Hey Bud

IMG_2192.jpgI am in a very unique situation, not only being a widower, but in love with a widow.  The silver lining to this is that it allows me to see things from two perspectives.  I’ve decided that since Sarah hasn’t yet travelled to my home, I would write this week from the perspective of dating a widow.  Things like meeting in-laws, friends, and seeing pictures of late partners can be a scary thought for anyone.  

Perhaps my loss has tempered those anxious moments, but regardless, I would hope that any person that is dating someone who has suffered loss can feel the same comfort and respect that I experienced a few weeks ago, as well as return that reverence to those around them.


I’ve written a letter to Drew, Sarah’s late fiance about this.  He deserves to have a word from me from this side.

Hey bud,

A few weeks ago, I came down there to Texas to see Sarah.  I know you (and Megan) have been keeping an eye on things over the past months.  You guys have watched us get to know each other and fall in love.  You’ve watched us have fun together in Kentucky, and Virginia, where I met your mom.  Through endless phone, skype, and text conversations, late into the night, I can’t help but feel like you were there, maybe not guiding anything, but watching.  I’m pretty sure you’re happy.

So at that time, it got a little more interesting I guess, for both Sarah and I, as well as yourself.  I was on your home turf.  I walked off of the plane in Austin, and your fiance was waiting there for me with a kiss and a smile.  

I’m not going to say that it wasn’t thought provoking.  We hopped in your truck, and drove the hour or so to the ranch.  I’d seen the inside before, in pictures and though Skype, but there you were, staring me in the face from the wall when we walked through the door.  This was it.  I was now truly in your space.  

Oddly, it wasn’t difficult, or awkward.  I didn’t feel as if I was trespassing on your memory or not supposed to be there.  Chalk some of that up to the similarities we shared in personality I guess.  It felt like I was simply part of what has always been there.  It was already getting late, so Sarah and I hit the rack that night, and I let my mind wander with thoughts of what the next morning would be like, waking up and having your family see me walking around the kitchen.

I’m happy to say your family welcomed me as warmly as Sarah has.  Hell, your mom came out in the morning, when we were getting our coffee, and gave me a hug.  Your sister shook my hand and smiled, and they went off into town for their day.

But I guess you saw all this already.

Then, and for the entire weekend, I had this indescribable feeling that I was not taking your place, but serving your purpose.  I’m my own man.  I know it, Sarah knows it, and your friends and family know it.  I went to lunch with your mom and sister, and it felt as if I was simply visiting for the 100th time.  We didn’t make concrete plans for anything, other than camping that weekend, and as it turns out, after a nice night of dinner, finally meeting your stepfather (who is such a great guy to talk to), and an impromptu date with Sarah, I drove your truck home.

IMG_2098.jpg

I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t incredibly meaningful to me.  I have a truck myself, and I know how much it means to have someone else drive it.  Its this odd sentimentality about our vehicles that guys like us have.  To be driving your truck was surreal.  It felt natural, and out of place at the same time.  I didn’t really comment on it to Sarah at the moment, but she knew anyway.  I might as well have been wearing your clothes.  

Then came the reason I was actually down there that particular week...Drewfest.  I specifically was there to be a part of the celebration of you that occurs every year since that dumbass accident.  I respect you, totally, and fully, without even knowing you.  You had to have been a hell of a person to not only have Sarah’s love, but to have the love of the friends I was about to meet.  I see the same thing with Megan.  She was small in frame, but she had a hell of a presence to everyone that knew her.  I can’t imagine what kind of influence you two have wherever you are now.  

I can’t state more strongly that I again felt like I was there all along.  We didn’t sit there and talk about you, or the fact that everyone was meeting me for the first time, after hearing about me for months.  We had a fun, enjoyable weekend as a group of friends, and not once did anyone get emotional or did I feel like I was a “new” person, to be watched with a critical eye.  We sat around a campfire, that I set up, and shot the shit for hours.  We didn’t forget about you.  In fact, we remembered you more fully as a person, and not someone who was obviously missing.

After another day of tubing and campfire talk, Sarah and I went back to the ranch.  Did you see what happened next?  I fired up the grill, and we cooked fajitas for your family.  I hope I made you proud with my grilling skills, because the whole time I was just pondering how cool it would have been to have you and Megan sitting there on the patio with us, sipping a beer and talking about how good the chicken smelled.  

That’s the thing.  Through all of this, I wished you were there.  Having you there in the flesh would only have enhanced the weekend.  I can sense that we would have been fast friends, probably to the ultimate annoyance of Sarah and Megan, but then again, they would have been allied as well.  All of us would have made a hell of a group.  There are times when it feels like Megan and yourself would have made a good couple, and honestly, I hope that you two are indeed together, because I know she’s in good hands.

As Sarah wrote, I visited your grave the next day.  Of course it was solemn, but it wasn’t just because I felt bad for Sarah.  Somehow, I miss you too.  Maybe not as intensely as I miss Megan, obviously, but I still wished that I didn’t have to not know you in the flesh.  I was visiting the final resting place of a friend.

Someday, you and I are gonna sit down and talk about all of this over a good beer.  Truthfully, I hope that someday is a long time from now for both Sarah and I’s sake.  I’ll take care of things here, and love Sarah like she deserves to be loved, as long as you agree to watch over Megan and take her for some helicopter rides where she’s NOT going to the hospital...she’d love that.

Wherever Sarah and I end up, your picture will be hanging on our wall right beside Megan’s, and I’ll be proud to have it there.  

Later man,

Mike

 


Showing 17 reactions

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  • commented 2015-09-16 11:26:38 -0700
    What a great post. I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for about six months and he feels the same about my late husband. They have many of the same qualities but are immensely different human beings. This is my first experience at reading these blogs. Looks like I’ll have to dig a little deeper.
  • commented 2015-07-09 18:58:33 -0700
    This is so wonderful Mike. Thanks for openingly sharing your heart and of Sarah. I’m teary eyed reading this. So glad that you did end up going to Camp Widow in Tampa – and I can’t say enough how happy I am for you and Sarah. I know Megan and Drew are right there maybe they even made sure you too met in the first place.
  • commented 2015-07-08 05:34:37 -0700
    Thank you all so much! I guess that I am a little overwhelmed by the effect I seem to have had. To me, Drew was, is, and will always be a part of Sarah, and she wouldn’t be who she is without him, just as I wouldn’t have been the same person without Megan. This was evident to me, so writing about it seemed simple.
  • commented 2015-07-08 00:13:23 -0700
    This is wonderful Mike, thanks for sharing.
  • commented 2015-07-07 23:47:34 -0700
    Mike, this is so heartwarming and like Alison said, I hope to find someone as wonderful as you. May you two have many, many, many more wonderful years together as Megan and Drew watch over you.
  • commented 2015-07-07 20:49:55 -0700
    I cried after reading this. …it so touched my heart. ..thanks for writing this
  • commented 2015-07-07 18:20:41 -0700
    Gah! You had me at “Hey Bud.” So happy that Sarah and you have found someone who gets it.
  • commented 2015-07-07 18:18:22 -0700
    I recognized the sparks between you and Sarah at Camp Widow Tampa and have loved reading each of your blogs as your relationship has grown. This is such a beautiful tribute to the love you and Sarah share and the love you both share with Drew and Megan. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. It’s inspiring.
  • commented 2015-07-07 17:19:48 -0700
    An amazing but simple tribute to two people who have truly brought you and Sarah together. The way you two honor each other’s love is incredible and so touching. Breathtaking.
  • commented 2015-07-07 15:04:26 -0700
    Mike ~

    I can’t remember how I found this blog, but have been reading for over seven years. I’m grateful because six years ago our daughter Aviana was in a terrible accident. She was left severely brain injured – unable to walk, talk, eat by mouth or barely move. She passed away October 26, 2013.

    I read everyday, but have never commented. Today you moved me to absolute tears. From the moment I read about you and Sarah, I was beyond happy for you both. With my whole heart I join you in knowing both Megan and Drew are watching over just as I feel our daughter watches over us.

    While we can’t and never will have our loved ones back, as you know, we must grab the life we have, and take every blessing along the way.

    My love to you both,

    Jen
    www.avianareese.com
  • commented 2015-07-07 15:04:20 -0700
    Jesus almighty, this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. Like Kelly, I’m a puddle of tears. I can only hope I find someone wonderful like you someday, who will love that I’m Chuck’s widow, who will find a place in his heart for the man I love still, even as I love him. Bless you both in this next part of your lives. Your story here is the first thing that’s given me hope since Chuck’s death~
  • commented 2015-07-07 12:46:20 -0700
    Fabulous story Mike. In a fairy tale world there would be a widower for every widow out there. I do believe it would be easier to have a relationship because they would understand better.
  • commented 2015-07-07 12:03:09 -0700
    Oh, wow, that really hit home. My boyfriend knew my husband, but I had never met his deceased wife. I have not been able to fathom what my boyfriend feels living in the house that my husband lived in. This helped me to a certain extent see his side. We both went on Memorial Day and visited my husband’s grave. My boyfriend has remarked that he has talked to my husband, telling him he’s taking care of me, etc. Your words were profound and thought provoking. Thanks for sharing your wonderful letter!
  • commented 2015-07-07 11:57:56 -0700
    Oh, Mike….I am crying here.
  • commented 2015-07-07 11:20:09 -0700
    Wow. Tears and tears as I was reading your post.

    What a treasure you are MIke. Sarah (and Megan and Drew!) are so fortunate that you came into their lives. You seem like the kind of guy my Duane would have liked: trucks, camping and food!

    Best wishes always to you and Sarah
    Lori

    P.S. I hope to get a chance to meet you if you’re coming to Camp Widow San Diego this summer.
  • commented 2015-07-07 11:07:30 -0700
    As a widow married to a widower. I love reading both of your posts! Awesome!
  • commented 2015-07-07 10:01:49 -0700
    Thanks for reducing me to a puddle. Im a puddle now. Im no longer human. Just a puddle of tears. Thanks for that.

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