He and his wife celebrated another anniversary. The years are passing but they're still so few compared to the lifetime together we shared.
We were fortunate. Even with the early parting, we were still given many years and great memories made together; choices and possibilities, errors and regrets -- yes, those too.
Maybe it's a need for the closeness shared.
Perhaps it's returning to the joy of special occasions where dancing was part of the celebration.
Walking through the ashes tears you apart. We were fortunate no lives were lost and as with so much of our life, picked ourselves up and began again.
Back to the dress and coat . . .
My "date" was supposed to drive me to the little shop to pick up the dress that was being altered. As I would discover through the decades of married life, he would sometimes forget, often to my frustration and yes, even anger. Seems small now, that anger; seemed big at the time.
He forgot. Completely. Totally. He called me on the phone that night and received a very "cold" reception.
Today I can say he was honestly confused; he'd really forgotten. To me then it was a major event; the dance was the following day so I'd walked all the way there and splurged on a cab for the return because I had this long, flowing dress to carry.
Compounding the "situation", I asked him if he'd forgotten to do anything that day and he paused, thought a minute and said:
Of course, to me, the mention of remembering to take out the trash at his shared apartment was too much. He could remember the trash but not remember the dress I needed for the dance?
Memories. The good. The bad. The movement back and forth, around, twists and turns, fast and slow.
I remember dancing at our wedding, at our 25th wedding celebration with friends and family, at events celebrating life and milestones with our children.
And, then . . . I remember our last dance.
At an American Legion Hall where my Uncles used to play musical instruments keeping us on our feet and laughing together creating memories to last a lifetime.
My uncles playing musical instruments and singing. Country music; country songs; country dancing. Some I enjoyed; some featuring Uncle Jules and his "unique" voice that often verged on being ear splitting.
Cousins now with their own children and grandchildren. Mom enjoying herself and everyone amazed at her "ability" at such an advanced age, older by several years than her sister-in-law.
My husband said he wasn't feeling really well; he'd had his first trip to the ER and short hospital stay several days earlier.
We didn't know this night would be our "last dance" together.
I admit, I've always loved to dance.
I begged him to dance. We stood and held one another for a few minutes with the familiar melody bringing back so many memories.
Then, he begged to sit down; he said he couldn't stand any longer.
His weakness increased.
We dance together, we dance alone.
The notes can be high or low.
The tempo varying.