I still believe that for me it would have been better if we had met. I believe it would have made his loss more bearable if I could remember what it was like to look into his eyes, to remember what it was like to feel his hand in mine, to remember what it was like to be held in his arms, to remember what it was like to kiss his lips instead, these are all the moments that never happened and now never will. I have always said that it is the things I didn't do that will leave me with regrets rather than the things I did do, and this is a perfect example of that. Twice we were in the same place and missed each other. Once he saw me, but I didn't see him. Forever I will wonder what if we had...
He told me during his last fishing trip in Florida prior to going overseas that the guys were teasing him as he went into stores looking at things for me. I still wonder what those things were or would have been. He had told people we were "seeing" each other which always made me laugh--as it did him, too--since we'd never seen each other other than on Facebook or when he saw me tailgating before a Browns game and didn't have the balls to come up and say anything. Though, he did message me to ask me if I saw him and told me what I was wearing since he saw me.
Before he left, he sent me an email that said, "I picked up a book for ya, I'll send it your way...I think I left it at the office, but I'll definitely have a runt get it to ya or mail it...;-) It made me think of you and I finished reading it ;-)." I remember asking him to at least tell me the name of the book in case it never did get to me. He never told me and the book never arrived. It's the things like that which leave me with more questions than I have answers.
Joseph would say things that made me feel special and significant and loved. When he left he told me he wanted me to not wait for him. To move on and find true love. To not put my life on hold. At the same time, when I tried to do what he asked me to do, he was hurt and slowly stepped out of my life. The last communication via email I got from him was 12/09/10. When I emailed him at the end of January, 2011, his email was deleted completely and my message bounced back. He would still comment on my blog from time to time, but the last note I had from him here was on 06/08/11. On August 16, just before 9 PM EDT, I read the email from his mom which let me know that, "We lost him in a helicopter accident weeks ago."
I want to share a few of things from emails I got from Joseph:
"You had me at Hello, not Oracle..." in reference to a previous comment he'd made to me, "You lost me at Oracle" during a chat we were having where I was explaining what I do and the state of the industry in which I work.
"I'm just REALLY thankful to have met you, and yes I'm going to be leaving, and yes we may never have that shot we possibly deserve, but you deserve great things, you are great person, you deserve success, and hell even a white picket fence ;-)"
"I don't want you to have restless nights, I don't want you to wait for me, because honestly - I'm not coming back."
"I could die here tomorrow, and you wouldn't even know. There is no one else, I just cant be what you want. I love you and I'll write as much as I can."
"I'll never lose faith/hope in you and us, because you are regarded as one of my BEST friends....and I think you're GORGEOUS!!!"I wish I still had access to the pics on Facebook, our conversations there or some of the chat sessions we had over our short-lived romance and really allow you to see the man I fell in love with. I hope I have done him some justice, but there is so much more to who he is. He was thoughtful, had a great sense of humor, he was intelligent and well-spoken, he was intuitive and insightful, he listened as much as he spoke, he was everything I ever wanted and more than I had ever hoped for. We had an instant connection and rapport and because of all that he was, I want nothing less that that from my forever. I am not looking for a "Joseph", but I am looking for someone with whom I can connect just like that. Someone who gets me. Someone who sees me. Someone I want to be the first person I tell all my secrets to and share all of my joys and sorrows with. My everything. I had Joseph for just a short while, but he was the best man I have ever given my heart to! Thank you, Joseph, for being all that you were and not being afraid to give all of yourself to me! I will always love you and always remember what you gave me...happiness...love...belonging! xoxox
I'll leave you with a quote that he said was one of his favorites by Tolstoy: "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." My favorite Tolstoy quote is, "Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them." And hope that Tolstoy is right, but I could use some healing. And one final to remind me what I learned about real love as it was with Joseph: "When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you'd like them to be."