That's all we really were. I needed him and he needed me. I am standing here on the edge of what feels like it will be a very long and bad stretch of time. I don't know why (yes I do) and I am frightened of what the days ahead hold. I can't pretend it away. I've tried...I've tried to tell myself that I will be "okay" without him and then I begin to doubt it. Hanging on, hang on, be there, I say to myself. Look, look, look at your kids.
Really, thinking about it...he helped me with my insecurities (there are so many) he told me I was beautiful even though I never saw it in myself. He praised my intelligence, all the while doubting his own. I remember, one night after I had gone back to college early in our marriage, showing him my grades. An earnest, beseeching question from him. "Do you think that I am stupid?" A little boy...wanting the assurance that no, he definitely was not stupid. God, he was so not stupid. I used to look at the programs he wrote, and listen to the things he said about them in awe. For I am truly dumb with numbers. Any household problem, troubles with the car...fixed, by him, before I could even begin to stress. But that one question of his,"Do you think I am stupid?" rang in my head and made me hurt so badly for him all of the years of our marriage. He was the baby in his family. I, the baby in mine. In my family, I was the only girl...adored by her father...tolerated by her mother at first. A tolerance that grew into disgust and competition. I craved love. I needed love. He gave that to me. He was the younger of two boys. The one that his father told his mother,"you can mess up, I've already got a boy." Or so that is what Leonard always felt. The heir...and the spare. The second. The stupid. The one who was always told so by his father. Always told, whenever he did something,"Now why the hell didn't you come to me and ask about it?" Now why would he? Why should he ask a drunkard. The man who took so many chances with his sons' lives that it was a wonder he existed for me to fall in love with? Here I should be grateful that he survived all of that...but he is still gone...not here...never to live here on earth with I who need and love him ever again. He nurtured me. I nurtured him. We gave each other the things we both craved as children. I still need that.
So I sit here in this empty house where we used to love each other, encourage each other, and cheer each other on. And it is such an overwhelming feeling of loneliness and need tonight. And I can't see it ending. Not when he is in my blood. I need to go house hunting with him, and watch stupid World Poker Tour episodes, to fix him a sandwich at 11 PM at night, I need to fight with him over the credit card payment being a little bit late, or our differing parenting ideas. I ache with this need. I need him to turn to me in the middle of the night and wrap me in his arms, burying his face (his oh so beautiful face) in my neck. A whispered,"Love you". That's what I need. I am selfish. I can't help it.