Today was rough, I'm not gonna lie. It's a good thing my heart has been so well-fortified lately because before I'd had the time to finish my pre-run latte, I learned that a close, beloved friend of mine had lost her husband. A husband I know how much she adored. We all did. He was one of those guys you can't help but like. Totally irresistible, even after his wife told me all of his terrible secrets. The kind of guy who comes to a back yard weenie roast having never met the hostess or anyone else at the party (save Facebook) and then proceeds to charm the pants off everyone there.
Death is awful. It sideswipes most of us and always back hands me. I've never been able to deal with it.
After I heard the news, I ditched the group run I had planned for this morning and instead ran ten miles up and down the Leif Ericsson trail ALONE in the rain. As fast as I could. I cried for my friend the whole way up. When I got to the top, I screamed at her husband at the top of my lungs and then cried my way back down.
I'm just so pissed off. So angry he's not here for his family anymore.
It doesn't matter how he died, or why. We're all devastated that he's gone. I'm terrified that this woman I adore will never be the same. That their daughter will grieve this loss for the rest of her life.
And it was no one's fault. There was nothing anyone could have done to prevent it.
The hardest part for me is that I knew this man. I've waxed him. I've seen him naked. Literally exposed. Vulnerable. In the kind of raw beauty only few had known.
And he's... gone. This sweet, sexy (not gonna lie) beautiful man.
This shouldn't come as a shock, but people tend to tell me things when I get them on my table. Hot wax is the ultimate truth potion and Fred was not immune to its powers. When I first met him, he and his wife were gearing up for a big anniversary on the town and all he could talk about was how much he loved her. How she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen or met or known. I think the word AMAZING came up over a dozen times in a single hour. All because of her. He knew he was the luckiest man alive because even after more than a decade of marriage, she loved him back and he was eternally grateful she kept him around in spite of his flaws.
Love can be magnificent, indeed, but I'm convinced that even at best, it's cruel, angry, formidable. I could run away forever, a million miles, and I'd still never understand why we need it so much when it hurts us more than we can possibly imagine.
If only love was ever enough.
Even broken, my heart is stronger than it's ever been. I only wish there was a universal love lending library, because I'd gladly hold my friend's heart in my chest tonight in place of my own.
Godspeed, Cynthia. My dear, beautiful friend. And sweet Jesus on a pogo stick, I hope there is such a thing.