On March 1, eighteen years ago, Paul and I finished the cross-country drive from Houston to Mountain View. After a year and a half of rekindling our relationship long-distance, I was leaving my life in Texas and moving to California to be with him. But when five days on the road were over, and I walked into the rather spartan apartment he’d rented for us, I wailed, “I want to go home.” Paul, being Paul, held me close while I cried, and then figured out how to soothe my fear and homesickness. And home became the life that we made together, first in the Bay Area, and later here in Seattle.
Each of the past seventeen years, March 1 was one of several anniversaries Paul and I celebrated.
Today, as I made my coffee and fed the cats and chickens and did chores around the house and cried more than a few times, I kept thinking I want to go home. But I can’t, because home isn’t Houston or California, or even our lovely old house in Seattle. Home is Paul’s chest to cry on when I’m sad or tired or scared (which I am much of the time these days), and the ways he knew to soothe me… and so much more. And I can’t have that home ever again.