Lately, I've been thinking a lot about that last year with Chris. At times the memories of it comes to me in a rush, a big swirl of moving stress and clap happy happiness. There were times I was so happy it physically hurt. We were so happy. This is what I tell myself. I say that we were stupid happy, the happiest we'd been in ages. And for a while now, I believed this. I believed that Chris was just as happy as I was. I believed we were happy. Lately though, as I look back on fading memories, I think that maybe that wasn't true. I don't think Chris was stupid happy with that last year.
How awful and hard typing that sentence is, but there you have it. Oh, I'm sure he was happy enough, at least up until maybe October. He was happy that I was happy. He was the type of person that received more joy from participating in acts that provided happiness and joy and seeing the resulting smiles than the other way around. Making Chris laugh, really really laugh more than a chuckle, was not easy but when you did, it was the best magic. Chris felt joy in seeing my elation with the new changes in our life, but mostly I feel like he was just humoring me. He was just going along with my choices. We stayed in Oklahoma as long as we did because of my job. We left Oklahoma because of my job. Our decisions seem more like my decisions. I see it more clearly now.
I can imagine his days here beginning to wear on him, the loneliness in his days at home with out a job while I left the house every day to go to a job I enjoyed. It was probably worse late at night when he'd normally be meeting Tracy for coffee and now was left with his own devices. I took him away from his framily. For a while, I was enough but I could see as the year progressed that he needed more. That on top of the beginning of the symptoms that would kill him was a sadness of isolation. If I think really hard about that time, I see it. I see the consequences of my selfishness or my self centeredness and I hate myself for it. I used to be all "no regrets!" but now I see I have one really big regret and it is way too late to say "I'm sorry. No excuses. I am sorry."
I so desperately wanted to ignore the small details. Except now, I have had enough time to dwell on the big things that all that is left are the small details. It is like I've spent the last five years taking a shirt apart seam by seam. I've made it to the pockets, buttons and cuffs. At some point I am either going to have to send the pieces of this shirt to recycling or put it back together. I am bound to put it back together with crooked seams and with the right sleeve on the left. When I am done getting it all back together, I'll look at it, with crooked seams and all, and declare it to be beautiful.
Even if it is a lie.