Last conversation: REVISITED

So what would I have said to Mike if I knew it was our last conversation? I don’t know…

Would I have reminisced about the old days? When we met in college and started dating? What about his confession of love at the reflecting pond? Remember the corner of my dorm room that I let him decorate with beer signs? Or how about when we moved to St. Louis in the heat of the summer? How about when he proposed in our tiny campus apartment (still my favorite engagement story of all time)? How about our wedding reception at the haunted brewery – and getting locked in the haunted B&B the next morning? Remember what a fun time everyone had, some even calling it the “best wedding ever!”?  Remember how we didn’t even know if we’d have wedding guests, since it was weeks after 9/11 and people weren’t sure if they’d be safe? How we didn’t know if there’d be a honeymoon since it was supposed to start in NYC? What about finding our first house and moving into it – how excited we both were that we could afford a brand-new house? Oh, and what about the home improvement projects (the deck and the “Dr. Seuss shelves” and the tiled backsplash), and how we always joked that Mike was “handy for a lawyer”? Remember when I decided I wanted to be a mom, and how Ethan was born almost EXACTLY nine months later? Remember taking Ethan home the first time and not knowing what to do? How about when he let Ethan slide out of his car seat in my parents’ living room and his panicked “don’t cry, don’t cry!” plea to a tiny baby? Remember why we bought our second house because I said our first house was too small for another baby? And how Lauren was born nine months exactly after we moved into the Highcliff house?

Or maybe I would have just screamed at him, begging for answers. When did the drinking start? Why did it get so bad? Was this the reason he lost his last two jobs? Was he even applying for jobs in the two years he sat in the basement? How many times did he blame OD’ing on his depression meds, but it was really because he was drunk? Why couldn’t he just stop? Didn’t he love us enough? Why did he throw everything away for a bottle of cheap ass vodka? Did he ever drive drunk with Ethan in the car? When did the smoking start? Did he not care that he was putting our lives at risk when he smoked in the basement (and put out the cigarettes on the carpet – which we found after he moved out)? How COULD he trash the basement with his empties, cutting open the couch to hide bottles in the cushions, pushing aside ceiling tiles to hide cans, pulling out insulation in the storage room to store empties between the cement wall and the drywall? Rehab, AA, detox – nothing worked, but why? Couldn’t he stick with a program? Weren’t our kids “enough” for him to get his act together? Wasn’t I “enough”?

Or would I just say goodbye, hold his hand, and watch him go?

Would there have been a message he wanted to share with our kids? Or would he just say good-bye? Would he have even wanted to see the kids? (After all, Mike refused to have Christmas with the kids last year because he “didn’t want the kids to see him like this.”)

I just don’t know what I would have said to him…

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