I miss watching baseball games with her. She could always be counted on to see something I had missed. Home runs aren't as much fun without her predictable reaction---a fist pumping in the air and an ear-splitting howl. She sure did love her Cardinals. Now watching their games I can only imagine what her responses are to home runs. Probably not the same.
I miss talking about the scene with her. Her number one "thing" was safety. She would preach on the subject to anyone who would listen. To her, if you were unsafe, you had no business spanking anyone. I even miss watching spanking videos with her. The things we always shared might have seemed mundane to many, but to me, any time I spent with her, especially toward the end when I knew she would be leaving soon, was precious.
I will miss her beautiful smile and her positive energy. She had what one friend called a "500 watt smile" and it was true. Carol, if you can believe it, was somewhat ashamed of her teeth but it didn't stop her from giving that toothy grin when the situation called for it. At the Crimson Moon and OND parties she attended, her warm personality won people over. I remember when her cancer was diagnosed six days before Christmas, 2005. We must have gotten 20 phone calls from Crimson Mooners asking how they could help and offering prayers and good wishes. At the following months' January party, a card was left in the public room and it seemed everyone signed it. I still have it. It's very precious to me. I don't know if our scene friends ever fully knew how much their love and support meant to us over the years, but it meant so much.
More than anything, I will miss her companionship. I do things alone now that we used to do together and somehow, it's not the same. I know I'll adjust, but for now, it seems like a lot of the joy has gone out of my life. I'm planning on attending next months' Crimson Moon party even though I've never gone to a party without her. I wonder how I'll feel. I considered leaving the scene altogether but thought better of it. I still have a life to live, after all. As much as I miss her, life has got to go on. And the spanking scene is part of my life; a part I can't see myself ever going on without ever again.
I'll miss her spot-on observations and the sensible advice she always gave. To me, she was the epitome of practicality. I tend to get somewhat frivolous and I could always count on her to bring me back to reality. She always knew how to gently deflate my ego if it got too big.
I'll miss her laugh. It was deep and throaty and completely spontaneous. It was also sometimes inappropriate. But it was always genuine. She never forced it. I can still hear it if I close my eyes and sit really still.
I'll miss watching her with her cats. She was so sweet with them. She had a special voice she spoke to them in, which she never used at any other time. She would sit and caress them, even though I knew she felt miserable. Toward the end, when the pain and nausea never let up, she was too weak and too ill to pay them the attention she always had before. But her cats stayed on her bed with her, each one in her usual spot, even though she was oblivious to their presence. They miss her as much as I do.
I'm grateful that the Lord gave me the years I had with her. Do I wish there had been more? Of course. We both planned on living to be 100. One thing I've learned about cancer over the years---it always seems to win. Even people who survive it seem to live with the fear of it coming back; coming back to claim what's theirs. So in a way, there's no real life after cancer. Not the way it was before anyway. A lot of survivors say that cancer taught them to count their blessings and to live each day to the fullest. Maybe this is true. But it seems small recompense compared to the things cancer robs you of. Not just the person who has it. But their loved ones as well. I will not miss the feeling of helplessness that always seem to come over me with each new hurdle. I will not miss the fear, unspoken, but always there, that came with each new finding. Watching her decline was the hardest thing I've ever done. Watching her go from a vibrant, vital and active woman into a shell of what she had been caused me so much anger and sadness I almost can't describe it.
I always said I didn't want to have regrets. But I have them. I regret that I didn't see the signs of impending death in her until a hospice nurse gave me a book to read which laid them out for me. If I had known how close she was to the end, I would have done a few things differently. All that really matters now is that she is beyond cancer's grip now. It can't hurt her or rob her of anything ever again. She has been made whole and has been healed. She has gone on to a place where there's no cancer, no CT scans, no needle sticks, no waiting for test results.
As much as I would like to have closure, I don't think I'll ever close the book on her entirely. I think I will always have a place in my heart for her. A place that only she was ever able to touch or knew about. I present a tough, no-nonsense facade to the outside world, but she knew where my vulnerabilities were. I never allowed anyone else into those places. There were hurts that only she understood and only she could soothe them. More than anyone in my life, she knew the "real" me. I don't think anyone will ever know me like she did.
So I guess it will take time for me to come to grips with my "oneness". I've always been used to being part of a pair. I know it's hard for singles to understand, but multiples know what I'm talking about. When Carol passed away, the very moment her last breath escaped her, I felt something slam through my soul like a sledge hammer. It's a feeling I couldn't describe if you gave me a hundred chances at it. I feel a part of me died that day. What a beautiful presence she was. And how much sadder the world is now that she's gone.