Matt, Today is December 31st. The final day of 2018. I’m fighting my demons. Trying to stay away from that dark place where I sit on that slippery slope. The place where memories become almost too painful that I fight to keep them out of my head.
Our last New Years Eve was in 2014. We were one thousand miles apart. I was sitting watching the snow fall and the ball drop welcoming 2015 into our lives. You were sitting on a beach attending an outdoor NA meeting. Two different places but with hearts connected. We spoke briefly. I told you how proud I was of you and your new found sobriety. We talked about how your life was finally getting back on track. We talked about our expectations for 2015 and started the count down until we would see each other again. I was so looking forward to getting out of this cold and joining you on a sunny beach.
We ended our call with I love you’s as we always did. I saw your Facebook post about doing the right thing. You were posting about attending a meeting on New Years Eve instead of partying. My heart was so happy to read those words. My hope for 2015 was to have you back. That my amazing Matt was coming back to the surface. The Matt I knew before the demons took over your soul. Gazing at the stars on that crisp night, I sent a prayer to the heavens to keep you safe. I feel asleep thinking we had survived your addiction and this New Year would bring us both peace.
Two days later you were dead. January 3rd of 2015. That day hopes and dreams for a happy new year shattered at my feet. That day my soul shattered like a glass thrown against a concrete wall. In too many pieces to salvage.
So here I am facing another New Years Eve with only memories to sooth my broken heart. Facing the fact that January 3rd is coming again. Reality is difficult to comprehend. The fact that 2018 will be gone in the blink of an eye, at the drop of a ball, as smiling people begin their resolutions for this New Year.
My heart is jealous of the happy crowds. Those people who have no idea how painful it is to watch 2014 or 2018 disappear to the count of ten. Ushering in a New Year is not what I want to do. I want that ball to go backward. I want that ball not to drop but to travel back in time. I want the new year to be an old year returning to when you were alive.
A month after you died, I received a box from Florida. It contained a few of your personal possessions. As I opened the box, your smell surrounded my being. The hat you wore to your meeting on New Years Eve was staring back at me. Immediately that photo of you flashed through my brain. I could see your smiling face as you blew a horn welcoming in 2015.
I can’t tell you how many times through the year I’ve run my hands over your hat. I cover my face searching for your scent. I hold that hat close to my heart as if I’m giving you a New Years hug.
Tonight I will let my tears flow at will. Tonight I will gaze at the stars sending a prayer that you are at peace spending this night celebrating in heaven. Tonight I allow myself to feel what I feel taking each moment as I can. Tonight watching the ball drop will be a painful reminder that time does not stop marching on……..