My Hour With Eric; 7 Year Anniversary
Last night, I spent my hour with Eric; it’s something I make time for twice a year, on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death. This year the anniversary came and went in a haze of ‘I can barely move’ sickness. I didn’t realize what the date was, let alone the significance. Once the haze began to recede, I remembered, and vowed to make time this week to honor him. After sobbing during random TV episodes, it was clear, I HAD to have my hour with him right then.
I re-read “Say My Name,” a beautiful novella by the incredibly talented Rebecca T. Dickson. (http://www.amazon.com/Say-Name-Rebecca-Tsaros-Dickson-ebook/dp/B0091GZ8VA/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1429567094&sr=8-11&keywords=Say+my+name ) I re-read it on at least one of those days every year, if not both. I have such a hard time putting my relationship with Eric into words, and while circumstances are not the same, Becky is able to so accurately capture nearly that exact dynamic with her John. I envy her for that. I cannot fathom being able to do so any better. I envy her character too. No, I hate her character in the novella…she was able to say goodbye. I didn’t get that chance. I wasn’t there as my best friend, my first love was dying; and I hate myself for it every day. But that story, it takes me back to Eric, and for that, I am grateful.
Then, I spent some time talking to him. I try to pretend he is sitting next to me, and that we are catching up from not seeing each other in a while. That’s what happened with him often. He was in and out of school, and sometimes I didn’t see him for months, but when I did, man, we just caught up, and settled back into our familiar camaraderie as if those months apart never existed. Usually, this ends with me begging him to visit me in my dreams; one of those vivid dreams where the lines of reality and dream are so blurred that you can barely tell the difference. I would ask him to hold me again, his hand on my hip, snuggled close, with no intention of ever letting go. I would tell him I loved him; because no matter how much I rack my brain, I still don’t remember if I ever actually said it. I would kill for just an hour with him in my dreams…but he never comes.
This time, I couldn’t go into detail about my life since June, it was too painful, too difficult, too much to rehash, and if I’m honest, I haven’t truly emotionally dealt with it yet. There has not been enough time or energy to dwell. I’m afraid I will start crying and never be able to stop. But, it’s my imagination that put Eric by my side last night, so he already knew. He asked me how I was handling it; I gave him a teary smile and shrug. He nodded, understanding in his eyes, and reached out, pulling me into his arms. I sighed, I was home. “I could really use your strength right now,” I mumbled into his chest. “You always have it,” he responded. “I know, but…”He nodded. “Will you just hold me for a while?” I asked tearfully as I laid my head on his chest, my arms tightening around his chest. “Yup.”
We spent the last of our time just being, and I fell asleep in his arms.