I depended on you. Now that you are gone, the reality has set in just how much I relied on you. Both business and personal ideas and thoughts were bounced off of you. Often my guts told me one thing, but you thought just the opposite. We would hash these out for hours on end listing the pros and the cons and at some point, come to a consensus or at least an agreement. It never felt like a win or a loss. It was just the way we did it. It worked for us.
With both of us as Type A personalities, people on the outside found it hard to believe that we could actually get along. Particularity in business, they expected us to knock heads, argue and never surrender. We never played it that way. There was a way that we did it that worked for us that I just cannot explain in words. Maybe some of it was “pick your battles” or more likely “Is the this hill you choose to die on?” I like to believe that our commitment to each other superseded all of the rest of the stuff and we found a way to work in harmony. Whatever it was, it became the way we operated together and it worked for us.
There were times when I thought that I depended on you much more than you ever depended on me and that it was completely lopsided. Fix my tire, please. Could you reach that on the top shelf, please. Why did my blow dryer make this plug fritz out? It says some minor assembly required, but they lied! I depended on you to DO. You depended on me to BE. I think that the emotional strength in the fiber of who we were came from me. You were loving and committed but depended on me to keep us emotionally afloat. The depth of sentiment came from me and you were happy to ride the magic carpet with me holding on tight and savoring the ride. We both knew that if the ride got too wild, it would be you, the pragmatist, who would pick us up, brush us off and carefully sit us back on the carpet for the next crazy ride that I designed. You never refused to ride and took the spills with no complaints. That was part of the deal you made with yourself to be with me. Sometimes you took the ride and did not understand why, but you were always behind me holding on and giving us stability.
We knew that we needed to buy a house. We had out grown the little town home and the boys were certainly not going to get any smaller. You detested this process and would not even look at the real estate section of the paper. I was excited about the possibilities of a new house and began to look. Every Saturday and every Sunday I searched the town and surrounding areas for houses. I am sure that I visited over 200 houses over months of searching. None were appealing to me and I would return home frustrated and wondering if we would ever find an appropriate home.
The house was in the middle of no place. It was a new subdivision with only 6 homes. Visually it was out of context because each home was surrounded by mature huge oak and pecan trees. New homes. Old trees. Beautiful! When I stepped into the foyer, I knew. This was the one for us and I had not even seen the house yet. I felt AT HOME. Our home. As I walked thorough the house, I did so quickly. All I could think about was rushing out to call you to let you know that I had found it!
I did call and told you that I was coming to pick you up because that I wanted you to see this house. You rode in the passenger seat next to me and I told you about the house. The area was beautiful and the trees! You will not believe the trees! Pecans as far as the eye can see! Huge Pin Oaks! No neighbors. I think it is perfect.
We arrived at the house and you toured it. In the master bedroom away from prying ears, I asked if you liked the house. Your response was, “If you like it, it is perfect”. And we made an offer that day.
We set a date for closing. We made arrangements for our furniture and belongings to be packed into our company truck. The plan was for us to go to the closing and return to our office. The truck would be ready to accompany us to our new home along with the muscle to unload and get us set up for at least our first night in our new home. All went as planned and we were the owners of this beautiful, new, perfect home…. our first home!
We closed. We got the keys. We left the attorney’s office hand in hand so proud of the fact that we had worked hard to successfully acquire a home for our family. OUR family. You and me and our sons. We both knew that it had not been easy, and the odds were completely against us. We put up our last and only $200.00 to start this business and here we were. New home owners. At least the mortgage company believed in us!
We drove to our office and as we approached, we saw the truck parked outside. It was filled with our furniture and fixtures and pictures and memories of our life together. It took us a few moments to go inside and ground ourselves in the reality that we had a brand-new life in a brand-new home in a brand- new marriage with brand-new adventures ahead of us. It was exhilarating and we were ready!
You told the guys to follow us! They got in the truck and lined up behind us. You got behind the wheel and I climbed into the passenger’s seat. You looked over at me and smiled. You clutched the steering wheel, but did not move. You looked over at me again.
Me: “You OK?”
You: “Yes. I am so excited to have a new home with you.”
Me: “Me too. Are you ready to go?”
And you did not move. You sighed and looked at me again.
Me: “Well then, let’s go.”
You: “I would but I have no idea where this house is.”
Me: “You mean to tell me that you just bought a house that you cannot find?”
You: “Yep. In my defense, you always drove there, and I never paid attention. So, yes. We own a home and I have not got a clue where it is!”
Then we started to laugh! It was then that I realized that you did depend on me! I think we just divided the duties and somehow, for us, it worked.
So, on that horrible Sunday morning when I took you to the emergency room, you left this house for the last time. I looked in your eyes and I think that you knew that you would never return. I clutched our door frame and melted into a pile praying to Almighty God to allow you to come back to our home that we created together and to give us a little more time together. God had a different plan.
On the Monday after your memorial service, I did bring you home. I chose the elegant silver and black one for you because it was dignified and just your style. It gives me comfort to have you here because I can kiss you good morning and hug you goodnight and, when things get hard, pick you up, cry and just hold you. You are home, my love. You are home with me in the house that we made a home.
I miss you.