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Easing the Soul

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My Francesca,

I just bought a fresh new legal pad today, which means another stack of letters from me that will never be sent. It’s taken quite a bit of self control not to stamp them and send them. Your address is branded on my brain. I’ve wasted many stamps on these letters.

There’s no special occasion for this letter. It’s just a Tuesday. It’s not your birthday. It’s not a holiday. It’s not even the anniversary of when I showed up like a lost puppy on your doorstep. It’s been seven years since I’ve seen you and the desire to talk to you is as strong as it was the day you invited me to stay for dinner. There’s no rhyme or reason to my letters. You may likely never even set eyes on these words.

I suppose it just eases my soul to be able to write them.

I was in the supermarket today buying lettuce and cheese when a thought came to me. I don’t remember what it is now, but in that moment, the desire to tell you was so strong that I actually turned and opened my mouth to speak. Realizing you weren’t there beside me was as hard on me as the day I had to drive away from you.

It almost feels like you’ve gone on a long trip, like I’ve stepped out for a minute and came home to realize you’ve gone to the store or to visit a distant relative or something. It always feels like you should be showing up at my door any minute. I think that’s one of the hardest aspects of this reality.

I’ve lamented for seven years on how hard it is to live without you. Seven years of “I wish” and “it’s not fair” and “if only.” Wishing has gotten me nothing but a cramped wrist.

It would be so easy to resent you for staying with your husband. Sometimes I do. I’m just a man…I’m human. I want to be the one you sleep beside, the one you greet every morning, the one you are committed to. I want to hate your husband for being the one you chose.

And while I know I’m not the one you’re physically with, I know that I’m the one to whom you’re committed. I know that your love belongs to me. Does that mean I don’t wish I could receive your love in person? Of course I do. I feel a little pain in my heart every day that goes by when I don’t see you.

Francesca, my heart beats for you.

You’ve turned this self-sufficient nomad into a man who needs.

I love you endlessly, Fran. I hope more than anything that I’ll have the chance to see you again. As I travel closer and closer to the grave, my sole desire is to be in your presence just one more time, even if it’s just looking at you from across a room.

I miss you more than I’ve ever missed anything tangible on this earth. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone.

Yours,
Robert