Frank dropped me a note just a couple of weeks ago, right before my surgery. He wished me luck, told me not to be nervous, and to call if I needed to. I did need to call him, and I meant to, and I didn’t.
I would sign away a year of my life right now for that phone call, and when I got it, I would make it last as long as I could. We would talk for hours upon hours. We would talk until our voices literally gave out, until even our hoarse whispers faded away, and then we’d just listen to each other breathe until our phones lost their battery power.
Over the last few days, my friends and family have been wonderful. They’ve been checking in and offering support of all kinds, particularly to listen if I need to talk. And I do need to talk. But I can’t, not the way I really need to. I can tell them that the service was incredible, that it lasted for nearly seven hours, that it was very helpful for me to be there to see how many people were touched by his life and to hear their stories and share some of my own. I can tell them that I’m doing a little better, that I think I’ll probably eat and sleep a little tonight.
But the one I really want to talk to about it all will never pick up a phone again. I have had countless conversations with him in my head this week. I want to talk to him about how I’m feeling and get his reassurances that it’ll get better. I want to gossip about his wake. I want to ask him a thousand questions. I want to tell him that the days are getting better, but nights are the worst, when it’s quiet and I’m alone and no one else is around. I want to talk about things I can’t even bring myself to write about now, and my writing is usually so much better and more fluid than my talking.
Even criminals get a phone call. I want mine.