The other day I went into a place to pick up some lunch and I saw a man standing in line who looked so much like a someone I used to know, and love. Someone I miss all the time, someone I find myself thinking about and not even realize that I’d been thinking about him. His name was Vince and he’d been in my life for so long I just never imagined life without him, until just shy of 3 years ago when he succumbed to cancer. He was a separate life for me. We didn’t have the same friends, he never met my family, he was mine and only mine and I kept him that way. Maybe it was my own insecurities that kept him apart from the rest of me, maybe it was because when we met I was underage and he was an adult and I always feared getting in trouble or getting him in trouble even after adulthood. Maybe because he went his way and I went mine for many years even though we still stayed in contact on the phone, and then email. Who knows, all I know was if I ever needed him for anything, an ear to talk too, a shoulder to cry on, a friend w/ benefits… he was always there. Always willing and able to do or say whatever I needed at that moment.
For reasons of my own I’ve kept my mourning of him to myself as much as I possibly could. I’ve cried in the shower, or when I was out on a run. I spent nights sitting in bed when Rob was at work and the kids were sleeping, just sitting in the bed remembering. Laughing at the funny things, crying at the sad things, telling the air that it wasn’t fair that he and my mom were both gone now! I’ve yelled at God many times asking him Why????? Of course I don’t get a reply, just silence that tries to fill the empty spaces both of these people left in me.
Anyways I was sitting here thinking of him and some of the times we’ve had and honestly, how badly I wish I could pick up the phone and call him. To hear him tell me to buck up buttercup one more time, or to hear him ask me “Whose got your panties all bunched up this time?”. To hear Mon Amour again…To hear him sing Journey “Send her my love” again..he was my best friend for decades and now he’s gone. So I thought I’d share a memory of how great he could be, (I say could be because even though my memories may paint him a saint, he was far from it and could bring me to tears just as easily as he could laughter)…
It was 1997, after 22 hours of labor I gave birth via emergency c-section to my first child, my son Jonathan. A week before he was born my then husband lifted some heavy crap and had to have an emergency hernia surgery so of course even though I was 9 1/2 months pregnant it became all about him and his needs and his pain. BUT this isn’t a story about him so screw him! A few hours after he was born my ex decided to go home w/ his mom and dad so he could get some rest (ya know cause sleeping in the recliner all night was taxing on him).. and I was left alone! My doctor came in that evening and told me I would be staying for 4 days so just get comfy and try to get some rest while the baby was in the nursery. I called my husband and asked when he would be back to see me, he said whenever I got out because he couldn’t drive yet and didn’t want his dad to have to drive him all the way to Clear Lake!!! (Yeah.. see why he’s an ex now?) Sitting in my room all alone with nobody celebrating my son’s birth or checking on me (my family was in Fla and it was too much for them to come see me) I started crying. The next day I got to get up and walk around and everyone on the floor had flowers that filled their rooms, people cooing over their new bundles of joy and I was alone. I got back into my bed and they brought my pride and joy to me and left us alone. So I called Vince. My voice quivering gave me away before I said anything more then hi. He asked was the baby ok because he knew I was due any day and I told him yes and that I’d had surgery and was in the hospital and would be for a few more days and no one was coming to see me and I was lonely and just wanted to hear his voice. We talked for about 30 minutes and when I hung up my heart hurt. I wanted to be with him at that moment and I wanted that baby to be his, but I wasn’t and the baby’s father was too busy thinking of himself 30 miles away.
At around 4:30 that day my door opened and I expected it to be the nurse but to my complete surprise and joy it was Vince. He’d hopped on a plane and flew to Houston to see me! He asked if it was safe to come in and I said yeah, nobody would be there to see me. He came in and picked up Jonathan and kissed him and kissed my cheek and told me how beautiful we both were. He climbed into the bed with me and wrapped his arm around me and let me cry. We talked and laughed until the night nurse came in to tell him that visiting hours were over. I explained that he flew in to see me and nobody else was coming to see me and asked if he could stay. She smiled and said yes, that she’d be my nurse that night anyways and nobody else would know. He stayed with me all night and most of the next day before he had to leave and get home for work.
Fast forward 5 1/2 years and to my surprise he showed up at the hospital when I had my daughter. She was planned and I had already told him what day she’d be delivered and what hospital. He sat in the waiting room until all my in laws left (I actually had people come see me with her) and came in and saw me. He went with me to the NICU to see her and he kissed her cheek and told me she was perfect. He left that day but we remained in contact.
Forward time a couple more years and I went in to have a hysterectomy. It was at the same hospital as the one Shelby was born in, so he knew where and how to get there. I had my surgery and got in a reg room several hours later. I spent 4 days in the hospital with that one and on day 2 he showed up yet again, this time he stayed over night with me again. We lied to the nurse (we called her nurse ballbuster cause she was horrible) and told her that he was my husband. She didn’t know any better so screw her! He walked the halls with me, helping me with the pain. He told me I didn’t have to go back to the hell I was in, that I could grab the kids and go with him, but I couldn’t. Timing was never our friend.
Some days I think about the last time I spent hours with him.. the last time I talked to him… the last time I hugged his neck… some days I think about how when I felt completely alone in the world he’d be there. Some days I get so mad that he left me, other days I’m thankful he’s no longer in pain. I know my husband isn’t overly fond of him, which is why I keep most of this in.. but I also know that he now understands that he was more then just a roll in the hay to me.. he was my friend. I hope that Rob isn’t too upset with this blog down memory lane but I just felt like I needed to tell the stories. Maybe I’ll tell more later on… I’ve already blogged about the food fight in Mc Donalds with him.. maybe I’ll tell you about the strip club, or the weekend getaways… maybe…