US

Driving home tonight a Sugarland song came on the radio. All of a sudden I am thrown back into a memory with Brad. Driving from Destin home to Panama City.
We would go to Destin for a date or with the family every once in a while.  I love that little stretch of road between. 30-A is probably my favorite highway ever. It meanders through darling little beach towns and it’s a perfect way to waste a day. We would talk and laugh on the drive. Stopping at whatever caught our eye.  Rosemary Beach Saturday market, Seaside, Destin Commons, little beach boutiques, Panera Bread, Cold Stone and Dippin dots. (yes, two ice cream places. And usually Brad would say, ya, I want some ice cream when I would say we should stop and then he would tell me to order first and say that was just what he wanted and that he’d just have a bite of mine. (he wasn’t a big treat guy, and I was (am) a sugar addict, so he would pretend to want a treat so I wouldn’t feel like I shouldn’t get one.) He was a bit of an enabler to my addiction 🙂
So driving home tonight, hearing that song, All of a sudden I’m driving on 30-A. Singing at the top of my lungs to the Sugarland CD.  Him laughing at me and shaking his head. Saying  “You’re really happy aren’t you”. More a statement than a question – and repeating a line from one of the songs,
“so when you count all your blessings do you get a smile on your face?”
And I grinned from ear to ear.
He made me so happy.
And I LOVE that he always knew he did.
 It’s not that I’m not happy now. I think that for the most part I am. It’s just not the same, and I don’t think it ever will be. I won’t ever know that same happiness until I am in his arms again.  Because THAT happiness- that complete and utter joy, in all the little things- my perfect joy with everything about my life was so completely entwined with Brad. It is not something I can separate from him.  It is the US that made me so happy. Not just the HIM, the US. I still have him. I know that like I know the sun rose today.
I still know there is still an US, just like before- but it’s harder to find US than it is to find HIM. I know just exactly where he is. Us is harder because  we were both changed by being together . We were both better and happier and everything good about each of us was multiplied by a million when we were US . And i’m just stuck here being the me by myself. I sometimes have a hard time finding the me I was when I was with him. He made me so much better.
Never have I been so comfortable and content and happy with another human being in my life. The only way I can describe it is saying it’s like coming home. Everyone should know that feeling. It’s like you are empowered beyond anything you could ever be on your own. You create something new when you come together. And because of it everything you wanted to do, together, or on your own, is easier and safer and you can be brave and just fly – because you are invincible together.  We both gave that to each other.  And I know that gift of being US is not gone, but it has to be different now; and I miss that us feeling every minute.
I just finished reading the book Sunset by  S. Michael Wilcox. In it he talks about feeling like he was just so inadequate and diminished without his wife. That 2/3 of him was missing. There was she, and him and them together. 2/3 of that was gone now.  When we are left with just ourselves it takes so much away from the full self we were before with our other half.
I am so grateful to have these moments that I feel just as I did before the accident. Where I feel like I did when we were US. The song moment was one. They usually make me cry but not out of sadness. I love having that welcome feeling of US. Brad made me feel like I could do anything in the world when we were US.
I guess now that familiar feeling can help give me strength to do the hardest thing I have ever had to do;
which is to be here without him.

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