Tonight I took Arianne and Remy out to dinner at Tommy's Restaurant while Dante was at jiu jitsu. It was a freezing cold early evening, with scattered showers. You were not going to find me running along the Ocean Beach tonight. What I really wanted to do was to get home, change into some sweats, and warm myself by the fake fireplace. But I didn't want to have Dante take the bus home on such a cold wet night, and the other kids seemed like they could use a fun dinner out.
The first thing I should have done was maybe have the two kids dine alone, as I was not very good company tonight. As my daughter had called it out during family therapy, I have begun the countdown to the six month mark which is Saturday, and I have been very quiet today. I think I have mentioned once before, Tommy's is a Mexican restaurant not far from the beach. Several years ago, Michael and I took my son Remy with us on a date there. We were out celebrating our "3 month" anniversary of dating, and had spent the day at the beach. Tonight was my first return there without Michael. I figured it had to happen at some point, as it is a favorite place of Remy's. I don't want to go around avoided places where we went in the past, as I want to continue to experience our favorite places with fond memories. This restaurant has very fond memories, as it is where Remy first asked if Michael and I were planning on getting married. Actually, it is where he asked Michael of his intentions with his dad, me.
When we first sat in the restaurant we noticed how the cold had followed us from outside. The kids sat on one side of the booth, myself on the other. Sitting there alone, freezing my ass off, made me begin to miss Michael terribly. I excused myself to visit the men's room, as I needed to take a short break from the intense feelings that were beginning to over take me. I ordered one of their extra strong margarita's, which is really the purpose of being at Tommy's after all. I privately toasted to Michael, then took my first sip. It felt kind of odd having a drink, as I have rarely had a drink in the past two years. Ever since Michael was diagnosed with his brain tumor, alcohol was something we pretty much gave up.
The taste of the tequila quickly reminded me of the last time I had one of these drinks, which was in Puerto Vallarta, November 2008. We were there on our honeymoon. And even though Michael wasn't feeling completely well, we had a wonderful time there. I remember sitting in an upstairs restaurant, looking out over the water, having margaritas. I didn't really want Michael having one, but he insisted, and it had been a wonderful day. If you are familiar with our story, you will know that Michael died one month short of our first wedding anniversary. In fact, I started this blog on our first wedding anniversary. It wasn't a total surprise really, we knew that he wasn't likely going to make it to a full year after our wedding. He wasn't suppose to even live as long as our wedding date, so I guess you could say he was always on borrowed time.
It seems that I say this so casually, yet I never really allowed myself to live in denial. I was always hopeful, but realistic. It was the only way I knew how to survive what we were facing. In some ways it hardly seems real. I look back at the photos from our wedding and honeymoon, realizing how recent they were. I look at Michael in those photos, looking so happy, looking so healthy. It's still hard to believe that he is gone.
At the restaurant tonight the kids were having lots of fun, laughing and joking around. I'm not sure if they noticed, but I was desperately fighting back tears. In fact, I'm not so sure I was very successful at holding them back. At one point Remy asked me what a margarita tasted like. I began to describe it to him, pointing out that it was bitter and sweet. I told him that while it had a sweetness to the drink, there was also lime and salt, which added a bitterness to it. While I was saying this I was thinking how this described my life. Sitting there at Tommy's, enjoying my margarita and good meal, I couldn't help but think I may have left out one significant ingredient in describing the taste to my son, extra salty, with a few scattered tears.