Last night when I got home Mike's dad had stopped by and brought an old picture of Mike to show Emily. Mike chased Emily around the house trying to get the picture from her so she wouldn't share it with the world on facebook. She finally brought the picture to me and I laughed at how adorable he was. I then looked at the picture and told him how similar he looked at this age to the boy I once dated that took his own life. I am sure that sounded odd to him, but he knows how much I love him personally and that this was a long time ago. I then asked him to get down my old trunks from the attic. Since he loves me so much he braved the dirty attic and brought them down.
Emily and I spent hours in my living room floor sorting through my old items from my past. I had my baby blanket, my teddy bear, old pictures, newspaper clippings, drawings from friends, my old phone list (since we didn't have smart phones), posters that hung in my wall, my mums, and so much more. Most of it is falling apart now, but she still enjoyed looking at it all. Then she started flipping through my yearbooks and she had the best laughs at how big our hair was in the 80's and 90's. We read over all the signatures from my friends and I laughed at all the memories I had. She snapped pictures of her friends parents that were in my annuals and sent them via text. Then I pulled out the news clipping of the boy that lost his life. She looked at it and said "he does resemble Mike's picture". She quickly read through the notification about the tragic incident and handed the paper back to me. I then scanned through all the letters his parents sent me encouraging me to carry on and have a fulfilled life. I remembered how hard it was to deal with his loss and how long it took me to feel okay again. I remembered when I finally let go of the heartache that I was standing in the dark over a small stream and I let a bunch of our notes go. I watched them float away and I guess at the time it was my way of watching the pain go with them. I have always encouraged Emily to come to me with any issues she may have. I have also encouraged her to never think someone is just "kidding" about committing suicide and to tell someone ASAP. I made the mistake of waiting. Twenty five years ago today I found out the hard way that you never think someone won't follow through.
I thanked Emily last night. I looked at her and tried to keep myself composed but felt a few tears run down my cheek. I said "Emily there was probably something in my subconscious that realized before I did that it's been 25 years ago and that's the reason I wanted my trunks. However, you turned what could have been a really sad time into something I will always remember fondly. I had the best time looking through all my old stuff and laughing......so thank you". She smiled and said "I really had a great time too!" It was priceless.