Another Holiday Without Robo

I cannot believe it’s been a year. I couldn’t blog on the anniversary. It hit me pretty hard. I spent the day remembering, hour by hour reliving everything. My brain wouldn’t let me NOT do that. Everyone around me is planning Christmas and I am trying to be cheerful about it all. We never decorated the house for Christmas — I guess not having kids spared us of that obligation. But we always treated ourselves to one spectacular “house present” every year, ranging from airline tickets for a planned Las Vegas trip to a new HD TV and everything in between. Last year, we had planned to treat ourselves to a fine steak dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse. I had even printed out the menus and Robo had already begun fantasizing about his dinner. But that never happened. And I got caught up in the funeral arrangements and my own hospitalization at the same time — so that the holidays last year were just a big blur. This year I have more time to brood about it, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. Not consciously, you understand. but I just cannot help it.

A friend called me tonight and invited me to a New Year’s eve party she and her husband are throwing. I kind of want to go; they are a great couple and we so seldom get to visit, but there are two things holding me back. (1) I dislike driving at night now unless I have to because my eyesight has gotten so bad, but more importantly, (2) I know myself and I know that when people start counting down to midnight, I’ll be remembering all the New Years Eves Roberto and I counted down together and I’ll probably cry and spoil it all for them, and I really don’t want to do that. She knew Roberto too, so I may just explain to her that I am not staying to midnight, but want to come and have a short visit. That way, we can catch up a bit, and I can go home and marinate in my sorrow.

One of the best Christmases we ever spent was post-injury. In 2004, Robo’s sister invited us up to her Hill Country home for the weekend and most especially a home-cooked Christmas dinner. As we always did, we brought our cat, Sunny, with us. He was a great traveler and the perfect house guest. The dinner and companionship of Robo and his siblings was something Roberto remembered every year thereafter.

New Years Eves … will Robo and I seemed to do those up well every year. One year, when we still lived in San Antonio, we snuck up to my office building, into one of the partners’ offices on an upper floor of the highrise overlooking the San Antonio River, and watched the fireworks display. Another time, right after midnight one year, Robo jumped up from the sofa and told me to pack a bag, we’re driving to Louisiana to go gambling. That was when he still did all the driving. I threw some underwear and a change of clothes for both of us into a duffle and we hit the road. Ay, Robo. I sure will miss you come New Years’s Eve. Even more than I do right now.

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