We survived our weekend. The dutchkid was a perfect angel for the long day of driving. Our friends are doing well, and it was very good to see them. Sitting around, talking about some old times. I love it when you just pick up right where you left off, even if it has been a year or more since you’ve seen each other face to face. Dh and I even had some quality conversation in the car on the way home, which was nice. It seems so often that we spend our lives talking about the day-to-day nonsense of life.
On our way home, we decided to eat at a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant we used to frequent. It hasn’t changed a bit. I was just congratulating myself that I had managed to just enjoy the day without walking too far down memory lane. Then I remembered: the last time we ate at that restaurant was with a couple who we lost touch with long ago. C. was killed in Afghanistan, and afterwards my friendship with his wife was never the same. Our friendship had started disintegrating before that happened, my dh’s “failure” had changed things (or maybe just changed me)… but I don’t know that I’ll ever recover from the guilt of having my dh alive while hers was dead. We had struggled through infertility together, trying to cope with the stress of fertility treatments around deployments. I was newly pregnant at his funeral.
We kept in contact for several months after that, but by the time the dutchkid was born the phone calls had stopped. I often try to rationalize my reluctance to call her or even email by telling myself that if I were in her situation, I wouldn’t want to talk to me. I don’t want to torture her by trying to assuage my own guilt. I might have to try again one last time. Just to tell her we were there. How I remembered us laughing about the “mystery meat” tacos. How I remembered her and I sitting there as our dh’s joked with the waiters in Spanish. How I remembered him.