Every year as your birthday approaches, the atmosphere is thick with your presence…and I see you in my dreams more and more.
This morning I woke up with an ache in my chest and my eyes ready to spill over with tears. How have 11 years passed? How is it that I can still wake from these dreams and think, “I need to call him.” 11 years and I miss you the same and my dreams are just as real. Today you were there. I always feel like it’s actually you. Not a memory or a strong subconscious feeling. You. Maybe you make the rounds to all of us. Or maybe only certain people can feel you there. Perhaps it only comforts me more to believe you still exist. But every time. I wake feeling like you were there.
In This Dream…
In this dream, we were traveling. I think it was Vegas or Reno, or maybe a tribal casino. There were black jack tables, slot machines, a water park and elevators. We sat near the elevators and talked. We talk a lot in these dreams. I never tell you how much I miss you. I don’t have to. I think you already know. I think you always knew that I would miss you, but you never wanted me to worry about you. We talked about San Francisco. I told you that I was the one who stole your bottle of Amaretto at that party. You said you already knew. You make me laugh and make fun of me. I tease you back.
Before I woke up, I held your face in my hands and you were there. That scruffy beard and sideburns. Your thick curly hair that always needed a hat or a haircut.
I woke up to my 10 year old son talking to me. I was irritated that he woke me up. But maybe it was time for you to go. I stayed in bed for a bit. Trying to gather and save all of the images and feelings of my dream. I wondered if there would be more dreams this week, before your birthday. My connection to you, whether real or imagined, is just as strong today as it was 11 years ago.
I Ached For a Connection
The week that you died I cried my eyes dry. I couldn’t attend your funeral, but I wrote your mom a letter. I ached for a connection to you that I feared I would never feel again. And then something happened. I was sitting on my couch and I felt you there…behind me, next to me. The feeling of you was so strong that I was afraid to turn and look. I knew you were there. I talked to you and told you I missed you. I said I was sorry. I told you I was going to have a baby. I was only 6 weeks along and hadn’t had a chance to tell you. I cried and told you I would always love you. Then I curled up in a ball of pain when I sensed you had left. I am forever grateful for that moment on the couch…whatever it was.
I am forever grateful.
I am forever grateful for your time in my life. Your friendship taught me invaluable lessons between the ages of 12 and 29:
- Don’t be afraid to support your favorite sports team…from head to toe.
- Always say what you mean. But don’t be mean…it’s not worth it.
- People will surprise you.
- Live is short (duh).
- Live the life you were given to the fullest.
- Spend time with your friends. They won’t be here forever and neither will you.
Happy Birthday, B. You would have rocked your 40s.