It doesn't take a special day on the calendar for remnants of what we've left behind to come haunting us. It can happen any day. With social media so rampant, it happens everyday for most people. Friends from our youngest day, our wildest days and those we've picked up like moss along the way, follow us through our life's journey. It's kind of amazing to reconnect with those we thought had forgotten us, or we, them but there are times when it's a bit unsettling.
My husband and I met independently of anyone either of us knew. We met without the help of mutual friends. We simply found each other. Two people who had nothing in common but a dot on the map, where our bodies and souls met and decided they needed to spend the rest of their lives together. He had his past. I had mine. And we put them both to rest to start a future free of all that. Just us.
But every now and again, ghosts waft into our lives, laying claim to that which no longer exists. They remember us as we were, when they knew us and seem to think that which they knew, the person we were with them, is still hanging around. Not remembering they are the ones we left behind, with intention. They were not the people we chose to build our lives around.
Although I do generally seek to live a gentle, peaceable life, this certain propensity from people in my husband's past stirs a great, hot, white fury so deep within me, it physically burns. Those who feel that because they knew him many years ago, the certainly have a right to communicate with him, in a way that is too familiar for a mere friend. Those people sitting in perhaps the fifth row of my husband's life, trying to squeeze into the front, as if they are somehow just as much a part of his fiber as his family. Or me, his wife.
Ain't happening. Not today, not ever.
Jamie is kind and unassuming. He is nostaglic and looks fondly on those memories, with emphasis on how far he's come and how glad he is that his life is now what it is, and not what it once was. He will tell anyone that his success is my success, as he couldn't have done it without me, and that's only partly true. He could have accomplished all that he has without me by my side, but the truth of the matter is, he wouldn't have. He had no reason. He needed a witness to all that he would attempt. Someone to push him just enough to keep him going, but not knock him over. Someone to understand where he was going and how he was getting there. Someone to physically watch as he poured over books, and calculations and emails, and remind him why he was doing something that drove him insane. To be a father, he needed a mother and he chose me. And we chose, together, the life we are leading now. Just us.
He didn't pull me into this, and I didn't pull him in. This is our life. The one we made together and continue to build. And those who remember him as their own, as their friend, as something more have no place in it anymore. You can pass by. You can say 'Hi, how are you...' but it will never be okay to seek him out, on a daily basis,. and try to take that which is not yours. Your fond memories of a crazy teenage alcoholic-in-training are just that, memories. You have not been a part of the building of the man he is today. You aren't part of his heart, his faith or his family. You are where you belong, in the archives of the memory of a man so pure-hearted, he had no idea what you were trying to pull. But I'm a girl and I know. You do too.
So, in girl terms, I'll put this plainly. Back the fuck off. Please and thank you.