Hoping for someday
I’ll just come out and say it. I hate today. Every year, on this day, I have the same dream.
It’s dark, and my friend Tony and I are sitting in an empty room on stools facing each other. He says he loves me. He says he’ll miss me. Then he says, “But I have to go now.”
And I wake up.
I was in California when he died, the first time I had that dream. On a trip by myself halfway across the country, when my mom called my aunt to tell her what happened. She woke me up early, around 7, and she had been crying. Anticipating the grief I was about to feel. I can’t even begin to imagine how horrible she must have felt to see my world crumble around me in a matter of moments. I just sat in her papesan chair staring at the wall, while she frantically tried to find me a flight home.
And I keep reliving it. Over and over. It won’t ever go away.
My best friend died, and I don’t really know what else to say about it.
Living in a world without Tony was very hard for me. I made reckless decisions, joined the Army, stopped caring about myself; I went numb. It was hard enough with him being gone, but I didn’t know how to talk about it. My friends didn’t understand, or they didn’t want to talk about it. Tony’s death affected so many people, I wasn’t alone, and everyone grieved differently.
I remember walking into my boyfriend’s garage after Tony’s viewing, where his brother was working on a car. He said I looked nice, and I turned and buried my head into my boyfriend’s arm and cried. His brother said, “Oooookay?”
And that’s the truth. No one knew how to handle me.
I didn’t know how to handle me.
I changed that day. I went to bed on the 21st one way, and woke up the 22nd a completely different person. I don’t even remember who I was before.
I’ve worked very hard to get myself back on track. Deep down, I’m still the same person I was. Still funny and kind. But I grew cynical, and quieter. More introspective. Tony made me laugh – all the time, and I didn’t want to laugh anymore. I didn’t want to be happy. I wanted to feel everything, and nothing all at the same time.
This morning I woke up with a heavy heart. I had myself a good little cry while Matt was out on a run, and the kids hadn’t woken up yet. Then I sucked it up, and went about my day. Then I sit down and write about him, and completely lose it.
It’s been fifteen years since the accident. Fifteen. And I’m still a mess. Everything sucks about that day, and that won’t ever change. From now until forever, June 22nd makes me sad, and I have to let it. I know for a fact that Tony would tell me to shut up and move on, but I can’t and I won’t. I will always have that empty spot in my heart for him, it won’t ever be filled.
And while I lived, and went on, and made an amazing life for myself, it’s okay for me to think back on him and how I miss him like hell. Because I do. And sometimes I’m so angry with him I could scream. And some days I miss him so much that I cry. And sometimes I hear a song on the radio, and I smile.
I will let myself be sad today, but I won’t let it break me. Tony wouldn’t want that.
I’ll be standing at the edge of the Earth, Tony. Hoping for someday.