Today I’m heart broken. It’s a necessary heart break. My best friend in the world for the last 5 years is an indomitable source of strength to me. This is a woman who on some level I have loved her more then words could express since the day I’ve met her. I say this with out fear of what her boyfriend will think because I know him, and he’s an awesome dude, and he knows my bond with Tab. I know he understands that by love I mean that I love her on a level where I can’t imagine life with out her in it. That I am her Johnny, and I always will be, just as she is and always will by my Tabetha. She’s a woman that has never been selfish even once in the five years I’ve known her, she has given, and given, and asked for nothing in return, and yet tonight she admitted to me she wanted to be. The fact that my absence necessary as it maybe for the next year, drives her to tears. That was heart wrenching. I’ve seen this woman cry exactly twice in the few years in which she’s been a major player in my life. The first time she did it was the result of a person who I honestly am glad I was prevented from going after, because that would have ended poorly for every one involved. The second time was just this past July, and that ended in her spilling out of her saddle into my waiting arms. (she was in pain like a lot of it and I was there to catch her.)
This next year will be as hard on me as I know it will be on her. I will do every thing in my power to fight and see to it that I get to at least a couple of events if I’m able, and I won’t tell her I’m coming, because I want to see the expression of joyful shock on her face when I walk up to her and give her that timid ‘I missed you’ smile. I will miss the late nights, where I can’t sleep, she knows it, and comes out of the tent for a few minutes to sit with me at the campfire. I’ll miss the early mornings where I hand her a cup of coffee with sugar and creamer in it just the way she likes it, and tell her ‘you look very pretty this morning Petey’ and she gives me that ‘hush you’ smile as she glances over the coffee cup at me between sips. I’ll miss coming back to camp exhausted after the battle, helping her tend to Diamond, and then we collapse on opposite sides of her saddle and share it as a pillow for a little cav nap. I’ll miss most of all above each of these the times where I seem to be the only one who can read her. So I’ll walk into her tent, knowing she’s feeling ill, and feeding her gatoraid and water in short sips and just sitting with her soothing back her hair to be of some comfort, and when she looks at me knowing she’ll say “I want you to go away and leave me alone I don’t want you to see me like this.” and I’ll respond with the ever vigilant. “And you know just like every other time, that I’ll do that once I am satisfied that you’re ok.” And then she’ll skulk at me for a moment before relenting.
The things that will get us threw this year. Tabetha is never far from me. In fact she occupies that little spot roughly the size of my fist in the center of my chest. She’s living rent free there eternally. On my really bad days. I’ll take a moment, breath in deep, and imagine her smile, and concentrate on the memory of how she smells when I hug her, and suddenly just like that, I’ll be better. I know that she has a particularly fond thought of me that she’ll cling to in her really hard times when she needs me, and if she can’t do it with out the sound of my voice, she knows my number, she knows to call, and I know that if I needed to talk day or night and I didn’t… she’d kick my butt next time she saw me.
We can’t choose who we love, we can choose how we love them. For me love is a universal emotion, and one that I’ve felt in abundance for certain people. Tab is my safe place, my harbor in a storm swept sea, the person who can pull me out of a panic attack just by squeezing my hand and telling me that she’s the only one there. This year that I am on the road making my self financially solvent will be the hardest year of my life. I’m undergoing it so that I can continue to be the Johniest Johnny that she needs me to be. Some people are worth going through the hard times for.