It was a cold, snowy day in late February of ’86 when I first left her bound for a two month club gig in Bermuda. The money would be good for us and I could logistically do the gig since we’d yet to have any children.
I was leaving her with a big old house, two cats and a promise that I’d be waiting on the tarmac when she touched down on Easter Sunday.
It was to be the first time I’d ever been away from her for longer than a night or two.
And I wasn’t worried about my Fender Rhodes or any of my equipment, the flight or the gig—I was wondering how the hell I was going to walk out the door.
It wasn’t a ‘By the time I get to Phoenix’ kind of thing but it was the middle of winter and it was snowing and there I stood trying desperately to say goodbye to a crying wife.
She’d been battling a cold as well which did nothing to lighten her spirits.
I felt awful.
I was crumbling at the realization of a vulnerability I’d never known before that moment. My ride pulled up and it was time to go.
I held her close while she sobbed against my chest and decided to close my eyes if only to remember the mere scent of her, the sheer essence of memory, possibly to stop my own tears.
I climbed into the van and saw her in the window holding one of our cats, my temporary replacement.
The snow was falling at a clip that made the moment seem surreal, postcard-like, and silent.
She waved and I waved back as we took off headed for Logan Airport and the short flight to Bermuda.
I was never one to write love letters but I found myself missing her so badly after one week that I needed to do something.
I was so lost on this beautiful island because I had no one to share it with and that little nugget of information nearly drove me insane.
I had to tell her somehow, someway that I loved her.
Unfortunately, a telephone call took forever and cost a small fortune so it only seemed logical that I write her letters, several of which she’s saved.
They’re sappy and sentimental but I’m hoping they meant something just a bit deeper.
I still remember my first phone call to her.
I was nervous!
I found that hysterical in retrospect.
Married for three years and I’m nervous.
What the hell was up with that?
Hearing her voice thousands of miles away was a deeply moving experience for me, a prayer answered.
Just the sound of it brought me home.
I’ve tried to find one of my letters to her but have come up empty handed.
I will tell you many made her cry but I know in my heart they were happy tears.
Should I find one in the future I promise to revisit this post.
I did find a St. Patrick’s card she sent that year that said:
Without you on St. Patrick’s Day…
My eyes have nothing to smile about.
I miss you!
And God, how badly I missed her.
Time has an interesting way of draping a gossamer curtain over emotional waves of the past almost making us forget the intensity of those moments and how much they re-arranged our insides…I did say almost.
You are the heart, soul and warmth in my life.
I honestly don’t know where I’d be without you in it.
I love you now as I did on the tarmac so many, many years ago.
You are my own angel of mercy…stay with me.
Happy Valentine’s Day,
You are mine. . .