Nineteen years have literally flown by with tears and sorrow, joys and laughter, and an abundance of beautiful moments in between. But I still vividly remember waking up about this time that morning alone in the room that was “ours” less than 12 hours before, yet where was he? I was literally pinching myself because I couldn’t decide whether I was still asleep in a twisted dream or awake in a living nightmare. Then I remembered where he was – laying on a cold metal table in the ER where I had to leave him. So, I slid out of the bed and put my ear towards the door to see if I could hear what the muffled voices awaiting my rise from a medicated slumber were saying. I walked towards the window and peaked through the blinds to find a beautiful day with a light wind blowing leaves down the sidewalk. A kid on his bike. A car driving by. A lady walking her dog. Everything outside seemed so normal. But then again, not so much. So how did I get here all these years later? Well that will all be revealed in this Diary in good time. In the meantime, however, let me tell you about one of the sweetest moments of my life that would never have happened be it not for “this day”, September 6, 2012.
First let’s go back to nine years before when Williamson and I first met. This was at the very darkest point of my life, yet he somehow saw through the jacked up, broken apart, just about to come undone “me” that I was, only to find and believe in the “me” that I was yet to become. He refused to give up on me and somehow convinced himself that there was so much more to me than met his eyes. Eventually he even convinced me.
During those early days of our blossoming relationship, we had of course shared all the memories of our pasts. “Take Me There” by Rascal Flatts was the theme of almost all our conversations, as we both truly wanted to know exactly where the other had been. He told me his stories and I told him mine, not the least of which was Mitch, beginning to bittersweet end, May 29, 1998.
There he sat patiently listening one night, not a detail barred or spared, up to and including the intersection where it happened. He had driven out with me to Addison soon thereafter to see the wall and the place and the road. He wanted to know all of it – all of ME. So, that was then.
Fast forward …
SEPTEMBER 6, 2012: I had driven to Addison to pick him up for lunch near the place he’d been working. We’d taken a wrong turn going back to his office which somehow spit us out a block away from “the wall”. When I looked up and saw the Midway Road sign I quickly realized where we were. Cue the live video all over again: There goes Mitch on that devil black bike speeding off to his final blaze of glory! But before I knew it Zack had taken my hand with a tender squeeze, “Damn, this is the place”. He remembered. After all this time, HE STILL REMEMBERED.
Just then, the video stopped just short of the less than grand finale, and the knot in my stomach unraveled. I looked at my beautiful husband and thanked God yet again that he chose to make me his wife. It was also in that moment that I was reminded of something else: I am no longer alone to carry all these memories and moving pictures that are locked inside my mind. How many men could live with and accept the ghost of someone before him? The memories of my past are precious to my husband, and he carefully protects and embraces all of them. Even the memories of “him”! There is a sacred piece of my heart and life that will ALWAYS belong to Mitch Boone and Zack has never once held that against me.
What a sharp contrast this pivotal point in our story was to another day in a former life with my ex: It was the two-year anniversary of Mitch’s death when Peter and I were fighting about God knows what. It bothered him immensely to see me grieving for someone else, and although I really did try to shield him from my pain, sometimes I just couldn’t contain it. So, on that day? He had had it! “Your MY wife! He’s GONE! Yet you’re still crying about it?” So, he took two pot lids from the kitchen and smashed them together as loud as he could standing two feet away from my body and said,
I’ll give you something to cry about. Remember THIS sound? BAM! Metal hitting a wall! How’s that? Now go ahead, just keep crying!
Yes, he really did that, and yes, he really said those words. I remember that moment as though it just happened now. He took my raw and bruised heart and accompanying pain and sorrow and mocked me with them in one of the cruelest moments of my life.
I am such a lucky woman and thank you God for reminding me daily exactly how much YOU love me through the gift of my husband’s unconditional love and strength. I love you Zachariah Lucas Williamson more than I will EVER be able to put in words. Thank you for loving me. No, wait! Thank you for loving us. You are my hero and I will spend the rest of my days on this Earth honoring and treasuring everything you are. I promise!