Throughout my marriage my wife, Andrea, had a hard time coming to terms with my family. She didn’t hate them, nor did she have a massive love-fest, I suppose. But there are a few things that I wish she’d realized before she left because she’d be so happy, in fact I can see her crying there now just thinking about it.
Andrea knew I was close with my family and sometimes that led to difficulties when I would talk with them. My Dad is someone I trust and someone with whom I rely very heavily. In fact, I haven’t told many people, but when I was lonely and depressed in college, working at my first TV job, my Dad saw Andrea on a tape of my work and asked why I hadn’t asked her out. I came up with some excuse, but at the time I was certain I wasn’t even on her radar. I was . . . well, me, and she was . . . Andrea.
But I did. My Dad’s voice nagging in my head. He may have regretted it years later, having dealt with me and my wife through the years, but he was the reason we were together. She had no idea. The people she thought didn’t accept her were responsible for us being together.
I wish she’d known my Dad put us together.
I wish she’d been conscious, aware of what was going on the day she started to go downhill. I told her but she wasn’t hearing, I don’t think. I told her that my Dad and Mom had stayed up at 4am and gotten in the van, in the middle of their trip to see my brother and started racing in their car straight West, heading for us instead. They asked no questions, and when I said I didn’t know what I was going to do he said he’d help me figure it out.
I wish she had seen how they walked in the door and we all took a cleansing breath, realizing someone who knew what the hell they were doing were there.
I wish she’d seen how torn up they were by the entire thing, that she’d heard my Dad’s voice crack when I told him, broken and crushed as I was, that she hadn’t made it and that I was at the hospital and lost.
I wish she’d seen how personally my Mom and Dad took her death and how he was just as angry as I about it.
I wish she had seen how the funeral and the mortuary were taken care of because Dad helped, and how he helped me to get out of the cemetery when all I wanted to do was collapse on the ground.
I wish she’d been able to see them take over for her, for months, living with her children and helping them to adjust to a whole new life – a life without her.
I wish she’d seen her best friend from college arrive and help us all to get through even though we never asked her.
I wish she’d seen the boys’ school projects of an apple tree and a UFO as a book report.
I wish she’d seen her daughter’s face when she got the prom dress she’d dreamed about from Santa.
I wish she’d known how much my family loved her and how empty it’s been without her.
I wish I could tell her how happy I am to be at my new job and writing in the evening, and how she’d inspired me to write this, about her kids, about me, and about her . . . every night.
I wish she’d heard me tell her I loved her about a million more times.
I wish she had realized just how important she was to us, even though she tried to say she wasn’t.
More than anything else, though, and beyond all other things . . . and this is the most important:
I wish she’d seen her children become four of the most amazing people I have ever met.