In a few minutes it will be April.
The month I have dreaded.
The month I never thought would come again and the month I swore I would never make it through.
But, without expecting this... I have someone to hold my hand through it... literally hold my hand and tell me it's ok. A man. A man who hasn't run away from this. Who embraces it.. because it makes me who I am. Crazy and all i guess.
I am not saying April will be easy. at all.
I just know for certain it will be easier.
And through these past few weeks I am VERY certain this is true.
Because through dating Ryan I have realized what an amazing person he is. What a strong heart he has and what a sweet soul he has as well.
Yesterday was a big step.
Ryan got to meet my other parents.
Ryan got to meet John's parents.
I know this situation may seem odd for some people. Especially for those who have had a bad relationship with the in-laws after losing their loved one. I get that. You really couldn't care less to introduce your future beaus. You couldn't give a damn what their opinions were or even if they ever knew. This is NOT the case with John's parents and family. Because they are VERY much still my family.. and will always be. (as i have stated before many times).
I asked Ryan if he was ready.... and he was.
John's dad had wanted me to come over and finish sorting out John's things before the 5th of April (John's birthday).
I knew having ryan come with me would be a good thing.
It was refreshing to go back to the Seay house... it's been awhile since I was there. It was a different feeling walking in holding the hand of someone else. But, it wasn't a bad feeling. just different. Ryan met Jim, Sarah, Annie, Edgar and the boys. Everyone was very receptive... even the boys were clinging to his legs once they got comfortable. They did ask me once "is this your dad?" I laughed and said no. "Mr. Tim is my dad."
"who is this?"
oh dear. what do you tell 3 year olds??
"this is ryan."
ok, that was easy.
no need for a big explanation here.... 3 year olds just want a concrete answer anyway. details can be explained later.
Ryan and Jim sat in the living room and chatted.
Then the three of us sat in the kitchen and chatted.
Then we went upstairs... oh boy.
We entered the room which was once mine and John's room. I pointed this out to Ryan... showing him where I slept and pointing out John's Phantom Regiment frame on the wall. He looked it over... actually very interested in everything....
i am sure that this is his way of getting to know John better. to understand the man who loved me before.
Then Jim sat me down and showed me the final things needed to be sorted out of John's... ties, drum keys, little trinkets....
and then the box.
which held all of John's personal items from his wallet and car.
The box we all hated to go through.
Jim left the room for this part. It was hard enough as it was... and he had already began to cry... in front of me and ryan. I was nervous. How would Ryan react??? He sat there silently and rubbed my back. I almost felt as if he wanted to reach out to Jim too. But the moment passed... and I was relieved it did.
I sorted through the box with ryan by my side. He held me close and rubbed my back as I shuffled through John's credit cards, IDs, pressed pennies and a picture holder... filled all with photos of me. I took each one out and kept them. I offered them to Ryan and he said he felt bad taking them... I guess as if taking them away from John. Which I understand.
I kept a pressed penny that said Braves on it. John's favorite baseball team. Ryan is a yankee and that's ok. I will root for both :)
I kept a piece of paper a fellow employee gave to John stating what a great job he was doing at work.
And everything else I placed back.
John's cards have no more use anymore... and I just know that keeping these cards are not what I need.... especially considering I already have so much other things of his.
I cried while going through all these things.
i cried because this was all that was left.
John's life placed into ziplock bags and tiny boxes. Pieces of him distributed to those who loved him most.
But no John.
Ryan wrapped his arms around me when we were finished.... he held me until I stopped crying and then joined me to walk down the hall to John's parent's room to watch a dvd Jim had made. On our way down the hall I made note of the room where I had found John. I wanted Ryan to know. But he had already figured it out. He asked me if it was the same and I told him no... that it had been changed dramatically.
I also showed him the other quilts I made for John's family.
Then we watched the video of John singing at a 50s party at school. It was hilarious to watch. We were all laughing.
He doesn't grow tired of hearing John stories, or comforting me when I cry.... he actually loves listening to them.
He is almost inspired.
Today I told him a story of a Valentine's gift John had gotten me and my roommates once and Ryan was like "this is good information to know..."
I make sure Ryan knows that I don't try to compare them. I don't flaunt things like "John did this... and John did that...why don't you?"
It would be very odd if any of these things were replicated.
Now, odd coincidences... yes, those happen. But, those are just what they are. A coincidence.
Ryan's respect for John's place in my life and heart is admirable. He truly is a one of a kind guy.
And John's family realized this immediately.
As we left the house John's dad bragged on how Ryan was so brave to take on two dads and the spirit of my ex fiance.
And he then assured him that all three were pleased to have him in our lives.
This was refreshing and weird.
first, hearing ex fiance was odd. it sounds like we broke up.
second, it does feel like i have extra support both earthly and spiritually looking out for my well being and making sure that I am taken care of.
It was a successful visit.
when i got home I had an email waiting for me from Jim
Message: Is a KEEPER!!!!!
I couldn't agree more :)
I think I will keep him.