My Thomas died September 28th, 2020. The writer in me has me thinking. This means questions, and seeking answers. I ask myself, “What do I know about this?” Then. I think, “Life like anything we do, has no instructions. In this case on how to mourn the loss of someone we love.” That leads to reflecting on who Thomas was! It leads to who were we for each other. My life I quickly tell people, was full of love and laughter! But there was much more to our relationship because we were so into one another, and we both had curiosities we felt safe to talk about such as being male and female and what that all meant. We concluded it should be about being human beings, and that being male or female was something two people could talk about and learn from. He gave me incites into maleness. And over 22 years I learned about who he was. I loved and adored Thomas. That was never hard to do! He so openly gave to me his heart. And I gave him my own. We both felt so fortunate to have each other. Thomas had ADHD. I was his counter weight, and he let me into what that meant for him in honest ways. I learned that for him he had to do end runs around this part of his personality. I saw it this way, “Hell! Ya! You see often non-ADHD people would like to do or say the same kind of things! We lack__thank goodness at times the compulsive need to say or do things that others do not understand. Unless you have been open with them. My observance was that it was like having tics. There were fun things about living with an ADHD person as well. We made notes about those times and they became something we found humor with. I would tell him. I love who you are! Something I had told my children. The thought is that it personally directed my feelings, and encompassed the person I felt love towards. It made loving them exclusive to who each one was. Is it not who someone is that we love? If you love someone for who they are you accept them, and know they are evolving like you are. Like we all are. It changes the approach, and how you see others. It is even forgiving to love some others for who they are. As it’s focus is why you love something about someone. Not their words or actions, which they are accountable for. The realities we acquire are what we come to believe as the truest possibilities. And those possibilities are what we come to believe, The problem is the lack of time to say all we might, should, would or could. The world has us condensing our words and actions. Thomas and I rebelled against this by talking about everything. Other people we learned do not have this same ability or desire to really know us or themselves, or others. We both I think were seen as different. Neither could change how the world was perceived, nor after much talk__we did not want to change who were were. There was no need to because we understood one another. We had a certain rarity. This gave us the deep, deep love we felt. I think that is why I feel this great sense of contentment. I am not giving into the fleeting idea that somehow it is wrong to feel contentment. It is knowing how loved I have been that this contentment stems from. It is a sense of warmth. There is sadness too, but I know it does not have to become this deeply depressed “thing”. I have been depressed before. At 65 I can not afford to be depressed anymore! I say this as I have survived great hurts, and it was Thomas who filled my life with love and laughter that I was able to have a letting go process of these deeply hurtful things. I was able to help him too with what hurt him. Listening with compassion, even if a thing is said over and over…somethings “it” needs to be said over and over so it gets defined and condensed. In this it becomes defining and how you feel is no longer volumes of books but a sentence or two. These sorts of thing with your best friend gives the reasons to deeply trust, and believe in another. They give reasons to love more deeply, wholly. Trust and respect that dearest friend such as Thomas and I were for one another. How we were with each other in these matters added to our fireworks! Like long foreplay as one creates by intimacy and romantic endeavors. Deep belief and trust, respect give you this extra means. So that just a touch, a simple kiss will ignite the spark when you are so fully into one another. That has been rare. We metamorphosed with age but what the outer shell was never matters as much as who we are inside. This is what I miss. But it is also what I remember very well. This makes me smile. This give me contentment and warmth. It give me Thomas! For I know how special it all has been. Thomas supported anything I wanted to do. He made many things possible! He embraced and love my children as if they were his own! And that made me love him even more! He would do things because he wanted to do so for them, freely from his heart. He did them too because that was the same kind of kindness his own parents had shown him. He had learned how to be their friend too. His mothers especially. His relationship with his mother gave him incites into femininity I feel. She called him her best friend, and she longed for the boy that came home and swung himself onto the four poster bed where they would talk openly. We talked about how she missed that. I loved that they had, had that kind of relationship. There is a saying about “you learn a lot by how a man treats his own mother.” This went well, but once a year when they would have a shouting match to settle unsaid hurts if any or to iron out thoughts. My observance. I think for his mothers part like me she knew Thomas needed to release some of his thoughts. So she was willing to argue with him once a year! Then, “he could move to Alaska! But Pam would stay here!” I think she knew it was hard for him to see her age. I know he dearly loved her and so did I. And we loved the Dad. Life had not been easy growing up for Thomas or his brother. Nor was it easy for me. Nor was my first marriage. The one compulsive question from living what ever life we live is “What did I learn from living my life?” What we experience certainly impacts us. We move away from the things that hurt as soon as we can make sense of why we need to do so.
The one thing that feels like it should make us sad are the things we regret not doing. These are things we must let go of. And think on all the good things we did do!
By Pamela Nunes, in honor of Thomas Edwin Nunes.