BoatSometimes we can care deeply about someone and still not be able to be in a full-time, boyfriend/girlfriend, exclusive and committed relationship with them. It’s happened to me more than once.

It didn’t mean I didn’t love them, it simply meant that I held back a part of myself so that I didn’t lose who “I” was to become who “we” could be. Call it selfish, or commitmentphobic, or downright dumb, but it’s still who I am. ATV scabbard

I’ve often thought that relationships can go along for five or six months in the “honeymoon,” or “discovery” phase, and then, quietly but with certainty, the two people involved start moving in different directions.

In my experience, relationships are clearly for a reason, a season, or a time.

HawaiiMy relationship with Bob is a good example. We were together the better part of four years, which is something of a record for me. When I met him, it was all fun and games: driving to Safeco Field to watch the Mariners, attending stage plays, going golfing, hunting, fishing, and being included at his fabulous family gatherings.RatFink

Together, we both went to Hawaii for the first time. Together, we celebrated quite a number of his personal and professional and achievements. Together, we both became much better people.

And when our reason/season/time was over, we parted softly, and with much love and caring. I kept in contact with him, and to this day maintain a close relationship with most of his family, but it was time to let him go—with love.

6 mosToday is Bob’s birthday. He would have been 53. This morning, I sang Happy Birthday to the picture I have of him on the shelf in my office—the picture that sits next to a little urn of his ashes.

I’ll never stop mourning his passing; I constantly question why he isn’t still here; and I’m grateful my memories are so strong. And, to reinforce my recollection of all the good times, I have these photos to look at—but only because Bobby was thoughtful enough to buy me a digital camera.

Thank you, Silly Rabbit. For everything.

fly ballJake on rock