Fifty Years

Tonight is quiet and brutal.  The realization of all I've lost is fresh.

I took out one of the framed photos from the funeral and looked you in the eye.  It's the kind of photo where I can believe for a little bit I am really looking into your eyes.

I read through most of my journal entries from the beginning of our marriage on until about the 3rd year.  I was looking for something I thought I'd written that somehow felt important now, but I haven't found it yet.  It was about sleep, and I will write about it when I find it.

I realized it was late though, so I put the journals down beside my bed- next to the photo of you.

I went to brush my teeth- stopping in the closet to smell your shirt on the way in.  It is so strange to me that your body can be buried under a ton of dirt, but I can still smell you as if you are right in front of me.

As I brushed my teeth I felt the aloneness I felt earlier when I came home.  I felt that this is my bathroom- not ours.  I saw your toothbrush in the cup and could see you flossing and brushing beside me.  I thought about how unreal all of this is.  C'mon- you drowned in Switzerland?  This can not be.  It's just too much.  Then I thought about how it is true.  And how I am going to have to wait such a long time to see you.  I try to tell myself I can do it; the time will go fast.

But as I'm turning off the bathroom light, walking past your hanging clothes, I do a quick calculation in my  head for the first time.  I realize that if I were to live until 84, it will be fifty more years until I see you again.  Fifty years feels very, very long.