Music was always playing in both our homes.
And, now there are certain songs that bring me back to a better place in time.
A time, when Mike was alive.
A time, when I was in love with a man who stood before my eyes.
Our familiar songs take me back to a place in time where he exists.
A time, when he breathed life and love into me.
A time, not so long ago, when he existed in the same dimension as me.
Somewhere, in another place,
He still holds his memories of me,
And, when he hears his favorite songs, he comes and quietly puts his arms around me.
And, he dances with me in the backyard, under the light of the moon and the stars.
Now, I just wish I could feel him the way I used to...
Even after 581 days, the lyrics and melodies of our songs take me right back his comfortable, little kitchen. I close my eyes and I can live those sweet moments between us over, and over again. I have memorized how, with authority, he pushed back his chair from the kitchen table. How he stood with confidence, firmly planted. How he patiently waited as he held out his hand to me. That moment is suspended somewhere in time. And, how I so desperately wish I could reach out and take his hand in mine again, for one last dance.
I know exactly how my hand felt falling into his. I can still feel his strong hand holding mine. I know the way his wide fingers gently lace through mine. I know the touch of him, and I always will...
And, even now, I know the way Mike pulled me into him. I know the exact way it felt as he took me in his arms and moved me toward him. I know how my body blended into his as he held me to his chest. Often, when he pulled me to him, he would bend down and press his forehead to mine; then, he'd stand tall and look into my eyes. After a moment, he'd whisper to me "Stace, you make me so happy. I love you - so - much". My ears know the precise inflection of his voice as he pronounced each of these words to me. I know this moment because I've lived it again and again in my mind for the last year and seven months.
With love in his heart, Mike lead me around the well worn wooden floor of his modest kitchen. And, while the music softly played, we danced. Magically, we became the only two people in the world. Today, I can still ‘feel’ Mike dancing with me like it’s happening right this moment. My hand in his. My head resting gently on his chest - as all of me falls into him.
What I wouldn’t do to feel him again. What I wouldn’t do to feel his arms around me one last time. Sometimes, I miss him so desperately that I hold my hands out in front of me and I ask him to dance with me. Dammit, what I wouldn't give to feel his hand press softly into the small of my back. I would love one last dance with the man I love.
Certain songs take me back to a time when he casually sat on the porch by my side. If that back porch could talk; oh the stories it’d tell. Our short, sweet love story unfolded right there. There was no one but us. It felt as though the world stopped. And, it was only us under the light of the moon.
I remember how we talked many a night away with a passion that is usually reserved for teenagers. And, sometimes, if I close my eyes, I can still feel that same cool summer breeze blow against me. And, in this breeze, I feel Mike beside me.
In the ordinariness of those nights, I fell in love with him. It wasn't the fancy dinners or the beautiful places he took me that won my heart. Nope, it was him. It was the easy to please farm kid who I fell in love with. It was his company on those balmy summer nights that stole my heart. It was his warm, heartfelt smile that shone in the twilight hour, it was the kindness in his voice that rang out in the darkness. It was his authentic laugh that reeled me in. It was all him. It was how he kept company with me, leaning into every word I spoke. To my Mike, there was no one else; and, there was nowhere else he'd rather be. He was content. And, he was madly in love with me. I was loved with every piece of his heart and Soul. And, dammit I miss his love. I miss being loved so completely and purely. It was a beautiful life, and a beautiful love...