So the numb is not present as often as it used to be anymore. I’m crying and hurting more frequently. I’m starting to remember bits of memories of Brandon and us. Each one comes at unexpected times, and each one brings me to my knees. It struck me as odd that for the past month, I couldn’t remember anything about Brandon…it was like all of my memories of him and us have been shrouded in fog – I could glimpse parts here and there, but never the whole picture. It seems everything is slowly coming back. God it hurts. Remembering him hurts. It makes me happy because he was such a wonderful person, and we were so happy together, but it also hurts so much because that’s all I now have of him – memories.
I’m currently in a strange state of wanting to preserve everything and anything I can of him. Even though it hurts to look at any and all pictures of him and us, today I found myself looking through all of the pictures on my phone, pulling out the ones of him, and saving them to a “Brandon” file (I felt an irrational fear earlier today that my phone could malfunction and everything on it could be lost forever…yup, crazy train is going through town). I’m now uploading them on Wal-Mart’s photo website, so I can order hard copies of all of these pictures, and then put them in a photo album. A photo album I will probably not be able to open for a while, but a phone album I feel like I must make. It’s not doing me any good to look at these pictures and the sweet memories that come with each one, but I feel possessed to do this. I have to. I can’t explain it. So I just ordered 271 prints to ship to the house. These pictures are just from my phone and his Facebook (during week 2 I had a freak out about all of his Facebook pictures disappearing for whatever reason, so I went through them all and saved them on my computer…told you, going crazy over here); most of the pictures from my phone he didn’t even know I took, it was just me snapping pictures randomly. The majority of them are of him sleeping with the cats on him in various positions, or of him sitting in front of his computer, or of him doing something outside. Simple moments forever captured in my phone. Simple moments I’m so thankful I took pictures of…so many others I wish I HAD taken pictures of. Never did I realize that I would no longer have these simple moments to observe at any time I wanted, live, with him starring in each one.
About a year and a half ago, Brandon’s truck broke for the 10000000th time, and he got tired of fixing/sinking more money into it. He started thinking about buying something newer (he had a 1980-something truck that he inherited years before). He figured out a budget that would let him afford a car and started looking around town. Within a few days, he was head over heels in love with a spiffy silver Miata that had a turbo engine (I think it’s officially a Mazda Speed model). I remember he was like an excited 12-year old when he showed me the posting and asked if we could go look at it. I thought it was impractical, too small, and generally unsafe, but he was so excited and happy about it, I couldn’t say no. We went to look at the car, he test drove it, and we left the dealership with said spiffy Miata.
I joked that this was his “midlife crisis car” (he was 23 at the time, but we were both old at heart and never really did things people our age did, so we always called ourselves grandma and grandpa). He loved that car. He did all sorts of things to modify it, I don’t even remember or understand what he did to it. He put some special gage in it to measure “boost” from the engine, put in another gadget that gave him stats on fuel usage, replaced the clutch, added a trailer hitch (yes, to a Miata…that’s my Brandon). For his 24th birthday, I got him a longer stick shift thingy, because he really wanted it and didn’t like the stock one that came with it. I remember as soon as he installed it, he hugged me and said, “You’re the best girlfriend ever!” He repeated that phrase numerous times while driving it. It made me happy to see him so happy.
Anyway, the point to all of this is: he loved that Miata. He always said, I was number one, and the Miata was number two. So when he died, my first coherent thought was that I wanted to keep that car. I think he would like for me to have it, to drive it, to take care of it (or try to take care of it like he would want to). The first time I sat in the Miata without him, I think it was about a week after he died, I sobbed and wailed in it for a good while. It hurt to sit in the driver’s seat, to smell him in the car, to see him in it. To know he would never again drive it. But after that day, it was a comfort to be in it; it still hurt, but with the hurt, came a comfort. Does that make sense? So, long story short, I now drive his car. I’m taking over the payments for it, even though I can barely afford to, because I know he would want me to have this car. I can’t ever sell it; it’s the last piece I have of my Brandon. I still cry every time I get off work and walk up to it, because me driving the Miata is just another reminder that he’s not here anymore, but it feels right. I can’t explain it.
The day that he died, the last time that I saw him, before I left to go to dinner with my dad, I asked Brandon if I could drive the Miata. He smiled and said no, because he thought I drove it “wrong” and didn’t shift gears like he wanted me to. I hope that I’m right in thinking that he’d want me to take care of the car, to keep it, to drive it.