What would I tell you about my life that's so completely changed from that night in Hiroshima singing "Happy Birthday" to your shining eyes over the ridiculousness of the flaming, Japanese-Italian desert plate? We were so busy, so weary, and so happy in that stolen night together. Our lives were so full and always moving in opposite directions, and sitting here tonight I'm so grateful we forced our way into the coveted space for two, if just for one night. I don't know if I'd remember how to look into your eyes and see you there but that night I knew the placement of your every lash and the way your dimple turned in when your cheeks moved just so. That night I knew the way of your breath, and the meaning behind the angle of your shoulders, and so many times the next words you would speak. And tonight, I'm left to wonder: what would I say to you from where I sit from in this place that feels so far away?
I would tell you about our babies because that's all you'd want to know.
About the things they say, each in their own curious, full-of-magic way,
And the way they hug me now that their arms reach all the way around my middle and squeeze.
About how they want to know all the "why's" and how it's so hard to answer now because they ask things I never thought to wonder about like you always said I did.
About how fast he is, and how easily she climbs, and how brilliantly he see's, and how tender-yet-wild that littlest one becomes every day.
I'd tell you how they're all so like you, some in looks, some in deed, and how it's amazing to me because they knew so very little of you and yet there you are in his grin and her sparkling eyes.
About how I help him fall asleep with meditation, and tickle her back lightly at her request.
About how he needs to tell me he "loves me to the moon and the stars and our house" before I turn out the lights, and she wants to plant a kiss on the tip of my nose when we say goodnight.
I would tell you about the wild election and the maybe lady president, and your Cubs that keep winning, and the three things that made me cry today at the conference. I know you'd just giggle while your eyes danced so I knew you heard me because that's how you always listened. I would tell you about cub scouts, and landscaping, and how long it took to paint the basement. I would remember you've never been to our house, and I'd invite you over for a tour of the home we've made in this new place we live without you. I would tell you about the book I'm writing, and the business I'm growing, and the way I finally stepped into this huge vision that makes me want to throw up in fear just a little bit when I say it out loud. You'd look at me like I'd already done the thing I'm only dreaming of now it because you always knew I would.
I would tell you how scary it's been to learn how to be "just me."
I would tell you how magical it's been to learn how to be "just me."
I would tell you how exciting and terrifying it's been to go on dates with men who aren't you.
I would tell you how much I have learned about the human heart's capacity to love; it's so much bigger than I ever knew.
I would tell you that I feel taller, more beautiful, more powerful, more passionate, and more alive than the me you ever knew. I wonder if you'd love the me I have become the same way you loved that girl you were married to.
I would tell you I finally learned how to love me so you didn't have to love me enough for us both.
I would tell you that I will always love you.
I would tell you that I'm not scared anymore to do life without you.
I would say to you:
I'm so much stronger now and leaning into life in a way I never knew was mine to live.
I believe so much deeper now in the grand mystery behind it all that none of us really understand and I'm grateful.
I miss you.
I miss you and I'm ok.
I miss you and I know you're never far, opening doors and aligning stars in a way only you could know how to do.
Life is beautiful and I know you know, but I just have to tell you - it's incredibly beautiful now that I know how to see. Thank you for showing that to me.
You never were a dancing man, but at some point the words would run dry. It's hard to lean in and really imagine because the sense of possibility in this fantasy reminds me just how far from me death has taken you. Yet, somehow imagining is easy too because ten thousand times I sat across a table from you, and I know without a doubt that sitting across from you tonight, talk would feel so cheap. While the words would roll, my hands would sweat and the tips of my fingers would ache to touch you and be held in return. Talking is so base and there would be so much to feel. I wouldn't need the invitation of music to take you by the hand and with my eyes, ask you to dance. Our two souls dancing together would say all the things words could never express.
What would you say to your loved one if you could take them out for dinner tonight?