I am blown away that I don’t think I have talked about Michael yet.
Michael was my next door neighbor growing up. We were supposed to get married. He passed away when we were 6 (ish) from heart problems. I did not understand what was happening at the time. The main thing I remember from him passing away is I told myself on repeat that it wasn’t my Michael that died. There was a robot Michael, and the real Michael was going to pop out any day and say the whole thing was a joke. I told myself this every night for years. I even wrote about this in 6th grade English class. Maybe i’m supposed to die sooner rather than later to be back with him.
My parents didn’t let me go to the funeral (so they say – I don’t remember that part). I had to stay at Michael’s house with our babysitter to make sure people didn’t rob the house. At some point later his mom came over and brought me a stuffed bunny. I remember her saying not sure if bunnies are still your favorite animal – and gave me bunny. Bunny doesn’t leave my side or my bed or my heart. So last summer I got a tattoo of a rose (per his gravestone which is viewable online) and put his birthday in roman numerals on my left forearm. It sounds crazy, but I remember playing trains with him, and I remember fighting our neighbor across the street over who would marry him. Well she’s married now – so I think it’s pretty clear I was supposed to spend forever with Michael. I realize this sounds insane but also believe it is true. He was my one.