Like every married couple, it’s no secret that Jimmy and I didn’t see eye-to-eye on every single thing.
One thing we agreed to disagree on was the best way to die. He considered the way my Dad died the “better way” and thought the way his Dad died sucked.
It goes without saying that all dying sucks no matter the circumstances, but there was always this ongoing debate as to whether it was preferable to know in advance that you were going to die, so that you could bid proper farewells to your loved ones or just “peace-out on-the-fly” as Jimmy put it in his hippie vernacular.
I would often get irritated with Jimmy after my Dad died because he would say,
“Oh Man! Your Dad would’ve loved the way he died! He really went out in style!”
My Dad died from a massive coronary at the age of 63, one July afternoon in 2001, after playing 18 holes of golf while eating a bowl of seafood gumbo at lunch with my mother – quite literally the three greatest passions of his life.
I always regretted that I did not expect my Dad to die so young and never really got a chance to wrap things up, so to speak. To say a proper good-bye.
Unfortunately, Jimmy’s father wasted away from illness before the very eyes of his loved ones. While Jimmy always agreed there was indeed opportunity for “closure,” it was terribly painful to witness all the suffering involved.
I know it’s selfish that I’m so hurt God took my Jimmy when and how He did. It became painfully obvious that he was God’s Jimmy and not my Jimmy. But, I still don’t think, if given the choice, he would’ve wanted to leave us so soon.
At just 54, we had far too many unrealized dreams. I know for a fact he wanted to float that last baby girl down the aisle. And he wanted to finish raising his sons. He wanted to see more grandchildren born.
Nonetheless, it’s really left me with a lot of unfinished business as I’m sure y’all might imagine.
I lie awake every night and I wonder if I was actually a good wife. I wonder – if I had a crystal ball and I knew that he was going to die so young, would I have doubled down in some key marital areas? For instance:
-He would’ve gone out to eat every night, but I often said “no.” I was always on a diet.
-He would’ve done the hokey-pokey every night. I never said “no,” but sometimes I wore really, really ugly pajamas on purpose.
-He liked to travel, but I complained that it made me motion sick.
You get the picture.
So, the other night I did what any crazy widow – not entirely in her right mind would do – I started scrolling through all of our old texts. I was trying to analyze what kind of wife I really was.
I feel like I’m losing perspective. Was I nice? Was I loving? Did I make him happy? Did I “do him well all the days of his life” like Proverbs 31 said I was supposed to?
Maybe our old texts would give me a clue…
I came across the following text and took comfort in the fact that I was schlepping around out there one day trying to get my man some sinus medicine – because we all now it’s kind’ve a pain in the arse. You have to show your ID so they know you’re not running a meth lab.
But, then I found this one. And it was so clear that he was better to me than I was to him. Not that it was a contest or anything, but Geez…
I must admit I was somewhat encouraged when I stumbled across this little gem however…
It’s pretty stinkin’ endearing and I think it speaks volumes about the depths of our devotion that he thought I was going to ferret out a recipe for something called “baba ganoush” and make it for him. I’m not sure where he was or who he was with on the 17th of January, but how cute is that? It kind’ve made my heart sing. Notice my response?
I don’t know if I was running for my cookbook or Epicurean.com, but what I think matters here, is that he believed I was going to make this concoction.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I did anything meaningful with squash. But maybe I was going to make that stuff – You really never know with a person like me. I’m full of surprises and can even be loving, as evidenced by the “sinus medicine undertaking.”
Sometimes I tell myself I shouldn’t have let my children’s father ride that motorcycle – to the degree a wife really lets her husband do something. But I do know he loved me so much he would not have ridden if I had really pressed the matter.
But, like my Dad, he definitely died doing something he passionately loved.
So, all that’s left for me now is a lifetime to scroll around my phone and other memorabilia for evidence that I loved him like I was gonna lose him…
16 thoughts on ““I’m Gonna Love You Like I’m Gonna Lose You” (Our Old Texts Say A Lot About Us…)”
Leslie – a true love like no other! I LOVE reading your blogs. You’re an amazing woman, no wonder he loved you so! A positive to focus on is not many people in this life get to experience a love like yours so just keep those memories flowing. I know he is smiling down on you, your children and grandson and is absolutely in awe of the radiance you all expel every day of your lives to everyone around you all.
Thank you so much!
He loved you no question about it. He’s watching over you and loving you always! It’s rare to see a marriage that is full of fun crazy things between a husband and wife. From reading your blogs you both had a special unique love with each other. Never doubt sweet Leslie, he loved you deeply! ❤️
Thank you so much. There was never a dull moment around here. That’s for sure. I’m mining my memories….
Leslie – You are truly gifted in being able to express yourself on this blog – what an effective way to express your deep grief; when my husband died I internalized everything – not the best way to go through the process. Maybe someday you can write a book about the Great Love Affair – not over, but just on hold until the next chapter. Only God knows . . . he is watching over you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Leslie, There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you were the perfect imperfect wife and partner. None of us are perfect, but that’s what shows us how much our wives/husbands love us. We stick together and get to prove our love by growing closer to each other other over time. I believe, with all my heart, that Jimmy felt like the luckiest man on earth to have you by his side. Joel
He definitely acted like he felt that way. Love and hugs to y’all.
Leslie, I’ve followed your blog for some time now but apparently missed the last 2 months. I read with horror and sadness what you’ve been going through and just wanted to reach out to you. I am so sorry for the tragic passing of your amazing husband. I too am married to a man I love and respect and can laugh with and enjoy but we too are real like I always felt you guys were. I hate you are going through this and that this happened. Your writings are a funny breathe of fresh air so many times and I’ve always loved how you’d put the videos with the writings. It really felt connected that way. I don’t really have the polished words to say – and sometimes there just aren’t any words – and the knowledge to know what would ever help you but I do care… and I do at least want to let you know that you matter and you reach people and you are loved. I don’t mean that in some creepy or stalker blog reader way but I feel for you and am praying for healing and peace for you and your whole family and your combined healthy future. Take care girl, you’re not alone in this, Leilani
Thank you so much. That means the world to me!
Thinking a lot about you lately, noticing your lack of another post for a while. Much love going your way. This is all in the healing process. Take care of you first, and don’t worry about your blogging. But looking forward to another post when you’re ready. Prayers ascending for you now.
Much love to you!!!
Reblogged this on A Ginger Snapped and commented:
Re-posting so I can add to my Amazon Author page!
You are such a gifted writer. Every blog post has me feeling all the feels. My heart and prayers are with you and yours, dear one. xoxo
Thank you so much. That means the world to me!
Leslie, I’m impressed … Your texts show such a playful and loving relationship. He adored you, and you were always kind and giving to him … I don’t even notice any of the cross or bored words that lesser wives might let slip. Isn’t it amazing that modern technology has facilitated these memories …
It is truly a blessing. It fills in the blanks of my memory.