again last night - - "Momma, I love you. I don't care where you are, or what you are doing, or even who you are with as long as #1, you are safe, and #2, you are as happy as you can be without Daddy."
Thank you Joshua.
I love you.