- My Nana. My great grandmother was amazing. She was strong and independent, leaving school to work in a mitten factory and known for her love of softball. Her eyes were always lit up in a smile and while everyone else was running around trying to get me to sit down nicely in a chair, she loved when I would rumble and tumble through her apartment. I was her little princess. The fact that he will never know more than stories and pictures of her leaves me feeling as though there is a hole to fill.
- “Chicken patty on a bun.” We’ve been eating them lately and he thinks they’re just convenient, mostly unhealthy dinner substitutes. I, however, laugh every time I eat one because I can hear Mr. Unger calling out “Chicken-patty-on-a-bun day” over the high school speaker. Why did I love them so much in high school? Who knows. But I did. I only wish he heard that same voice.
- Europe for the first time. Feeling as though your eyes have been opened to a new world, full of history and secrets and wonder. Cobblestone streets that dizzy and cafes that seem to shut down once the food is at your table. New languages and excited hosts. That first encounter that leaves you forever changed, aware of a much bigger world just outside your door. The trip you take with nothing to show but everything to discover.
- “Was it a blueberry farm?” That inside, family joke that is still hilarious to this day and will inevitably be brought up at every family gathering. To anyone else, the joke is absurd and pointless. But it continues to bring tears down our eyes as we double over in laughter. If you could’ve been there…
We’ve missed some defining moments in each other’s lives. (We’ve also missed some that are not so defining but that we carry with us every day). I don’t regret the timing and I do cherish my life in those moments when he wasn’t there – but sometimes I catch myself in a bit of nostalgia and feel as though I have traveled alone for many years. Turning to the man I love to reminisce about that time when…and I find myself trying to explain things that can only be experienced.
It makes me aware of how important experiences are. How we must actively go and out and find new ones, create new ones. How we must engage and travel, make jokes and spend time with family together. And it makes me aware of how excited I’m becoming for this next chapter in our lives, for many reasons.