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Remembering N

N and I met about 10 years ago. We met at work, he came in as a contractor on one of the projects I was on. We became instant friends. We’d sit and talk for hours. Because he started early in the day, we’d often have breakfast and lunch together and since he got off earlier than I did, if he didn’t have to go home right away, he’d sit in my office with me, and we’d talk until it was time for me to go home.

He had 3 kids, all older than my one kiddo. We often did things, the 6 of us. His kids and my daughter tried to convince us we needed to get married. I think they thought marriage was about a mom and dad, being with the kids. If  thats all it took, we might as well have gotten married, but he and I knew there was more to a marriage that that. On nights he didn’t have his kids, he’d come over to my house, usually for dinner, often to help with homework. On weekends when he’d have to work, I’d take his kids with me somewhere.

We grew to be great friends. After nasty divorces for both of us, both of us were gun shy and neither wanted to jump in to anything serious. I didn’t learn until later that he heard something at work about me going out with one of the guys at work.

He mentioned this during a phone call a while later. This is also when he told me he was dating someone else…  because he thought I was too. And he also told me he had cancer, but not to worry about him, the doctors were optimistic, and he was going to beat it.

We talked a few times over the next couple months. Knowing he had a girlfriend, I didn’t want to be a bother. I also tried to keep up on his current status with the guys who were still contracting in my office. But they didn’t stay around forever.

On a gut feeling I checked the internet, N had passed away the month before.

I was in shock… sad…. and wishing I could have said goodbye. I never said it then…. I loved you! 

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