Without fanfare, it has begun. A process just months ago I could not have fathomed. Just a short three years ago were you to tell me what I know today I may have punched you in the jaw. But, today, something I never wanted since the day she and I met, today it started. I have begun to erase Maggie from my life.
It’s a simple action, really, pressing the delete button on the Tivo. But that simple action bangs my already tattered emotions with rocks. How could one unwatched Dancing With Stars* episode bring me to tears? Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, America’s Top Model, Law and Order, Lost…. With each click of the remote my heart takes a new bruise. I feel like I’m betraying her, one show at a time. How could I be so callous or uncaring? How could I do this to her? But, as it has been lately, I hold my chin steady and repeat what Maggie would say to me were she here: “Hey, I don’t watch TV anymore so don’t save the shows. Delete them so you can make room for things you like.” She always did have a way to cut through the chaff. But each show I delete represents a tiny Maggie eraser (and a tiny dagger straight into my heart.) Stupid Tivo. Stupid TV shows. Stupid Maggie. Hmf.
* Dancing With Stars has always brought me close to tears simply because it’s ridiculously boring and pointless. While I have to say the outfits the girls wear while dancing befuddle my simple man-brain because of their provocativeness and provide the only entertainment value for me the show offers, I see no use for the show what so ever. But Maggie liked it.
I feel like I’ve begun to chip at a very large rock. Think phoenix but not quite the same. A phoenix rises from ashes but I am but part of the whole that was us, a large piece of which is now gone. Maggie and I have spent 10 years of together building what we are were. Our together created what you know and what you know is only part of what we are were. Now, everything has changed. Both what you and I know is gone. It’s now up to me to start over and rebuild with that which is left. What was “Chris and Maggie” is now “Chris.” What was “Us” is now “Me.” While that sounds difficult, for craps sake, think about Maggie and how huge she represented in life. Her presence was dazzling. It is way, way more difficult than it seems at first. What the heck is left for me, or maybe, of me, now that she’s gone? I’m not really sure. But it’s my mission, my fate, my destiny to work out the details.
Yes, yes, yes, she’s going to always be with me. Yes, she’s watching me from above. Yeah, yeah, I know. Blah, blah, blah. That’s great and romantic and all but, reality check time. She’s not here to clean the kitchen, help me think things through, earn money to pay the electric bill, talk about my day, cook supper, or drive me to the doctor. Practicality meets romance. Romance loses.
And so starts my new life without Maggie…. It’s as much of a stranger to me as she was ten years ago when we first met. Looking back in comparison, she was much, much more exciting – sexy, beautiful, curvy, smart, funny. Wow, how entranced I was with her back then!* It’s like I was under a spell. But about my new life, I won’t kid you, I’m a little bit intrigued. Yes, I’m scared, if only to let go of what was. But what a great adventure this will be, too! What will it look like, this new world? Who will I meet and who will I become?
* I was under her spell to the day she died and beyond. Not one moment went by where I didn’t see her as my best friend and lover. She was sexy to me until the end (sorry, Moms, if that offends!)
Moving forward, I carry with me a few things that can not be taken away. One, my education, something I’m immensely proud of and something Maggie helped me achieve. Two, my past, random as it might be and which includes my Maggie memories. Three, my musical training, something I’ve recently been neglecting. Four, and maybe most important, I now wear a badge that reads “Walked Through Fire.” Who the hell would want such a badge? Not me, that’s for sure. But, damn it, I did. Now I’ve got the badge. Right now, whether I like it or not, it’s displayed prominently on my chest. I’m not proud nor will I ever use it as a weapon. In fact, I’m almost embarrassed. But I’m a better man because of what I’ve gone through…. Because of what we have gone through. I hope the rest of my life is worth the price we paid. I suppose my new mission now is to make it so.