My grief counselor suggested I start to journal my memories of Tim during the time he passed away each day to try to change the anxiety I've been having at that point into something positive. I thought I'd start with the things that drove me crazy about Tim. The things we fought over (& we had some nasty fights over the years), the things that I "hated" about him, the things I was always trying to get him to change or improve upon. Those are some of the things I now miss the most as I've realized that they were what made me fall even more in love with him, even as I wanted to throttle him at the time.
1. No matter how much he deserved for me to be mad at him and how wrong he was in a situation, I always felt guilty when I got angry with him. For instance, one night the last I heard from him he was on his way home from the Carolina game and should be back by 12:30-1am. Next thing I know it's 2:30am and he had yet to walk through the door, isn't answering his phone and I'm losing my mind thinking he got in a wreck (more on that later). When he finally called about 30 minutes later he's mad at me for bugging him while he's trying to have a good time (this is after I've been blowing up his phone with calls and texts). Apparently he decided to stop by a friends house on the way home and didn't take his phone inside. He had a way of spinning circumstances that by the end of the call I'm still mad as all get out at him, am berating him for scaring me like he did and feeling guilty and apologizing for freaking out on him. He would've made for an amazing lawyer with his slick way of turning a situation around without me ever realizing it until it was too late.
2. Tim REFUSED to ever admit he was wrong. I can't tell you how many times I would force an apology and make him retry it to me multiple times due to the apology being along the lines of "I'm sorry that you thought I should've called and it scared you that I didn't" granted I had to ask him if he even felt bad about what he did to get the weak apology. Every time after a fight though he'd do something small but sweet to show he was sorry, like offering for me to put my cold feet on him to warm up (usually no matter how asleep he was when I'd try I would get a "uh-uh get them off now").
3. Tim had a hot temper. One of his friends, jake, nicknamed him "Angry Tim" at one point due to that. His road rage in particular drove me crazy. Sometimes it was entertaining to watch him get worked up about the smallest thing, sometimes it would irritate me and sometimes my hot temper would also come out. What was funny about that was that Tim wanted everyone to think he was laid back and easygoing and I was completely uptight (which I am) when in fact he was just like me. In the last few months though I was surprised at how mellowed out he became, it seemed like he was growing out of angry Tim and finally becoming the easygoing person he always tried to portray.
4. Tim was VERY particular. I have major OCD issues that my friends like to make fun of, Tim liked everything to be just so in his own little way as much as, if not more so than I. I took full advantage of that in knowing he couldn't stand to see dishes on the counter or in the sink. I haven't loaded or unloaded a dishwasher (without company anyways) in almost 5 years. He also sorted laundry almost down to the color, whites, lights, reds, darks, blacks, sheets, towels, cleaning rags. Our washing machine and dryer never stopped but I never had to do laundry as he despised my idea of everything being permanent press all the time. I also shrunk a few of his shirts and forgot I was washing something leaving it in the washer for days on end so I was banned. Once he began doing laundry for us there were strict rules I had to follow about making sure everything was right side out. He also just recently got out of the 90s trend of wearing white t-shirts under everything but still had a ridiculous stockpile of them. He had two baskets of them in his closet his "good" ones and his "bad" ones. To this day I don't have a clue of what constituted a good vs bad white t-shirt. His love of order, however different than mine, kept my anxious OCD satisfied and me out of chores I despised.
5. Tim was a terrible driver. He always told me what an excellent driver he was but he could make me incredibly carsick driving from our house to Woodruff Rd. he always slammed on the gas, was heavy on the brake and took turns full speed ahead. He got in more accidents than I can count on the years we were together and I caught him watching movies on his navigation system as he drove down the road more than once. His car is a bit worse for the wear because of it. He always drove though, never complained about not feeling like it or just wanting to relax and be a passenger. For as many road trips as we took together, I rarely, if ever was the driver.
6. His favorite color was black. I don't know why this bugged me but it always did, secretly it's one of my favorites too even though I always tried to make him like blue more. In fact, in our new house I had it planned for our bathroom to be painted black just for him. He never got to see it but I was so looking forward to his face when he walked in for the first time.
7. His taste in music was TERRIBLE. You can literally ask any of his good friends about tims taste in music and all will just shake their heads. No one has ever been able to grasp how such a sweet and outwardly calm guy loved such hard and heavy music. I was drug to so many TOOL concerts, 93.3 Birthday Bashes, etc. and have never seen more horror in his eyes than when I told him that he was taking me to New Kids on the Block. Poor guy was miserable the entire time. He used to tell me his music calmed him down while it was making me an anxious mess but I find myself turning on his playlists more often than not these days and I finally understand the calm he spoke of. By no means is this my new favorite but I've finally garnered an appreciation for his music.
8. He would seat at bees, wasps, Hornets, etc. and never quite understood that he (& I) were much less likely to be stung if he stopped staging combat against them. He was stung once while mowing the grass which barely made a welt and you would've thought someone had chopped off his leg. However when I got stung multiple times after mowing over a nest a few years later, was yelling at him to open the door as I was standing on the porch ripping my pants off sure that the insects were still in there stinging me and welts all over my legs he couldn't have moved slower and told me not to freak out so much the next time.
9. He complained about every darn thing. The picture of him that is so amazing and we used for a lot of the service, obituary, etc. as well as the one of the two of us with his arms wrapped around me had him complaining the entire time about sweating, about walking, about having to have his picture taken. I learned that was just Tim and the way he functioned. I also learned how to goad him even more so if I had to hear the complaining, at least I got a good time out of it. For as much as he complained though, he put up with a lot of things I drug him to and through and although he'd complain to me fore, during and after, he never let anyone else hear him (unless a fellow compatriot gave him the leeway to complain to them that is).
10. He couldn't multitask, he couldn't even text and talk to me at the same time. Our dry cleaners knew us well due to the amount of time they'd have our stuff sitting with them before Tim would stop back by with his guilty but winning grin for forgetting yet again. He would get so flustered with me if I told him a list of things to do but he did love a good list and loved showing me the things he was able to check off. As I figured out that getting the tasks completed was a game for him I would've with him and give him a list that was impossible to complete in one day. He would bust his butt though to try to prove me wrong and get it all done.
I really could go on: he was the worlds worst bedhog (would claim he was on the edge when actuality it was his face on the edge while the rest of him was curled up across the diagonal of the bed), he was a notorious cover stealer and although all of the covers would be sagging off to his side of the bed every morning he would accuse me of stealing the covers all night (I did end up figuring out how to partially roll myself into the covers to protect from his attacks), he drank out of all the cartons (sorry to anyone that has been a guest at our house), he could never be in a room without the TV on (I miss turning on the TV and it always being on ESPN bc Tim had it last), he first hated my dog and kicked her out of my bed before falling madly in love with her (& she with him) to the point they would be hanging out in bed with no room for me to get in (we had a king) and so many more. Ultimately I miss those annoying things. If I had to fall into a toilet bowl in the middle of the night every single night bc Tim left the seat up again I would do it happily, I'd go to all of the horrible TOOL concerts where they play the same songs they played at the last one and some drunk idiot inevitably tries to play air drums on your head while your husband is too engrossed in the show to notice (true story), I'd be carsick every day just to have him back. To see that sweet smile grinning back at me as he tortured me yet again, for him to lean down in my ear and grumble about whatever it is he's having to do at that moment, for me to be banned to the other couch bc "it's daddy softer time".
There is a Portuguese word I ran into somehow years ago and it just recently came back into my thoughts. Back then I thought it was just a beautiful sentiment and I was amazed that there was no direct translation, no word in the English language of comparison. Now I live that word every day and completely understand its meaning:
Saudade It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing may never return. A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone 2missing, moved away, separated, or died.