This past weekend, I had the chance to go out with some old friends, and I had a wonderful time.
These friends were Mike's and mine from where we met - twenty something years ago. I laughed so hard that night reminiscing about those "good old days". It was such a wonderful night and a much needed respite away from the everyday struggles of caregiving. We scheduled the dinner for after I got Mike into bed for the night. My brother stayed at our house with the kids and Mike. I went out knowing that everything should be "OK", although I was somewhat on edge because as I know very well, with Mike, anything can happen.
Another nice surprise awaited me at the restaurant. My friend Joe called a mutual friend that we hadn't seen in MANY years and she agreed to go to dinner with us. When I walked into the restaurant, she was sitting with Joe and his wife. At first I had no idea who she was, then it hit me. We had all worked together and the stories just started flowing. The only person missing was Mike, and I felt it. Of course, he was a part of many of the stories, so in actuality, he WAS with us that night.
Coming home, my mood was very light, I felt "happy". It's so amazing what a night out will do for you. But then Courtney started acting strange and I asked her what was wrong. I think she was a little insecure that I had such a good time without Mike. What she doesn't realize, is just how much I missed him. One of my dad's most memorable sayings was "Life is for the Living". After his death, I realized just how profound that saying is, and after Saturday night, I realized how important it is. Even though I missed Mike, I was still able to have a good time. Mike will ALWAYS be in my heart.