Yesterday was my friend’s 35th birthday. She is single with no kids, so she is obviously in a very different life stage than me. She was meeting up with some other friends at the local brewery for a couple of beers at 8pm and invited me to join them, and I figured that was perfect! The kids are asleep by 7:30, Charlie was going to be home watching the baseball game, and that meant I could walk down for a couple of beers and be home by 9pm.
This girl and I have always been friendly, but she was actually much closer to Jaime than to me – they used to hang out all the time since they were both young, single females in this tiny town. Jaime has been on my mind a lot lately, so as I headed out the door for my walk down to the brewery, I grabbed a cigarette out of my freezer and a beer out of the fridge to drink on the way. That was our old m.o., you see. As I walked down the quiet streets and looked up at the bright stars filling the dark night sky, I took a drag of my cigarette, a swig of my beer, and cried because Jaime should have been walking with me and doing the same thing – my partner in crime.
The brewery I was meeting my friend at is located half a block from the apartment Jaime lived (and died) in. It’s still surreal for me to walk down that street and have to reconcile memories of her life and her death both happening in that place. By the time I walked up to the brewery I had finished my beer, put out my half smoked cigarette (Jaime was always the smoker, I always kind of sucked at it), and dried my tears, but thoughts of Jaime were still prominent in my mind.
After a couple of beers with the birthday girl and her friends, we paid up our tabs and were getting ready to head home. One of the other girls mentioned that the local distillery had live music going on to celebrate their 3rd anniversary, and somehow the four of us decided it would be a good idea to swing down there for a drink before heading home. The other three ladies are all single and don’t have kids so it was a no brainer for them, and I was still thinking about Jaime and how much I wished she was out on the town with us, so I decided life is too short to miss out on these rare nights out with friends, and I went along.
I’m not gonna lie – it was fun. A lot of fun. The music was fantastic, the (extremely wealthy, fun-loving) hunters are in town so all of our drinks were paid for, and there were a ton of people out and about who I haven’t had a chance to hang out with in years that I got to catch up with. It was great.
By 12:30 we decided it was time to hit the hay, and when I rolled into bed I just prayed Harvey would sleep until morning. Around 5am he woke up crying, so I grabbed him and brought him back into our room to sleep with me. Charlie got up & got ready for work, Stella rolled in around 6:45am so I pulled her into bed with us too, and at 7:15 I finally DRUG my butt out of bed to hop in the shower and get ready for work.
I’m not gonna lie – this morning was no fun. No fun at all. The headache was awful, my throat was scratchy from smoking & from talking so loudly over the music, I hadn’t gotten enough sleep, I had horrible allergies, and the kids were both whiny.
But you know what? I’m still glad I went. I couldn’t (and wouldn’t want to) do that every night by any means. My priorities are just different now. But for one night, it was fun to go out with the girls, LIVE life to the fullest and think about all of the great memories I made with Jaime in the 9 short years we got to be part of each other’s lives. I miss her every day, and some days are harder than others, but slowly we are healing. Slowly.