There have been several memes that state you are either one of the two types of email users. The first type of email user has 1,345,675 unread emails, and nothing is ever deleted. I, on the other hand, am the latter type of user who only has unread emails that require my attention and I delete what isn’t needed. Per the regular monthly purge of online orders, shipping notifications, and receipts, there was your name: Ben Hankins with the subject “To Answer Some of Your Questions.” Against my better judgment and complete loss of willpower, I opened it and read the following words:
To Answer Some of Your Questions
Looking back to the first time we met in that coffee shop, I knew there was something special going on between us, but I remember wondering if you thought so too. I can still remember, clear as day, what your face looked like… you were perfect and beautiful. I didn’t even care about the horrible drink you picked out for me. I gladly drank it just so I could keep talking to you, nervous as I was. Then the infamous ear-kiss happened and I 100% KNEW that you weren’t interested and you would never talk to me again.
I guess I was wrong. Now when I think about you, I think about how perfectly matched we are, almost alarmingly similar to each other. I know how guarded you are with your feelings and I know most of what’s happened to you in the past. You certainly haven’t had it easy. When I think about those things you’ve told me about, it makes me so incredibly sad, to the point where all I want to do is grab onto you and hold you. It might be because I don’t know what to say in those moments, but I think it has more to do with how much I love and care for you and I hate knowing those things happened to you. But they’ve made you who you are today. Silver lining, I guess.
I know the hardest thing in the world for you is opening up, sharing your feelings and pain. When you do share those things with me, you are giving me a gift. Not because I enjoy hearing about your pain, but because you are giving of yourself in the most selfless and vulnerable way possible. That has been how I’ve learned how much you really do love and care for me… I know you don’t offer those memories to many. They are safe with me.
Hopefully, I can find a way to repay that amount of selflessness and vulnerability. At this moment in time though, all I can offer is to tell you how much I love you, that you are my future and you’re all I want for the rest of my life (even if it means driving out to Wentzville). I can’t wait to start on this next chapter of our lives together by getting engaged, building our home together, and by adding another piece (or two) to our family.
Forgive the cliche, but I love you with all my heart and soul, more than life itself. I only wish I was better about falling quiet sometimes during certain situations. It’s not because I’m unhappy. In fact, it’s closer to the opposite. I just tend to clam up at the worst possible moments (probably not the ideal trait). When you look at me and ask “something’s wrong… what’s wrong???” I am usually a little surprised because nothing is wrong, babe. Nothing has been wrong since the day I stepped into that coffee shop.
I love you now and forever.
The sting of these wonderful, thoughtful words hit me harder than I thought possible. Yet, serves as a beautiful reminder of how he loved me. A glimpse back to the time I had with him, and it was real. The pain of losing Ben will probably never completely go away. I have to remember everything that made losing him so hard. It is so easy to focus on the pain and loss, but we have to remember the good memories and the times that took our breath away. It is the old saying, “Don’t cry because it is over, but smile because it happened.”
I don’t share this email to prove my relationship was better than yours, I share it because this is the reminder I needed to know that Ben was real. Treasure the things you have from those who have passed because they are all we have to remember their time in our life.