Wednesday, November 9, 2011

on the lasts

For the first three years of our relationship, Mike lived at home with his mom, dad, two sisters, a dog, and a cat.  I would tell him, enjoy this, don't rush it, and when it ends, when you come down to the city to live with me, you're going to know when your lasts are, you're going to be able to say goodbye to them.  I told him this because I couldn't remember the last time I woke up in my parents house as a kid who lived there with them.  The last time I had breakfast with them before moving out.  I didn't know when the lasts would be, there were gradual movements towards independence, there was no singular end like there was for Mike, and I missed not enjoying them enough before they were over.  So he had the lasts, and now that so much has changed since then, I'm glad he knew them.

A few weeks ago, Mike took the day off to have his last meeting with the attorney who was handling his mom's affairs.  He drove up Friday morning and, since we had a wedding to go to farther upstate that night, I took the train and met him there in the afternoon.  As I was walking to Grand Central, I realized that this would most likely be my last time making that trip.

That trip, the one I could do in my sleep by now.  The walk from 20th and 5th to 23rd and Lex.  The uptown 6 train to grand central, the flight of stairs at the middle of the track to the station, the train at track 32 at 5:53.  Then the Hudson at my side as we passed Yonkers, Ossining, Croton, and the rest of the stops until New Hamburg.  For the first few years of our relationship, I made this 90 minute commute at least two Fridays a month, and then even when Mike moved down to the city, visiting his home and that trip were still such a part of our weekend routine.

Last August, the morning after we got the call that we needed to get to the hospital as soon as we could, we took the train to Mike's hometown and his sisters picked us up at the station.  Bernadette passed away a few hours later, we stayed for the funeral, our wedding, and then when things had settled and it was time to go home, we took her car with us and have had it here ever since.  We don't need the train to visit anymore.  I didn't know that August trip would be the last, so, when I got on the train a few weeks ago, I thought of all that trip had meant for us, and I memorized it.

I love that trip along the Hudson.  For years it was what brought me to Mike and then to the family that became my own.  Maybe it's a strange thing, but I like knowing when I'm saying goodbye to something rather than the pang of memory years later when I realize I never knew a last was a last.  So I had that last.  And I knew it.  And I was thankful for it.

poor quality phone photo through the window of the train


  1. Love you!! I'm sending you the biggest hug I can muster!!


  2. You write so beautifully. I love this blog.

    I love you guys, too ;)


  3. So much love today, thanks guys!