Posts from the ‘Personal’ Category

The Transition…

How come I read about couples falling out of love all the time, but when someone REALLY needs that to happen for them, they can’t??? Anyone have a fall out of love spell they can cast on me, cuz I don’t wanna’ feel like this forever! I feel exhausted. The minute I thought about this, about wanting to not love him anymore, it broke what is left of my heart. I guess my mind is still trying to process this, and it happens in waves and in unpredictable moments. It’s not something I can control. I just allow myself to feel…whatever it is, bad or good. Most of the time, I allow the hurt to overcome me, and I shut down. I really can’t get anything accomplished when I’m feeling that way. I can’t concentrate, and all I feel is pain. I know it’s normal, and it’s going to happen from time to time, but grief requires all of my attention. It is a selfish animal, it takes everything out of you and leaves nothing. It’s impossible to love someone and not touch or hold or hear them, but I’m achieving the impossibility every day.


I’m looking for an easy fix, something to mend my heart. It’s certainly not going to be a man, it’s going to require changes in myself. I don’t need to love Jason less, I need to learn to love myself more. That is what he would tell me. Before, it was easy for me to forget myself, and live for him. He loved me so well, that it was Heaven for me. Now, I have to learn to live for me, and it’s an eye widening experience, mostly because I never knew what “me” was? There’s little results when you live for yourself, only in that one may suffer from a narrowed perspective and not truly see the benefits of such an endeavor. I never considered that now I’m living for myself, and my children, and it’s a new normal. Well, it’s becoming less new, but it’s a new routine, even for myself. I’m not accustomed to organizing a day around what I have to do, it was always around Jason’s work schedule, the kids, then myself. Now, when I wake up, I think about where I need to be and what I need to do, specifically for the boys and whatever household errands I might have, but I think to myself, “What the fuck happened? How did I get here?” I mean, I can basically decide what’s for dinner everyday, but I don’t want to, and I don’t care that I can. I bought bedroom furniture, and realized I could pick out what I want. I kind of smiled, but then immediately felt guilty. Gotta’ love grief, sneaking in there like that.

I don’t like that my old routine was ripped from me. I liked my old routine. I loved loving him, and now I have to live with loving him from far away. I have to learn to balance that, with this new life, which seems almost unrecognizable at times. I have to leave room for Jason, a guy like him demands it, but I can find room in there for me too, because that’s what he did. Jason put me before everything in our life, even our children, sometimes that bothered me, but it was just his way. He seriously, like on a profoundly deep level, loved me and it made my life so perfectly easy to fall in love with, and I did. I not only mourn the love of my life, but a lifestyle come to passing. I’m single, and the words are like a foreign language, because I find the term absurd, and I look at myself and I don’t look single, whatever it looks like. Personally, I think I look like a deer in headlights most often than not. My head is in the clouds, apparently trying to make contact. I’m stuck between the living and the dead, and I’m losing sight of what the living needs, because of it. I’m living here with the family we created together, that has to count for something. It means something, whether he’s with me or not. I’m going to figure this bullshit out, and it’s going to be based on the experiential knowledge that I’ve obtained, because essentially, that’s all I have. Jason valued me as a person and a woman, and I can only pray that someday I see myself through his eyes.

TIme is Untouchable….

June 1, 2014

I’ve dreaded this month all year. Since last June I dreaded it. He went home to be with God 9 days after my birthday. I turned 40 and my best friend threw me a birthday party at her place. It was an all nighter for sure. Jason had to work 12 hours the next morning, he had to be there by 6 AM. Instead of eating a good dinner, having a few cold ones, and going home, like I suggested, and subsequently bagged him to do, he did all that and stayed by my side until the wee hours of the morning. He never even slept. He left the party and went straight to work. He made my birthday by sacrificing sleep, his own comfort, and time. He always did these things for me. He made it a habit of making me the center of his world, and more importantly, making me feel this way. He loved me more than most men love a woman. He gave me a gift worth far more than any tangible treasure, he demonstrated how I should be loved. How a good man loves. This is priceless insight. The best way to teach children how being in a loving relationship makes for a good life is to illustrate it to them through behavior, not by dictating. Jason helped me show our boys what this looks like, and even better, what it means as a husband and father.


I have the capacity to know this now. I have the presence of mind to step back from my broken heart and our tragedy, and know how incredibly blessed we are. I was loved by a truly lion-hearted man. The kind of man that put everyone in his family before himself. I don’t know why I was chosen to live such a privilege, but I have and it has made me the woman I am, therefore I am forever indebted to Jason, because he helped me learn how to love and appreciate a good man, because of how he loved me. I could never repay him for such a beautiful life, other than to do the best I can to finish raising our boys, and honoring the legacy that he left me. Jason helped define me as a woman. He helped create who I am, even when I didn’t see him doing this. I want to live my life in a way that celebrates this blessing, a way that makes him proud of who I have become as an individual. This has been a major struggle for me, finding my own individuality. When half of yourself is gone, you’re forced to face the void, and determine what to do about the space that requires filling. Sometimes, you don’t even realize there is a space there, until it’s exposed. I will probably continue to struggle with this, but I suppose a lot of people do at some point in their lives.


There was a point in my life last summer, when I didn’t care if I lived or died. I didn’t want to eat, because I found no satisfaction or joy in eating anymore. My taste buds didn’t work, actually, most of my body’s normal capacities weren’t on par. The morning of June 26, 2013 I felt as though I had been beaten within an inch of my life, yet there were no bruises or handprints on me. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, my skin hurt, my eyes burned, it was excruciating to just exist, I hated being alive, and my senses were completely knocked out of whack. I felt like I couldn’t hear, I stopped eating because it wasn’t necessary, I saw everything around me happening, but it felt like I wasn’t living it. I felt like I was watching it. It felt like someone else’s dredged up nightmare that was a lie, because how could this be my life? This wasn’t supposed to happen. He was invincible. He was my Superman. He was my everything, and I had never in all my 40 years imagined that he could be taken away.

Now, almost one year later I understand the precious and fleeting concept called life. I learned the hard way. I learned through experience, and there is no more real way to understand a life lesson than that. I still have my bad days, my sleepless nights, my tear-filled family Sundays, and a broken heart. I still long for his arms around me, his breath on my neck, and his voice in my ear, how could I not? I have lived over 2/3’s of my life for Jason, and I can say now with all sincerity that nothing was in vain. My life with Jason was a dream come true. He gave me what every woman wants, and then some. I have absolutely no regrets about my life with him, the good, bad, and ugly were a part of our relationship, it made us who we were, together, and that was fabulous! Now, I can take this time to work on me. I need to make me whole again, for myself, not for anyone else. I want to love again. I want to have someone in my life that is important to me. I don’t want to rush this, and I don’t want anything fabricated. I want real. I want what we all want. I don’t want what I had, that’s not for me to replicate. I want to feel the way I did, and know I can again. Maybe not quite the same, but something worth feeling. I’ll take this time to heal and build a better self, and maybe someday someone will roll along and appreciate all the cracks and scars on me. Maybe they won’t care about them, maybe they’ll even love them. But more importantly, I need to love me, and maybe even miraculously see what it was that Jason loved so much about me. I always wondered about that….he made it look so damned easy 🙂

The Wave…

It isn’t a constant emotion. It can linger, but there’s no permanence in grief. It comes in with such force, you never see it coming, and then it leaves when its ready. The amount of time that transpires between coming and leaving varies. For me, it feels like I’m being completely taken over from the inside out. The pain has truly created a wound, I hurt from inside right in the middle, clear on out. It’s like a huge wave hits me, and I lose. I’m on the ground, done. I don’t fight it, I let it go. I might get angry, yell, kick my feet, scream, I took a bat to an old end table a few months ago, but I let it do its thing to me. When I don’t fight it, I reserve energy. Grief is exhaustive. I try to avoid it, pretending the stupid shit that brought it on, didn’t just happen, but I knew it did. I was fighting it then. It made me so tired. I couldn’t get out of bed to even make cereal for Jason. I knew then I would never be the same.

Now, if I have to cry, I just walk away, alone, and go do that. I try to avoid people because they all want to comfort me, but they don’t understand how that very act makes me cry harder. I know they’re being the good people they are and I’m grateful, but I cannot describe it except to say I have no control over my emotions right now. The actual type of crying I do now is different. I heard there are different types of cries, but I never experienced this until now. It’s a wave of hurt, and it attacks from inside, a place you can’t mend. My face has never felt uglier. I’ve been swollen, dehydrated, created tissue stucco on my cheeks, snotted up, and utterly tearless altogether. Sometimes it feels like my eyes are going to dry right out of my head from all the salt comes out of them. Sometimes my body cries, I don’t tear up or anything but I just lay in my bed and kind of wince and twitch. I mean I’m not doing it, my body is and I just lay there waiting for it to stop.

I close my eyes and picture his face. I can see those massive green eyes staring straight back at me. I loved how his face lit up when my eyes met his, or maybe it was my face lighting up and he just responded. I’d hear him say, “there’s mama” and I remember how much it aggravated me, but for the life of me I can’t even remember why now. I know what he meant by “mama” but my sad little ego was bruising as though it was a cheap shot, when in fact it was a compliment. I was such a fool! I wish I could hear that now “here’s mama” I wish he’d still come lay down next to me on the sofa, lay his head in my lap, grab my hands, and put them over his face like he did so many times in my life, and ask “touch me babe. Rub my head, please” The thought, or knowing that I’ll never do that again as long as I live destroys me inside, subtly, methodically, just enough everyday.


Impact Statement:

(I’ve taken a good hiatus from my blog, and any meaningful writing for some time. I can’t really explain why except to say that my brain seems to take over sometimes, and it apparently can only approach one task at a time. In any case, writing my court impact statement has lit a fire under me, and it’s time to get back to what I do. I have a reputation to clean up, and as long as he has me on his side, he’ll never need to worry about actually being here. I am his voice)

How do I sum up all those years in two paragraphs? Jason can’t be condensed into two bits of text. Jason was a good man, a great son, the best friend you ever had, an incredible father, and the love of my life. He still is the love of my life, even now. This tragedy has ripped my heart into pieces, and I’ll never be the same woman I was with him. Sure, some day I’ll move on, but I’ll never cease loving him. He gave me the world. He taught me love, and patience, and understanding. He showed me what sacrifice looks like, he was strong, therefore I felt strong. Jason worked very hard for us, he was our sole provider and he helped put me through college. He was my rock, he encouraged me, he was there when I was hurt, during failures, and successes. There wasn’t very many events that took place in the twenty seven years that we were together, that we weren’t a part of for one another. We grew, together. Now, I took a leave from school, I intend on going back, but I have to concentrate on my children now. I am looking into new fields of interest, professionally, so I have some plans for the near future.

However, now that our boys have only me, I tend to stay fairly busy taking care of them. They are all athletes, so our schedule is sometimes grueling. I cannot put into to words the loss my children feel without their dad around. They are completely broken hearted, and forever changed as well. Our oldest son’s 18th birthday was not ideal, he was depressed all day. Our middle son is wrestling for the first time this year, and is excelling at it. Our youngest is going to be 13 years old this July, and I’m very sad to say his dad will not be around to see his youngest son turn into a teenager. This is wrong. A man’s life was taken, albeit an accident, but still he’s gone. My boys and I have a void we’ll ache to fill, and never will. Jason was our everything, and we are left to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives, on our own. Your honor, I understand it was an accident, but my husband laid on the ground in the cold rain without anyone that loved him there, and he died there, alone. I would give anything to have had one last moment to tell him I loved him. On June 26th, 2013, I kissed my husband Jason goodbye, packed his lunch, and said “Have a good one, babe!” He never came home from work that day. I woke my children up, one by one and told them what happened to their dad. Our lives ended there, and this new normal began. This is the impact of losing the man I love.

Summer Days…

The last few days of our 8th grade school year were warm and hazy. It got hot soon I remember, because I was worried about my make up. I was a silly typical teenage girl I guess. I remember one of the last days of school I got permission to hang out at Kelly’s for a little while. I knew that would be cool, because I could see you too. I think that’s the day Kelly’s mom Linda said she knew your uncle Charles, or maybe Kelly told me that day I can’t quite remember. I remember thinking that once school was out, I was going to have to make a bigger effort to see you, we didn’t exactly live very close to one another, at least back then it seemed far. It really wasn’t far, because we walked it in the summer and winter. We walked many warm summer nights from my house to yours, and vice versa. We were standing in the middle of Kelly’s living room, and I remember her saying, “If you guy are gonna’ kiss, I’m outta’ here!” and you said “Bye Kelly” she appreciated you much more later in life.

I walked toward the dining room table to get something out of my bag, and I stood with both feet apart. I had a skirt on, a long flowy one to my knees, but nevertheless you said, “Don’t do that Dawn. Don’t stand with your legs apart like that, guys get stupid ideas” and I turned around almost offended and asked, “I know how to wear a skirt Jason, and how do you even know that?” and you said, “because I’m a guy and I’m getting stupid ideas. Plus, the sun is shining in that window and I can see the shape of your legs under there even through your slip” I was mortified at first, but then I felt this tinge in my gut, like almost a tickle. I liked the idea, I welcomed it. I wanted you to see me, but I was way too young to have those feelings. I was way too young for many things, we both were, but somehow it worked. I walked you home from Kelly’s and then went back, I had to check in with my mom. I hated leaving. I always wanted, from a very early moment in our relationship, to just be with you all the time. I’m not sure if that’s normal for a teenager, but at this point in life, I tend to question normal in general. We had a lot of summer days together after school let out. I basically stayed at your place all day, almost every day. I think my friends were annoyed with me, because they knew where I was, and I wasn’t with them doing girl stuff. My mom was worried enough that she took me to the doctor and got me on the pill. My mom was smart.

I’m starting to recognize what was unique about our relationship. I mean I always knew it was something, but I’m beginning to see what others saw I think. It’s like how a star is formed, all the components are there, it’s the heat that maintains that glow, the life of it. The intense heat keeps it burning, especially the brightest ones. We had heat right from the start. It was an intense attraction, I wanted things I didn’t even know were physically possible with you. I loved you so early on, I think it scared me. I think you felt the same, and I think it scared you too. How can one person have such a profound affect on someone? How did it last? How the hell did we keep that heat? Man, we’re pretty good at this shit. I’m almost convinced that it was too good.

My Graduation Party…

I was excited about this. I knew you were going to be hanging out at my house, but I was a little apprehensive too. I mean, my house wasn’t as nice as yours. I was afraid you’d stop liking me seeing that we didn’t have money, but you weren’t like that because you never made me feel that way. You showed a lot of interest in my little brother, which he loved because he thought you were the coolest cat in town. You were asking him about all his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and he was pleased as punch to enlighten you on their individual talents. Little did Adolfo know that you were already schooled in the art of Turtle, because Ryan was as big of a fan as he was.

My dad paid special attention to your exchange with Adolfo, taking note of your good qualities, and very likely looking for any bad ones. I think he also liked that you were especially interested in his grilling technique: two grillers, one veteran and one prodigy. It was fun watching you guys. I remember your face when dad took the fajitas out of the pan and slapped them on the grill, you looked amazed. Then, he squeezed lemon on it and you seemed so very puzzled by this. I remember you asking dad, “Why did you do that?” and dad said, in his typical smart ass way, “Why not?” His normal way of never answering a question and confusing the hell out of people. I got the biggest kick out of your inquiry as to why he put the whole slab of fajitas on the grill, “Why are you cooking it like that? Wouldn’t it be easier to cut it up?” and I got an even bigger kick out of my dad’s cavalier response of “Maybe…”

My mom brought out two glasses with some of her wine cooler in it with a lot of ice, we were both thinking we were big shit 8th graders, soon to be 9th graders. How funny that is, we thought we knew something at fourteen years old. Man, we didn’t know crap! Remember when you asked for the butter for your tortilla, and how my dad looked at you like you were crazy? I just looked at you and shook my head, thank God you figured that one out, Mexicans don’t know anything about buttering their tortillas, that’s an American thing. I think my dad was confused. In any case, the way you acted after taking a bite of your taco was priceless, that full-mouthed, “Oh my God, this is so good!” made my mom smile, even though my dad grilled. She was the rice maker, and that was fine with her.

I loved sitting on the porch after we had cake. You held my hand, which was fairly brave considering my parents were right in the living room, but I think they were purposely not saying anything about it. They were giving us space, it was surprising but refreshing. I mean, we were very young, they should have been concerned. I know I would have been. Well, they probably were, but I never thought about it then. You always had a way of stealing looks, and the funny thing is, they weren’t really stolen, cuz I gave them away. I loved the attention you gave me, I just never knew how precious it was. Gosh, I remember how silly I was back then. I remember how everything I did was in the effort of gathering your approval. I was such a dumb little girl. Back then, I had no idea if I just would’ve asserted myself more, you would’ve have appreciated the confidence and self assurance on my part, but I suppose most fourteen year old girls haven’t grown into that yet. I think you really appreciated the woman I grew into, because you certainly behaved that way. You were just so loving, so damned loving that your sheltered me from the scary world outside, but I eventually learned that fear is very real, and it does exist. I learned that the hard way.

The Lunch Room

Looking back on the lunch room now, I have to wonder if any of us ate anything? I mean, I ate lunch but it was usually dependent upon the activities. If us girls were busy at work, work meaning planning for a sleepover, a school event, or someone’s date, we all huddled about outfits, new makeup tips, hair styles, and vast amounts of other typical tweeny interest. On these days, we all picked at our food, moving it around the plate. We ate a little and talked a lot about boys, and periods, and Jordache Jeans. Who liked who and who recently broke up. We would talk about new students, and where they came from. It was a table of busy, curious thirteen year old girls.

You sat across the way, with your class, at the end of the table. You were usually with Moe, Ronnie, or Jonah. When I saw them, I knew you weren’t far. For a good while, I thought I could survive without eating during lunch. It could be done. I could have mom make me one of those egg sandwiches that spills all over my skirt for breakfast, I could pack an apple, and I could bum food from the girls when we were in the midst of our event planning. This could work. It would have worked, if not for the impending hunger pangs running rampant through my midsection every afternoon, about during Mr. Roots class is where the growling began. I tried for a good while to keep this strategy up, but after coming home from school to binge on pan dulce, I figured I better just eat some kind of lunch at lunch.

I wasn’t sure if you knew how I felt. At this stage, I realized you were that kid I met at the church, and I had known you now for a few years. You looked so different. The kid pudge was gone, you were lean and cut. You were taller, and your hair darkened up, and that Spartans coat, man that thing made your eyes glow. I think lunch was tense for both of us. I couldn’t help but look at you, gaze like some love drunk fool. I often wandered out of conversations about makeup and hair, into your space. I watched you eat, talk, and laugh with those guys. Someone had to have noticed me over there, you had to have seen me. My eyes rarely left you. It almost makes me feel silly now, like I got no game. I was so obvious.

I kind of liked how you played it cool, and only on occasion, came over to sit with me, and the girls. I also noticed that you weren’t very excited about sitting with my girls, you did it because I was there. I think they got on your nerves. We’re all girly girls, so there was squealing and whining, and all kinds of other “girls just wanna’ have fun” going on at the table. It’s probably the reason you visited the seat next to me, only a few times. But nonetheless, you did come over and sit next to me. The way you looked at me sometimes made my senses leave. You pierced my soul with those beautiful eyes of yours, and I was paralyzed. It makes me not want to move, to remain in that very spot where we are, saying nothing just staring. I would give my life to be there right now. Most of the charmed banter was comprised of you complimenting me on something I was wearing. You looked at me when you were talking to me, but your eyes made it a point to travel to my legs, and eventually my backside. You didn’t bother with discretion, you knew I was enamored of you. Did you always know I could never say no to you? How did you know that? I guess I was that obvious huh? Why hide it? I was so absolutely stupid, crazy in love with you.

It morphed eventually into what we have now, or what we had. We still have it right? I mean, I do. I know you would still love me if you were here. I guess it’s okay to say you love me, even though you’re not here. I can’t stop loving you. Everyday I wake up, and breathe air into my body, I think about how much more I love you now, than ever in my life. The thought is beautiful and crippling all at once. It makes me hang my head in shame, because I don’t want to love you more now, I wish I had loved you this way when you were here. I was a foolish heart. In any case, I know you knew how I felt, and trust me Jas, I still love you. I love you more than any words I write will ever describe.


You played at the diamond behind the Guzman’s house next to aunt Marilyn’s at Patton remember? I think you played for the Demons, I’m not certain. You played catcher, just like Julian and Jason do now. I always thought you must be in pretty good condition to squat like that for so long. I loved watching you play, you were so naturally good at it. You saw me and immediately smiled, that smile, it sparked a light inside of me. I remember sitting on aunt Marilyn’s porch and talking, you in your baseball uniform and me in something I thought you’d like. Aunt Marilyn just adored you boys! She was so sweet. What did we talk about that day? Man that was a long time ago. It was the summer before we started Southwestern, so I think we were talking about school. You acted so cool and collected, not at all moved by starting high school. I, however, was a bit unnerved about it. I remember you telling me to relax, because I was going to sail through it. I never asked what you meant back then, but oddly I think I understand now. Your mom came and picked us up from aunt Marilyn’s and we went back to your house.

While you showered, I sat in the living room talking to your mom. She’s one of the easiest people to talk to that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and loving. I didn’t know how important she was back then. I didn’t know she’d become one of the best friends I ever had. I never knew I would be familiar, even if remotely so, with the pain in her heart. We chatted about the weather, the show One Life to Live, and Ryan’s pacifier, and as I sat there listening to her, I realized you were showering. I was in the house and you were showering. I was young, but I think I learned what being turned on meant because at that moment, I could not stop thinking of you. I lost your mom somewhere, and had to hike my way back into the conversation about how Ryan needed two pacifiers, one of his mouth and one for his nose. I didn’t for the life of me question it, as odd as it sounded. I just sat there waiting for you to be done showering.

You came down the stairs, you smelled amazing, and I loved that your hair was still wet. I think your mom could see how smitten I was. I never tried hiding it, because the thought never entered my mind. Why would I? It felt so perfectly organic, as though the stars were aligned for our every encounter, why the hell would I want to keep that a secret? We went out on the porch and sat on the porch swing, and just talked. You went in to the house, made Ryan an ice cream cone, and made each of us one. So we sat on the porch, on a sweet Summer day, eating vanilla ice cream cones. I’d catch you sneak a peek out of the corner of your eye. Sometimes you were looking at my eyes, sometimes elsewhere. Even though talking to you felt natural, you made me a little insecure because you would steal these looks, like you were tracing edges with your eyes. I was bound to follow their every move because I was willingly lost in their beautiful green and gold and gray. Jason, your eyes grab me out of my reality, capture my heart, and simply maintain my soul. I can’t escape their gaze and I don’t want to. I fell stupid in love with your eyes, and everything else was a bonus. Perhaps being enamored of the eye is my problem, but it never mattered because looking into yours never was a problem. We continued on the porch swing while my mom was driving over to pick me up, and as it got darker, you slid closer to me, and put your arm around me. I remember you saying, “All I’ve been thinking about this whole time is how I could find a way to touch you” and I just sat there stunned and tickled pink all at once. Even at the blooming age of 14, you always found a way to thrill me.

Jason, I hope that in my lifetime, I’ve made you happy. I hope that I was everything you dreamed I’d be. I hope and pray that you left us secure in your place in my life, because you will always have a place in mine.


Do you remember the 8th grade trip to Boblo? I can’t see how you wouldn’t considering that tank top I had made, just a simple white tank top to wear with my new neon splash shorts, but I had “Proud 2 B Jason’s girl” put on the back. All my friends loved it! I think you were pleasantly surprised too, you had one hell of a smile pasted on your face when you saw it.

It was such a great day, nice and sunny and warm. We went on every ride together, even the merry-go-round. I have to admit, that damned zit on my nose was a Debbie downer though. Man, Mother Nature just isn’t very nice sometimes. I remember you kissed my nose, because you knew I was twisted over it. You’ve always been that way, do anything to make me feel better. I will never understand why you loved me so much or why God blessed me with you, but I’ve come to the understanding that there’s no point in wondering, just cherishing.

The boat ride was awesome, because we just sat there and talked about anything and everything. We were so young! I’d have a panic attack if our boys were dating at that age. We talked about what high school was going to be like. I was not happy about leaving middle school, it was fun to me. I remember you laughing saying I had to be the only person you knew that thought school was fun. You said I was not like most of the girls you knew. I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment, but it sounded like one so I took it. You kept putting your hand on my knee, and I kept moving my knee. It’s not that I didn’t want you to touch me, but I was nervous because I didn’t know what to do. I remember you asking me, “Does it bother you when I touch you?” and I said, “no” and then you said, “Why do you keep moving then?” and I said, “Because I like it” The look in your eyes was quite memorable, and you had that big cheese smile again.

By the time the boat ride home came along, you had your arm around me and I was completely at ease. I think we made our friends sick. They all just left us alone, because we were in our own little world. I think this is how folks treated us even to this day. We must have given out a lot of toothaches. It’s always been that simple though, to just shut out the world, and just love. You made it simple. You made it very simple to love you. Even now, when I’m alone in bed crying because I miss you, it’s so simple to love you…effortlessly. It’s so much easier to love you, even when I’m hurting or afraid or lost, I think of you and how I feel about you, and everything that doesn’t make sense begins to clear up. You clarify the unclear, even now that you’re gone. You illuminate my life Jason, and I am so grateful to you for it. I love you!

Wilson Middle School Fashion Show Circa 1986

I never felt like I was hot shit or anything, but I thought it was the best thing in the world that I was in the fashion show, and my cousin Pam had all the right bridesmaid dresses to facilitate me. I had an array of dresses, accessories, make up, and Pat Benatar hair. Ms. Taylor was awesome. I often wonder what happened to her. I heard she got married, but I don’t know what her married name is. She thought you were cute, she was right. She knew how much I liked you, she always gave me mess about it. She told me not to have sex, I didn’t listen. She was one of my favorite teachers at Wilson.

At rehearsals, she did not play around. I remember she told us, ” Y’all silly children will not make a fool of me, so pay attention!” I remember how in love with Amy, Moe was, poor guy, he was fussed at by Ms. Taylor a number of times. He couldn’t pay attention because he was watching Amy all the time. I thought it was funny that he kept getting scolded, until I noticed you were doing what he was doing. You made me blush, a lot. I could feel my face getting warmer, and it made it worse. You always made me so nervous, it’s difficult to act natural when you know someone’s eyes are on you, steadily. I loved it! I think that’s why I’m such an eye person, you have excellent eye contact. It’s a pleasure to say 25 years later, I easily caught you looking, and it always felt the same, so damn good.

Eventually, we had a problem. The problem was, you were in charge of lighting. It wasn’t a problem for me or you, but for everyone else it was, because you shined the light on me so much so that Ms. Taylor fussed at you several times. The first few times, I felt bad for you because you just bared the brunt of her wrath, you know she didn’t play. After a bit, it was unabashedly obvious what you were doing with that light, I was so embarrassed. She just looked at me like I had control over your silly self. Remember I had to ask you so stop, and you smiled at me? I wish I could see that smile again. No, I wish I could touch it again. I close my eyes and I see it. I have so many pics of you with that look, and I am so happy to be able to say that.

Eventually you shaped up and did your job, but I found myself walking across the stage, looking at you. This wasn’t smart, because I almost tripped a few times for not watching in front of me. Our love was something of a hazard in that way, we always drew on emotions, like a hurricane of warm and cool temperatures. Recently Casey asked me, “Did I ever tell you what Jason said to me when we first saw you?” and I smiled really big and asked, “No, what?” He replied, “He said, ‘I’m gonna’ make her mine Casey…watch me’ and he did” You really did Jason. It was powerful., simple, and real.

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