One year ago, cancer claimed my first true love. For two years prior to that, I held your hand while I watched poison drip into your body to try to fight it. I shaved my head so we would match and you wouldn't feel so alone. I watched as you dropped down to weights that no adult human should ever be. I changed your diapers, held you in the shower, put you to bed and sang to you. Because that's what husbands are supposed to do, right? Love and honor, in sickness and in health, till death do us part? And then you died.
A year has passed. I tried to learn from your guidance to raise our daughters. Our youngest enters high school this year. Our oldest is still trying to find her way. I keep the house clean, that should please you. I cook now. Not like you used to, but I've learned a few of your recipes that make us feel like maybe you're still around. I got a new kitten too. I ride my Harley with your pendant as a keychain so that you are always with me, watching over me when I ride.
And still, I miss you.
I met a woman. You would like her. She's bright, and pretty, and creative and artistic. Our daughters like her. They love her. Not like you, of course, and she realizes that no one will ever replace you. But she loves me. She makes me feel like that part of me that died when you did might not be dead after all.
When you died, I wanted to die to be with you, but didn't for the sake of our children. Now, I build on the lessons you taught me to be a better father. And I still catch myself crying over the simplest things… Vanilla ice cream (your favorite), Saran-Wrap press & seal (which you used often), the scent of pomegranates, and certain areas of town. I'm crying now. And when I do, she comforts me.
I'll never forget you. I was married to you for twenty years. Your parents said we were too young to get married, but I stayed until the end. And I cried. And I still cry. And I loved you. And I still love you.