Or at least I am going to try. I have buried classmates, grandparents and my BFF’s son, each were tough in their own unique ways. The emotions hit you while dealing with the grief but this time, losing Chandler cut to the heart of the matter. I wasn’t prepared for this, nor was I ready for this. And in the back of my head I keep questioning why this is all hitting me so hard. Chandler pushed me away, we hadn’t spoken in quite some time. For once, this wasn’t the lame excuse of it’s not you, it’s me.
A friend who has dealt with cancer and thankfully beat it shared with me last night that when you are the sick one, knowing that time is limited, she felt it was necessary to shut out the people that cared. It is a defense mechanism that makes them want the people they care about to get some time, distance and hopefully while it hurts in the moment, that maybe the pain will not be there when they leave this earth. I completely botched what she shared with me but after speaking with his mom and one of his sisters, I kind of understand.
Would I have preferred to discuss this opening with him and come to some agreement? Yes. I am not angry with him, I am only heartbroken and sad. There is hope in knowing that maybe he realized that I still cared, still loved him and I hope that was what he was feeling. With all of my desire to move back home to Nashville, the one person who could have kept me here was him. I wanted to be a part of his life. I didn’t care about the fancy things nor the fact that he was unhealthy.
Neither of us had planned on this becoming anything more than just friends. But it shocked both of us, it challenged me to think less about myself and just be in the moment with him. We spent nights laying around talking, talking about anything and everything. The past, our mistakes, books, our issues and finally the words that meant so much to me, he would marry me tomorrow. I should have taken him up on that, ran to the courthouse and said I do. But his best quality has to have been thinking of others. He knew I had never been married, he knew that I wanted something a little more than going to the courthouse,.
I think he starting shutting me out when I had to take him to Vandy for minor surgery. I don’t know what happened but he started closing me out. I don’t know if he was afraid that I would resent him or be scared about what was to come but I wish he would have trusted me. I wanted to be there for the long haul. To be another person in his support system that loved him and wanted to take care of him.
But we ran out of gas. And I don’t know exactly what I could have said or done to make him change his mind. Sure, there were things that drove me crazy about him but I know he could have said the same about me.
Toddy, I loved you for you. You made me smile, laugh and sometimes question my sanity. I felt completely content snuggled up to you. I am going to miss you for a long time. I am thankful that you have a whole family of girls that are willing to listen to me whine from time to time and that they have welcomed me in as they grieve.
So what if I am a crybaby, this just gives you the chance to make jokes up there and tell your dad how silly I can be about things. We may have split up last year but I never wanted to let go of you. And now I need to put my big girl panties on and deal with this. It’s going to be hard and I am going to cry a lot but I am going to do this. And I am going to keep writing and maybe, just maybe one day get a book completed. And it will be all because of your love, support and the endless nagging when it came to writing.
I love you Toddy and I am going to miss you.