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February 26, 2023

Farewell, my Lovely.

Today is the anniversary of our meeting, three years ago, at Union Station. Reading on a rocking chair in Tattered Cover, gifting a book, enjoying something exciting as it unfurled.

Short years made long during the pandemic, when our home became bright with cozy affection and life paths flowing into one another.

Today is the anniversary, two years ago, of my proposal and our engagement, a bended knee in the snow beneath her, as our family and friends gathered in celebration beneath the looming, happy snow-shining Flatiron mountains.

Today, we are separated by thousands of miles. She is there, wherever, and I am here, returned to visit my mother, this time without her. Only six months ago we were here together, with her family.

Today, we are separated even further by life paths that have irrevocably parted, for the best. It is for the best, and it is sad. It is both. The cold wet sadness in my heart is met by the icey windy Halifax harbor I can just see beneath the twinkling white, red, and orange lights beneath the Macdonald bridge as I pedal my little, old, red and chrome, salt-smeared Raleigh bicycle from my mom’s home to my hotel. Live music in a packed bar is close by, live music at a cafe, movies in the Library, lovely couples doing this and that, here and there. And I am quiet in my bath with a book aptly titled Farewell, my Lovely.

History has a way of rolling forward slowly, but quickly when we look backwards.

And so it is that I reflect, even as I roll forward with the winter’s tide. I reflect on the joy, the connection, the joy in getting to know one another deeply, the tenderness, the laughter, the shared values. And, too, I reflect on what did not work and trended only away, if so slowly as to be long imperceptible it was, however, a tide that did not return. That was our communication, or lack thereof, and my increasing effort in it, and my latent frustration at seeing it not returned.

There is no blame in loss but there is broken love, growing discernment, and there is loss in loss. But, too, the lessons I did not want but nevertheless won: I can not communicate for two, no matter how hard I try; and when I would give up into frustration is when I must rest in this moment…these are helpful.

In glad moments I am grateful for our coming together, it was so full of kind joy—and I am grateful for the grim hard lessons in our unravelings for they shall lead us to be ready for what’s next.

No more shall we dance in the dining room or argue or get through our arguments. No more shall we pet Redford and no more shall I cuddle her cold feet into my warm legs beneath blankets as we watch Murder, She Wrote, or a movie. No more shall we bike up and down and see friends and community and dress up and hot tub and no more shall I bring her hot water bottles and no more will we read in bed or I sing (to her dismay) in the shower and no more shall she lead yoga classes in her room. It is an empty room now. No more shall I sit at her feet in a park where she’s leading another class, in the sun. We shall not have photos to share on Instagram of our child and children with the Flatirons behind and no more shall we grow old together. All of that is in a book we stopped reading.

Dear Love, dear Friend, dear You—may our time together, and apart, both, be of benefit.

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