My brother and I were talking the other night and he reminded me of how Mike used to like to tease me by tickling me. Mike thought it was funny and I would respond with a giggle.
But my brother knows me. "How did you put up with that? It drove me crazy and I wasn't the one he was tickling." The whole tickling thing is really a major source of annoyance to my brothers and me. As kids, it wasn't fun, it was torture.
And there were times during those months with Mike that I wanted to tell him to just knock it off, but I couldn't. For some reason, it was special to him. It was his way of showing affection. And I realized he did it to his mother and sisters as well. It was his way of loving us.
Our time together was precious. We didn't have room for fights, arguments, or days without speaking. If there was a problem, we dealt with it. But Mike was a man of integrity. He was conscientious and aware of my feelings (except for tickling and I did keep that to myself).
But when you know the end could be relatively soon, you look at things differently. I've heard that song by Tim McGraw Live Like You Were Dying. Maybe more people ought to enter into relationships like that.
Forgiveness comes easy, you don't have time to hold a grudge. The special moments are intensified. Vacations and trips are meaningful. Holidays are joyous and sentimental. You don't put things off until next time. You jump right in and experience the moment.
Sometimes I think we lived a lifetime in those eleven months after Mike's diagnosis. We lived and loved deeply, appreciating every moment.