Saturday, December 16

Grady

I was 23 when he died. I remember only pieces of the accident. The feeling of the SUV starting to tip over, a woman standing over me with the sun behind her, seeing my mother in the emergency room through the haze of blood in my eyes. I don't remember the pain. I don't remember pain until I was recuperating at my mother's house. The doctors say that is because of a combination of shock and morphine and I suppose they are right. I remember sitting in a wheelchair next to his body in morgue and running my fingers through his hair and over his face for the last time-- I remember how it felt to know that I was doing it for the last time.
There are scars. A gash on my knee, staples in my back, stitches on my foot and my cheek. They are faded now. Someone asked me last night if I had ever been in love with someone who hadn't loved me back. I said no. It's not that I've never thought I was in love and it wasn't returned. It's that after being with Grady I understand the true, once in a lifetime, type of love that can only be a reciprocal experience. Can it really be love if it is one sided? I don't know. What I do know is that in 1998 I met a man who changed my life forever and in 2003 i lost him.
I wake up some nights because I have that feeling of tipping, the moment when gravity becomes fate is enshrined in my muscle memory and will bring me from a sound sleep to the brink of nausea.
His sister gave me the ring after the funeral. It's beautiful. An antique ring of sapphire set in platinum-- it's one I had seen in a window in a store in Charleston and fell in love with. I've never worn it.
I miss fighting with him, I miss the way he smelled, I miss the stupid faces he would make at me when I was rehearsing or recording. I miss the way he made me laugh and the way he pissed me off- the way he listened and the way his eyes glowed when he was angry. We used to argue over whether the Irish or Scottish were more stubborn--because he found it absurd and amusing. We couldn't be in a room without touching at least once. I can still feel his arm around me and the way that my head fit perfectly on his shoulder.
There is anger and frustration. At myself, at God, at the f**cking b***h who hit us and at him for leaving me. Of course there was guilt and I guess I reacted in a classic way by choosing a man who would punish me for being alive. Maybe therapy would have been helpful, but there is something to be said for crawling out of the tunnel on your own.
There are still days when I'm numb, but there are more and more days now when I want things and more and more things that I want. I like the life that I am creating and I am indescribably grateful for the years I had with Grady and the memories I have now. For a time he was - everything- and no one will ever be able to be him. I'm not expecting that. For the first time since he died I don't think I'm expecting anything, I'm just hoping.

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