I’m sitting in Mike’s spot at the kitchen table.
Wondering how to put my love for this man into words.
As I’m sitting here,
I can’t help but notice that he’s everywhere in this house.
Once upon a time, he sat in this same chair I’m sitting on now.
I notice that my elbow is on the table and I am cupping my cheek in my hand
-exactly like Mike used to do as he sat here, occupying this very same spot.
I remember his wine glass used to be where mine is right now.
There are echoes of him everywhere.
I see him on his iPad, reading his emails.
I see his things placed neatly beside him;
And, like always, there is order at his “work station”.
His phone is precisely positioned beside his glasses case.
In my mind they lay casually on the table like a hundred times before.
I walk into the room and I see him take off his glasses.
I see his broad fingers slowly fold in the arms of his worn glasses
And, he gently lays them neatly in their case, like he always does.
He looks at me.
He always looks at me like I take his breath away.
I know I did.
Mike was so in love.
And, so was I.
I still am...
In my mind,
I often see him filling his glass with his trademark ice cubes.
I can see him standing at the fridge.
I know exactly how his pants rest on his hips.
I know how he wears his belt.
I know how his little butt fills out the pockets of his Diesel jeans.
I know how his soft, worn Guess jeans comfortably rest on his feet
Just above his perfectly aged Birkenstocks.
I know how Mike uses the inside of his wrists
to casually pull up the waist of his pants as he stands talking to me.
I know exactly how he stood.
I know his posture like it is my own.
I see his hands on the freezer door.
Sometimes I run my fingers along the handle of the freezer
Because I want my fingers to trace where his once were.
I see him walking down the stairs.
I know how he positions his feet on the stairs.
I know the sound of his feet when they land on the carpet.
I know the angle at which his knees bend,
And, still can see how he holds the bannister in his hand.
I can hear him humming as he walks.
I know the tune of his hum and I could pick it out on any street, anywhere in the world.
Sometimes remembering these simple things takes my breath away.
And, the thought of someday not being able to remember these fine,
intimate details also takes my breath away.
When I stand outside I can see Mike come out the back door.
On sunny days, I see him with a tray of steaks to BBQ with the boys.
At nighttime, I look at the back door and I imagine he walks through it,
In my mind, he comes outside to sit with me and talk under the stars,
Just like he has so many nights before.
When I look at the hedges I remember Mike trimming them on a hot afternoon.
And, when I make my bed every morning,
I see him on his side pulling up the sheets with me.
As I come around the corner I hear him say “Hey Beautiful”
Just like he said to me a thousand times before.
When I glance at the couch I hear his voice saying “Come here Baby, let’s just relax”.
I’ve look through the window as my son mows the lawn,
And, I see him carefully wrap the cord around his hand and elbow,
The way Mike showed him to.
In the basement, sometimes I stop and hold my breath
I see the Fort that Mike built for my youngest son
Using bedsheets, duct tape and hockey sticks.
The Fort is long gone.
Everything has been put away.
But, still, he is everywhere.