I still find myself wondering to this day… could she have been that once-in-a-lifetime? That one true love of my life? Looking back… I would say that it’s EASILY possible. Where to start? The beginning, I suppose. I knew I wanted to keep her in my life forever the first night we met… and she felt the same. We had each held respective crushes for one another for some time, and once we met… fireworks. We instantly became "that couple." You know those couples. The ones that make everyone equally jealous and nauseated simultaneously? That was us. She was the most beautiful, passionate, and full of life person I had ever met. She brought out the best in me, ALWAYS. She made me feel invincible. Five and a half months after our first kiss, disaster struck.
Aside from my mother, she is without a doubt the strongest woman I know. This was fully illustrated during my three months in the hospital. She was inches from dropping out of school to take care of me, before I begged her to return and finish. She did so only for me. For three months, she drove two hours over the mountain pass every Friday afternoon, and stayed with me in the hospital until late Sunday evening. My stay in the hospital was miserable, and she was the only thing that would make things better. Doctors would see her come into the hospital on Fridays, and say "thank God." They knew that once she walked through the door… I would be happy again.
Every Friday without fail, she would walk through my hospital room door with that gorgeous smile and a chipper, "Hello handsome!" No matter how much pain I was in, it would all disappear in that moment. She would climb up next to me in my hospital bed and fall asleep with her head on my shoulder every night. At any given moment, I could look down and see her holding my lifeless hand in hers. She would stay up all hours of the night with me, reminiscing about the first four days we spent together.
Upon discharge from the hospital, the depression set in. Hard. I was miserable. I could do nothing but stare at the wall and cry for hours on end. I was subconsciously pushing her away, while trying to hold on to her too tightly at the same time, if that makes sense. She was unaffected for a long time, relentlessly trying to raise my spirits. As the summer wore on, her strength finally began to wear down. She was feeling pressure from all angles, and things were just too much finally.
In an e-mail to my mother a few days after she left, she said that her leaving was not because of a lack of love. I fully believe that. For one moment, put yourself in her shoes. She was not even 23, and had just endured one of the most painful events she may probably ever experience. All of our dreams as we knew them had just been snatched away. Every day, she tried SO HARD to raise the spirits of the man she loved, to no avail. Do you have any idea how hard it is to watch the love of your life completely give up on living… and you can do absolutely nothing about it? If she had not left, I would have dragged her down to the bottom with me.
When you say that she has no idea what she was missing, it is completely out of line. As she saw things in that time period, I wasn’t coming out of things. I didn’t think I would either. Had she known that I would finally make it out of the darkness, I’m confident that she would have been the one person that could have made this life work. My family and friends still speak of her strength often, and we know that her unwavering positive attitude was something that carried us through some very hard times. So before everyone starts judging this wonderful woman, ask yourself two questions: How strong was I at 22 years old? How would I have reacted in the face of such an enormous tragedy, honestly? Unless you’ve actually been there, you will never really know…
Thank you Hallie, I would be nowhere near the man I am today were it not for the strength and love you showed in such abundance those last six months…I may have carried you in this picture… but you carried me through some of my darkest days.