Please stop apologizing to me. You say you are sorry that you are putting me through this. You say I shouldn't have married an older man. You say I am too young to have to deal with cancer. You say my 30s should be carefree.
I say that's hogwash.
That whole sickness and health thing was no joke. I even wore a white dress. I meant business. I wish with all my might that we didn't have the sickness part, but not for one single solitary second have I wished I had done things differently. (Well maybe that one time after you dumped the bowl of cereal on the freshly washed dishes . . .)
You are the best part of me. You are the calm to my chaos, the laid-back to my high-strung, the funny to my serious. I still carry in my purse the printout of an email you sent me in 2002. It says: cas, here's the deal, i love you more than 100 butterfinger blizzards... mwc.
If not for you, old man, I would never have left my comfort zone, like when you handed me a plane ticket and said "Here, we're going to Florida," even though I was terrified to fly. I would never have visited beautiful places like the cliff walks in Newport and that beach in Cape Cod. Remember? I would never have had the nerve to take a career risk like moving to South Carolina. You said, go for it. Climb. Seize the opportunity. Even at the risk of your own career. I wouldn't have gone back to school, because it was you who convinced me that you really need to love what you do. Otherwise, it's not worth it, right? I would never have learned how to eat peel and eat shrimp or crack crab legs if not for your crustacean camp. I would never have developed an appreciation for old movies, Pearl Jam or Bailey's on the rocks. I would still be eating at chain restaurants, for goodness sakes. And most of all, if not for you, I wouldn't have this tiny little person, this Stooge-loving bundle of bliss who has my attitude and your sense of humor.
So, are we clear?