What does missing him feel like?
First I want to say, as I sit in stillness and think about that question, I realize that we cannot compartmentalize our lives. By saying that I mean we can’t turn off feeling the pain in our lives without turning off feeling the joy. In other words, if we can’t feel it we can’t heal it.
The journey of chronic illness held within it many highs and lows. We experienced every hue between fear and angst to gratitude and joy. Every day became about the simplest things which in time became monumental. As his illness progressed life became narrowed to the point it whittled down to being mainly us. When you are in the middle of it, you don’t realize what is happening.
I believe there were aspects of grief throughout that part of our journey for both of us. Grief for the challenge of diminishing health, grief for the loss of our ‘love child’, F&G Construction, loss through his being declared totally disabled, and so on. With the help of faith and hope, we endured those early storms. We met the challenges and reinvented life to a new normal. He was still able to drive and I worked every day but again the challenge arose to reinvent ourselves once more. I quit work and stayed home to be a twenty-four/seven caregiver.
Our life centered on maintaining his quality of life. We rode the ebb and flow. I know we both felt the loss of the hope and promise of our beginnings. In that respect we groveled, we fought, and we loved our way through. We were at the end of the day always and forever thankful for each other.
He was one of a kind. He was very smart and so strong in mind and body. He could read people. He loved his beer after work, especially on the really hot days. We didn’t have alcohol at home. It was always a joy to come home and visit over a cup of coffee and more, eat dinner, and off to bed to rest for another day.
Bob lived large, not in the sense of material things but just in living life.
He worked hard and smart.
He was trustworthy.
He was a good friend.
He was loyal.
He was fun.
He didn’t need the stuff of life to make him happy.
He stood strong for what he felt was right.
He was a kind of gentle giant who helped others along the way sometimes just by imparting knowledge to those who worked for him or by calling forth things they didn’t know they were capable of.
He was open to being taken advantage of more in the sense of selling himself short.
He had a smile that could melt an iceberg.
When we met he was a wounded warrior and like me not ready for a relationship so by the grace of God we became friends. We liked each other and the ease we felt through time shared. When we embarked on a new path, some eleven months after we met it was more as friends than as lovers. We trekked from Colorado to Orlando, Florida where we both had jobs awaiting us. New life and the blossoming of everlasting love was the gift of that part of our journey. We just enjoyed being together and throughout the majority of our life, shared, we were indeed together whether it be on the job, at home, or at play.
So the question was what does it feel like missing him? Before I go any further with that I will say this. The love between two people is personal. The relationship is filled with everything from the valley floor to the mountaintop, through the desert and the wilderness onward to a sense of being home within our own heart and that of another. It includes all the nuances not seen or experienced outside of themselves. The answer then, to the question, is read the above words on these pages and define the answer for yourselves. All I can say is I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and I didn’t.
Loving him was easier than anything I will ever do again.