As luck would have it, today is Tuesday, my day to post my rambling here on Soaring Spirits. It is also the 6th anniversary of Drew’s crash, and the 4th trip around the sun since I began getting to know him. Through stories told by Sarah, his parents, and his friends, I’ve made a friend...a sort of widow pen-pal, in a way.
It’s odd, really, how often Sarah says things like “Drew really picked you”, often in a sarcastic tone when I’m being a deliberate goof. We have as many similarities as we do differences. His friends are my friends, and I enjoy hanging out with all of them. In fact, they are all coming to Ohio to visit next week...6 of them in a tiny 2 bedroom, 1 bath house with the three of us. That will be fun for 4 days.
I truly feel as if Drew was a friend of mine. I don’t have quite the stinging sense of loss that his friends and family had, obviously. Just the same, there is a huge desire to have known him personally and in the flesh.
I would almost welcome the call informing me that he had an accident. It would mean that I would have actually spent time with him and enjoyed memories together. He could have known Shelby, and she him, as “Crazy Uncle Drew”. Hell, the four of us could have double dated to a concert of comedy show if Megan was still around. I mean, getting that call would SUCK, but it would suck because I got to know him...silver linings, I guess.
I can only speak for my own opinion, but based on the stories, and the way his friends and family (and fiance, of course) have welcomed me into their own group, I can only surmise that it would have been no different had he not died. I mean, I wouldn’t have met Sarah at Camp Widow, but if the stars aligned and I somehow ended up in Dallas, well, it could have happened.
That’s the rub of it all. Fate, destiny, luck, premonition, “god’s plan”, or whatever the hell else you want to call it has placed me in this exact situation. A guy, that I had no idea even existed, died 6 years ago, and I mourn it. I mourn it for myself...not just in a “being there for Sarah” kind of way. I don’t shed tears or get weepy about it. I don’t get my whole day thrown off because of the significance of the date. I DO think about it a lot though.
See, this has nothing to do with being a widower. It doesn’t even have anything to do with being a new partner to HIS widow. Sarah is going to need to grieve or remember or drink in her OWN way, and that’s just fine. All I can do is give her understanding and a shoulder to cry on if she needs it. Her loss of Drew, to be frank, is much, much more important than mine. The same goes for his family and friends, but still, it’s interesting to me that I have my own sense of loss for him in the first place.
Being an "outsider", I get the luxury of straightforwardly honoring Drew’s one-time presence, without having to go through all of that messy, snot-filled, painful grieving. I don’t have any good memories with him, but I don’t have any bad ones either. To me, he’s a guy that I know I could have had a beer with. I do my best to specifically have one with his memory, and his loved ones, a few days a year, and today is one of those days.
There has never been any sense of jealousy or competition with him. I’ve never felt “compared” to him by Sarah, other than in passing statements, usually when I annoyingly burp or talk about buying a boat, and Sarah points out the ridiculous similarity. When that happens, it only makes me want to know Drew more. I would LOVE to be able to annoy Sarah with an ally. Oh man, how we could BOTH embarrass Shelby in public. We’ll just sit Megan and Sarah there on the couch, don tiaras, and perform an interpretive dance in the living room. Then we’ll go out on our sailboat for the rest of the day. We could have a total bromance.
But, we didn’t, and we can’t. So today, 6 years after he went down, I can only daydream and wish. I can be there for the woman he loved if and when she needs me. I can raise a glass to him, and toast a friend I never knew.