|Just a memory [stock photo]|
Day Seven: Name someone who has made your life worth living.
I know you all think I am going to pick Pooldad or the kids, right?
Surprise! I am not.
There is absolutely no doubt that my life is full and so much better since I met and married my husband. He is absolutely my world, my heart and my being. I know I exist because of him. He has not only helped raise my children as his own, he has shared his children with me and magically given me one more. [Wallene is magical isn't she? - Well - at least that is what we keep telling ourselves. It explains a lot. Trust me. hee]
I knew that you all would walk into this post expecting the obvious - and it isn't that I want to disappoint you, but since I write this blog for me I truly thought long and hard about the answer. This whole "Truth" thing really does make you do that btw.
Here is my story:
Growing up my parents were pretty tough to take. Sure we had a nice house and food on the table, clothes that made us "fit in" - we weren't considered outcasts, but...well, there were a lot of fights. There were a lot of punishments. There was chaos, turmoil, fear. For all outward appearances we lived the American Dream, but behind closed doors it was pretty much an emotional hell.
[Aren't you all happy I did this damn Meme? This is better than "Days of Our Lives" isn't it/ jeesh.]
My brother and sister were gone from our home by the time I reached high school. Left alone I became my parents foil, their go-to for fights when they needed someone to take sides. I became their punching bag when they didn't want to hit eachother. I remember one time I brought home 5 A's and 1 B on my report card. I was punished because of the B. The B was in P.E. See what I mean - this was what it was like.
I was allowed to go out one night a week during my junior and senior year. Friday or Saturday only. I had to make sure I cleaned our house and mowed the lawn before I left, otherwise I couldn't go. Believe me I did it - I wanted out of the house from 6 pm until 11 pm [and yes, I had world's earliest curfew]. That isn't so heinous, I realize - but since I only had one night a week - I tried to make the best of it.
And on those nights I was gifted by a very special person.
Someone saved me during all of this - literally.
His name was Paul.
He was my absolute best friend in the whole world. He had a smile that could stop your heart and a soul that would melt yours. It makes me smile just to write those words and to think about him. He would rescue me every Saturday night - like clockwork - I rarely had a date, so he would show up, whisk me away and we would go and do nothing. We would just hang out. Or look at the stars or listen to the rain. I am not kidding. One of our better "dates" was to hang out with his Mom, Mary*, and watch TV and eat her delicious cooking. To go somewhere quiet, without judgement and to feel unconditional love from someone was the sustenance that kept me going through my final years at home.
I don't know if I can explain Paul the way I want to - he doesn't translate well onto the web from me, but I want to say he was so kind, so giving - he was calm. The calm I never had at home. I could retreat into him when my world was going a thousand miles an hour around my head and I didn't think I would survive. He sustained me.
If you haven't noticed all of this is written in the past tense.
The reason for that is because Paul died the day after his 21st birthday. And 24 years later I still cry as I write that.
I miss my best friend. I didn't do him justice in this post - but his short life and his unselfish, loving demeanor showed me that I was worth living. Anytime I think life isn't worth it - I just have to close my eyes and picture Paul - the knock at the door, the phone call, the holding hands as we watched the world pass by, regardless.
Next to my family, his life keeps me going when it is darkest.
I love you PEZ and I am sorry we never did get those tatoos. JLS.
*The Mary link explains more about us all if you would like.