March has become the time for me to be conflicted. I struggle with the way the thaw comes slowly, and the sun has that way of warming the almost five month build-up of goosebumps under my sweater. The breeze fills your nostrils with wet earth, begging to sprout fresh grass that will soon tickle your ankles in the summer.
But then there’s the shade, the way that the little chill the breeze offers you sends an awareness up your spine. The way that March reminds you it’s not quite time yet for you to lose layers. It still makes you fish out a jacket to go outside.
Losing you has been a lot like this. It’ll have been year soon, and I don’t know where the time has gone. Just like the warmer parts out of the shade, I’m okay most days. But then when it comes to be dark out, like March, your absence is not to be forgotten.
The way days have the ability to drain me sometimes and I can’t walk over and rest my head on your shoulder to wait for a reassuring pat on the head. The way I still need someone to kick me when I’m being crazy and you’re not around; The shady parts.
There are remnants of you everywhere I look. A Starbucks cup to remind me of the way you loved your coffee. A hearty laugh to match an image of your face becoming red and your eyes brimming with tears at the smallest things. The driver’s seat of my car to make me think of the way you’d walk with me in an almost-empty parking lot, and shut my door for me when I got in. Men with graying hair and the scent of cigarette smoke – all the times you’d sneak out the back door for a few minutes to be alone. The sounds a broom make against the floor and the way you’d clean everything because you could never stand still; The sunny parts.
The way that there will always be a small ache in my chest when I walk outside alone, wishing you were walking with me. It’s the way that good things are coming and I’m not able to tell you, and the way you don’t know the last time everyone you ever mattered to was in a room together, was to say goodbye to you.
But it’s also the way I know you’ll always be with me too. Those warm spots out of the shade, all of the ways you haven’t left. The moments I live for in March. Though bittersweet, I’m so thankful for those little things, because March is already hard enough.