It was late. Late enough that I hadn’t seen a car on the road for over an hour, and I was loving the freedom of no traffic. The drive to the new house was beautiful during the day, but, more importantly, peaceful at night. Life was looking good. The radio was off, the windows were down, and I was enjoying the cool summer night air.
That’s when the guilt set in and the pain resurfaced. It was like an ice pick digging into the deepest parts of my memories. The images of you driving the old Plymouth Reliable around like a mad man. Remembering the way you would jump around like a man who weighed a quarter of your weight but with more finesse. The way you loved, and lived, life to the fullest all the time.
My mind wandered through the thirteen years we had known each other, right up to the day you died. I thought of your widow and your daughter, your mother and father who had both passed since, and even your brother who you had lost a few years back. I thought of all the people who had been taken, or left, over the last year, and a few others. I thought of the pain my own brother was feeling, his best friend gone in a flash.
Tears streamed down my face as I drove past the lake and my stomach twisted in grief. I screamed as loud as my body would allow, not caring if the people sleeping in the lakeside cabins heard me. I screamed until my voice became hoarse and my vision became so tear-filled that I needed to pull over.
The hole you left in everyone’s life when you passed won’t ever be filled, I know that. The only thing that keeps me going on nights like this is my family and your family. Our families existing together, forever intertwined. All because of you and the light you shed on everyone surrounding you. Now I just sit in a dark car, waiting for the light to come back. We love you and we miss you… All of us…