Just a few days after the funeral, I got a phone call. It was The Dude.
“Babe! We’re back from vacation and it was great. I can’t wait to see you!” He was full of energy and excitement.
Oh. Um, did you get your mail by any chance?
“My dad just left to go to the post office to pick it up. Why? What’s up?”
I slid down the wall, clutching the phone close to my ear. I really wished he had gotten my letter before calling.
I wrote you a letter. Um… while you were gone… my mom died.
To his complete and total credit, The Dude gently wrapped up our call and was at my front door as quickly as his parent’s car would move him there.
I remember my extended family being in the house and really wishing I could have some serious privacy. Opening the front door, I just kind of fell into his arms and cried. I truly didn’t think I had any tears left. He was a trooper.
We walked to our living room, sat, and talked about all of it. I told him how his friends were amazing. They came to the visitation, and some were at the funeral. They made it a point to tell me they represented him and were supportive and kind to me.
The Dude was a great listener. I was glad to have him back home. I was also sad to be leaving him for college in less than two weeks.
With time fleeting, I wanted to have some last moments with friends. One night, a group of us got all dressed up and headed to a nice restaurant for dinner.
I didn’t know what to wear so I grabbed the blue dress from my mom’s funeral. It was comfy, stylish (yay shoulder pads!), and I completely and totally underestimated how it would make me feel to wear it again. In fact, it was the last time I ever wore it. I donated it soon after.
Dinner out felt grown up and fun and was a much-needed relief to the torrent of emotions I had been enduring. After dinner, the conversation turned to what we could do next to finish off the night. Someone suggested I call The Dude and see if we could hang out with him and his friends.
Wow, it hit me that I really did have a boyfriend and my friends wanted to hang out with him and his buddies. We connected and met up in someone’s backyard where there were more laughs.
It was a great night of distraction, friendship, and genuine fun. I was grateful for it all.