I've always believed in signs. Very few things are coincidences to me; most occurrences have meanings. When I lost Jon, I was convinced our bond, our connection would continue. I thought I'd feel him around me every single day... that he'd find ways to send me messages or dreams to help guide me along this horrific process. I've shared with you a few moments I have experienced in which I really felt Jon's presence, but what I may not have communicated is that overall, I've been sort of disappointed. It started the moment I knew he was gone. It was such a profound feeling of loss. Of emptiness. And the undeniable truth that he was no longer there.
People always told me that they thought Jon and I were extremely connected. We even had a few strangers come up to us and say we just looked like we belonged together. (One being a random xray tech). And they weren't talking about physically. It was just a fact.
I haven't had any dreams since about two weeks after he died. I feel Jon within me -- in the ways that he changed me, and the person I am. I feel him when I'm laughing at something I know he'd crack up at. I feel him when I'm excited because the Knicks just won. I feel him when I know a little bit more of what to say to a patient I'm taking care of, simply because I have watched someone go through it firsthand. I feel him because he is a part of me. But as far as spiritual encounters, so far I haven't experienced much. I was in the shower earlier this evening and set my iPod to shuffle (which I never do).
Out of 796 songs, the first one that came on had no real meaning to me. When it was just about finished, I thought to myself, "Jon, please send me a 'Jon song'." Three seconds later, the next song to play was "City Lights" by Jon and his band Almost 6'6". Out of 796 songs, 19 of them are Jon's band. Coincidence, perhaps. But regardless, it was exactly what I needed to be reminded that Jon is present. That he hears me. That was incredibly comforting, and also heartbreaking. He can't be that far away, can he?
Take a look inside yourself
cuz deep down ya know there's no one else
decide who u wanna be
cuz no ones ever gonna let you be
This new reality. This new "normal"... it's not easy to get used to. It still shakes me to the core and catches me off guard sometimes that Jon is not coming back. Though I know it every second of every day, sometimes the simple thought of it is enough to bring on a sudden flow of tears. I'm starting to realize this isn't going to get easier. It's just a part of me. It's a part of everyone who loved him. And we are all just trying our best.
I know what I had. And I appreciate it more than I can explain. I don't think most people get to experience love like that. So I wonder if I'll ever be loved like that again. I don't say that to be dramatic or to look for pity, I just don't know what the odds are. Then again, I never was one for statistics.
No one will ever be Jon. And that's okay. I don't want another Jon. If I could have Jon, himself, then obviously there's no question. But I'm a different person. I look at life differently. I look at myself differently. I hope there is is someone out there who will love me even half as much as Jon did.
I know that going through what I went through doesn't necessarily give me license to say whatever I want, but sometimes it's so frustrating to be surrounded by people who don't appreciate what they have. I am severely bothered by people who settle, by people who don't see their own potential. I am so utterly impressed by people who take chances. I am disappointed in people who act like they have all the time in the world. Jon and I always knew there was a possibility of tragedy in our story -- and so maybe that's part of why we tried to appreciate our love a little bit more. We had our moments, for sure, where we acted petty or childish and took one another for granted. And looking back, I wish I could have treasured every moment just a little bit more. It will never be enough. And I will never get those moments back. But what I know for sure is, he knew he was loved. And so did I. And that kept us going through so many difficult moments. In our silliness, we called it a "love forcefield", and as funny as that may sound, it was.
There was never a time Jon was standing in front of me where he couldn't see the love in my eyes. We were generous with our kind words, with our "I love you's", with our hand squeezes and knowing looks. And when we fought, we fought hard...and always ended up back on the same team in the end. I'm so very proud of us. And I wish, with all of my heart people would take our story and change the way they live their lives.
You don't get handed love every day. Connections don't form easily. I think coincidences are far less common than we lead ourselves to believe. Take a moment to realize what's around you -- what gifts you've been handed. Focus less on doing the "right thing", or what people might think, and listen to your heart. There's a reason it beats fast sometimes . . . you can't use your mind to rationalize your way out of those feelings. Tell people how you feel -- out loud. Don't hold grudges. Hug tightly. Think less, feel more. Yell. Cry. Laugh. Hold onto the people who keep you sane. Recognize it when you find the person who makes you whole.
Yes, Jon and I knew our time was threatened. But isn't everyone's?
"Find what you live for . . . "