How do I even begin? Luke was everyone’s friend. He never met a stranger. He brought so many people home I never knew what to expect when I walked in from work. He could talk to anyone and for hours at a time. He rarely judged anyone and rarely held a grudge. Unlike me.
He was the life of the party. If we were with friends or at a party and I needed to find Luke I just needed to find the big group of people because I knew Luke was in the middle of them all.
Luke was also up for anything. Well, almost anything. It had to be fun. Luke’s kind of fun. Luke was wild. He loved dirt bikes, camping, anything to do with water, snow mobiles. If it was fast and dangerous Luke was there. He once called me from Clint’s, excited, because he saw a bull in a yard and he had jumped on it and rode it.
It never crossed his mind that he might get hurt and not be able to work. Or that he was generating large hospital bills from getting hurt. He didn’t think, he just did.
There was a darkness to Luke, though. A sadness. If he wasn’t out being wild, he wasn’t happy. If he had to be at home, he was irritable. I always felt like I had to entertain him or he would leave. He told me one time that he was never, ever happy. It made me feel terrible, like he didn’t love me. Like I wasn’t enough for him. He said he loved me more than anything in the world but he just couldn’t be happy on the inside.
It took me decades to realize that he just couldn’t love himself. He couldn’t sit still because he would start thinking about life and how he wasn’t happy and how he felt like he was never good enough for me. Or his boys. But I know he loved us as much as he could.
His mom told me once that he was like that as a little boy. He would get piles of presents for Christmas from his grandparents and he would open a couple then walk away to sit by himself. They would go out to eat and he wouldn’t want to be there so he’d just go to sleep in the booth.
My husband. My soul mate. The boy I fell in love with. We grew from childhood into adulthood together. From 13 until 46 he was the center of my universe.
We went from friends to boyfriend and girlfriend to husband and wife. He was always going to be a part of my life no matter what. It was destiny. Fate. Whatever you want to call it. It was always going to be that way.
We went through teenage pregnancy, breakups, death of friends and family, abortion, epic fights, cancer. And finally alcoholism. He was always there. Not always physically, but we were always in each others hearts and minds.
Until the day he wasn’t. Until the day he went to sleep and didn’t wake up.