|E and the boys take to the sky|
It’s the kind of trip you do when you just get stuck with it, if the scheduling wheel of fortune doesn’t offer you something that’s a more productive use of your time. When we hit town, we opted to get a cab instead of taking the subway to the Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side as we were already delayed because of weather and we wanted to start enjoying our brief stint in the city. We proceeded to spend $40 on doughnuts, then we wandered around looking at Big Apple crazy, then we took a cab back to the hotel as we just couldn’t bear to sit on the subway after stuffing our faces and walking around. We kept pointing out our folly, how ridiculous it was that we spent more money than we made working the trip on cabs and doughnuts. I had just put the Old Camera app on my phone, so we had to commemorate our ridiculousness in sepia tone splendor.
I didn’t grasp then how blessed I was to be on such a goofy adventure. I do now.
The last time I saw Robbie was at the end of July, seeing Heart at Ravinia, a beautiful ampitheater north of Chicago. He greeted me as he always did, with a big hug and kiss. We listened to the Wilson sisters tear through some classics, enjoyed some great summer weather with friends, food, wine, and jibber jabber. Robbie and I had some time to chat alone, where we decided to both sit in a friend’s camping chair together, which was oodles of hilarity until we broke the arm off of it. When we went our separate ways, we hugged and swore we would put together a slumber party plan soon.
One of the main things that gives me peace, that keeps me from losing my shit on the regular over all of this, is that the house of our friendship was in order. There was no question how we felt, there was nothing I wished I’d said or that I hadn’t said; there was simply unwavering support and adoration and love. We were always honest with one another. It was perfectly fine to be tired, or pissed off, or bummed out, or confused, as long as it was genuine. We just accepted each other as is, without question.
When I feel overcome with sadness, which is a daily occurrence, I take solace in the fact that having his love in my life for eight years was an amazing gift. He taught me so much about acceptance, about kindness, about friendship. At his memorial, I was comforted by seeing so many people who felt the same way about him, an army of people who knew exactly how special he was. The harshest blow I’ve been dealt in this life was made much more bearable with the help of true friends, who are the family that we choose.
“To live on in hearts we leave behind is not to die,” wrote Scottish poet Thomas Campbell. Robbie lives on in everyone who ever loved him….when we eat fried chicken, when we drink bourbon, when we hear Tori Amos, when we finish a race, when we change the lyrics to songs to make people laugh, when we see Susan Sarandon, whose Arandon is truly the greatest Arandon around. We carry our memories of Robbie forever, and mine will always be sweeter than a bag of big city doughnuts.