A friend from my high-school years e-mailed: "There is, still, some curiosity toward what about the man contributed to the depth of relationship you two shared."
And I replied:
I don’t know if that comment was only from you or from others, but it made me think. I guess what happened is that we were kind of set adrift – without family or close friends – when we decided to move to Houston. You know, many of us have long-time friends that we have had for years. Well, we still retained those friends (only the closest ones, as the years went on), but only made a few friends that we would ever grow so close to in our lifetime, here in Houston. We have both always treasured family and friends, and we had that in common.
So, anyway, in the absence of “old” friends, I guess we developed into each other’s best friends. We enjoyed a lot of the same things – browsing at antique malls, being the keepers of our family momentos/old photos/etc., listening to music – he really knew the “family trees” of old rock groups, had common political leanings, etc. I used to think we spent too much time together and would sometimes plead for a little “alone” time (little did I know that I would have more than I wanted). I loved to cook, he was very good at barbecuing, and he always assisted in the kitchen (chopping up onions and celery and other veggies is time-consuming, and he would willingly do those things). He wasn’t afraid to do laundry, wash dishes or do other mundane things that some guys will not even attempt. He was a good and fair partner and a very loving, warm, humorous guy. His sense of humor is what first attracted me to him.
I’m not trying to bestow sainthood on him, by any means. But I guess you don’t appreciate what you have – what WE had – until that is taken away from you. I don’t think I’ll see these qualities in one man, ever again. And I miss him. I miss his fairly reliable once- or twice-a-day phone calls. I can’t remember his voice, so I have to call the house to hear the message he recorded. It is so difficult, and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.