Homesick. Nostalgic. Broken.

So I’m watching PBS, and baking a cake. The show is Chef’s Life, and it’s set in North Carolina, not altogether that far from where I met my husband. When we met he had a big old barbecue trailer that could smoke half a cow, or a whole hog, but mostly, he smoked chicken halves on it.
I can still see him by his smoker if I close my eyes, jeans wit holes ripped out at the knees, clunky brown work boots, a brown Whiskers’ T-shirt, and the bluest eyes I’d ever seen.
I remember when I met him, being told by a mutual friend that he didn’t talk much, and to not take it personally if he knew me for a couple weeks before he said more than just “hi” to me. It was literally love at first sight, for both of us, and it didn’t take that long for us to belong together.
I remember the way he’d come home to see me at lunch,and the sound of his pipes on his Road King rattling the windows. Running out to greet him, and the feel of his cold leather jacket against my skin. I wear that jacket now, once in a while I catch a whiff of his scent still in the leather from 30+ years of wear. It’s the only thing that still has his scent in it, nearly 3 years after he died.
I have his helmet and his hats, some of which still hold strands of his hair, lost to chemo. I wear them occasionally, but mostly keep them on the wall above his ashes.
I saw a man at a local festival yesterday, and from the back, his height and stance were so like my husband’s for a second, I wanted to run up and hug him.
I still look for him almost daily, even though I know I won’t find him. The sound of an F-350 diesel, or of pipes on the right style bike, the scent of old spice and patchouli oil, or the smoke of mesquite chips, they all turn my head and my heart looking. Maybe they always will.

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