It's 17 years Ian's been gone. Can't really get my head around that. It's been 17 years since that phone call, since I sank to that kitchen floor. Later that day, Mark told me I was now "the young widow Austan".
That night I called my little brother Seth to give him the news and we stayed up together til the sun rose, laughing at memories and crying together. Ian was one of his best friends. Seth's gone almost 6 years now. People die and your shared memories die with them.
And your life goes on. You make more memories with other people. Which doesn't mean you ever stop missing who's absent.
About 11 years ago I was behind the counter in the coop when a woman walked up and stood looking at me. I acknowledged her and waited on the next person. It was the middle of the rush and my boss was working beside me, and this woman was smiling and staring at me -then I suddenly recognized her. It was Peggy. Being married, becoming a mother and several years of not seeing her changed the Courtney Cox lookalike I knew, but those eyes -it was Peggy. She'd acted with Ian in his last performances. They were close pals. She'd carried me through the first few months I lived here alone. She took me across the coop to see her husband and meet her son. Her husband Tim looked just the same. But happier. And then they introduced me to their lively toddler, Quinn Ian.
Nobody ever really dies as long as they're remembered.