Friday, March 11, 2016

I was supposed to do this with you

Life is very strange sometimes. Most of the time. Not long after I began storytelling I knew that I wanted to be a self-supporting artist. I knew that I wanted to find a way to make a living doing the work I love. I've had some false starts, but here I am, supporting myself as an artist, writer, consultant and teacher. I make enough money that I can pay my bills, put a little aside and pay my taxes.

When I began to plan seriously for this working life I knew Kevin would be by my side. I knew he would be my thinking-partner, work-mate, safety-net, companion throughout. I couldn't imagine doing this work, building this life, without him.

He was there for a long time. He was there to help me plan, to encourage me, to believe in me when I no longer could. And now he's not.

He wasn't here to celebrate when I filed my taxes this year, earning enough money that the government wants its share.
He wasn't here when I was accepted to this conference or that venue.
He wasn't here when I realized that I am living the life of a working artist; helping people, performing and living the dream with all of the ups and downs.

None of this could have happened without him, of course, but it remains baffling to me that I am succeeding without him. He is supposed to be here. He isn't.

I know, he is here in other ways, manifest in things I notice and things I don't. But it's not the same.
I miss celebrating with him. I am so lucky, I have others to celebrate with, others who hold me up and believe in me. But it's not the same.
I am loved and love. I have other thinking-partners and companions. But it's not the same.

Nor should it be. Each person brings their own gifts and I am rich in love and life.

Kevin filled a powerful and unique role in my life, just as each individual fills unique roles in our lives. One cannot be replaced with another. Each enrich us in their own ways.

But god, I miss him. When I get home from this trip I will look at his picture and tell him about everything that happened. I will tell him about the good things, the times when I embarrassed myself, the things I wish I had done differently. He will listen, silent and smiling. I will imagine the things he might say, the Kevin-in-my-head sounding right but not right. I will tell him about the love and support I am receiving, all of the things that make this life possible, and I will tell him, "I was supposed to do this with you."

The Kevin-in-my-head will smile and tell me that I am. That he is there. What's more, my new love is there. And my friends. My companions on the path. He will remind me I am not alone.

I will smile back, knowing he is right. And none of that will change the fact that he is not here.

So it goes.
So it goes.

(c)2016 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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