That's when I miss you. That's when I miss us.
Before the kids were awake, you would bring me coffee, or I would bring you coffee, and we would lie on the bed in our room, enjoying the quiet.
You'd be wearing that green fleece and jeans and I would wear jeans and a Henley I stole from you.
I still have it. Today may be too emotional to put it on, though. It doesn't smell like you anymore, and it hasn't for years, but, it's still yours.
You died in the Fall, on October 11. We were apart when it happened and everything that led up to my last years with you was awful. I don't regret leaving, though. Had I been there when it happened, I might be getting more sympathy from people as a widow, but that wouldn't make my life any better than I've been able to make it without you.
As it was, people questioned the sincerity of my tears.
Fuck those people.
They weren't there on those Saturday mornings.
You with a book and me with my knitting.
We created chore lists (gleefully, for the purposes of antagonizing the children) and shopping lists for the home improvement store, because Saturday mornings turned into Saturdays, and there was work to be done.
It's been 8 years since we lived together, and four that you've been gone, but a full nine years have passed since we spent a cool autumn morning together, tucked in our room at the little house on Superior Street, with the dog shoehorned between us.
How could it have been so long ago?
It feels like today.
The Minnesota air smells of Fall, there are chores to do, and I am making a list; only now, the children are grown and I can't conspire against them by making them rake, or mow, or pick up dog poop from the back yard.
That's OK--it was only fun when we did it together.
Besides...maybe I enjoyed it a little too much when you would wake them and they would grumble and you would laugh that laugh of yours that everyone loved. I think it was that laugh that made them forgive you for being such a slaver-driver of a dad. It bought you a lot of forgiveness from all of us.
I know they miss you more than I. Perhaps they miss you on different mornings, or every morning, but for me it's always a Saturday, and always in the Fall.
That's when we were our best Us.
The Us that draws my tears this morning.
If you were still alive, I'd be calling you, again, to say it was all a huge mistake and we should get back together.
I'm glad I can't.
You can have this Saturday, Mr. Payne.
Today, you can have me.
Today, I'll be your widow.
Tomorrow, I have to be me again.