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A beautiful place we visited

In most of my dreams, I'm either somewhere with my wife Stephanie, or somewhere else but in a hurry to get home to her.

When I wake up, it takes a few seconds for me to understand that she's not here, not waiting for me to come home, and we weren't together mere moments ago.

Last night we were together at Kettle Moraine State Park in Wisconsin, and it's a beautiful place. We visited there only twice. Both times, we had a picnic, and took a long walk, holding hands, talking, laughing.

Waking up stinks. I'm alone again, every time, briefly reliving the grief. Often I'm up just to pee or stare at the ceiling, so waking up without her might happen twice, even three times in a night.

I kinda hate it, but mostly love it. Those dreams are the very definition of a good night's sleep.

Sure wouldn't want to not have her in my dreams, or not have someone worth hurrying home to, like I don't any more. And when I wake up, I sure wouldn't want to not be ripped apart about being without her.

The cycle of sleeping and dreaming happy and awakening sad is my life as a short story: Everything stunk for a long time, and then Steph & I had years and years of happiness with each other. Like life itself, finding her was something I never expected, never deserved; it was simply spectacular luck we both stumbled into. And then everything stunk again, and it still stinks.

Waking up and crying is the last echo of a time that didn't stink. We'll be together again tonight, and it's my favorite thing left in the world.

Meet me at the tables by the lake, dear, where the trail starts. I'll bring sandwiches.

6/15/2023   

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