I was always trying to come up with ideas for new ways for Jon to promote his music. Any time I saw something trending or heard a good song I would mention it to Jon to see what he thought and if we could incorporate it into his song list or YouTube channel.

One of these ideas came about last December. It was Downton Abbey’s final season. I knew it had a big following, I was a huge fan of the show myself. I remember thinking that it was too bad there wasn’t a song that went with it that Jon could cover. The only one was the theme song which was lovely, but to my knowledge only instrumental. Out of curiosity I looked up the song and discovered that it did, in fact, have lyrics. Beautiful ones at that. So I pitched the idea of Jon changing up the song to make it fit his sound and posting it to his youtube channel. With all the girls our age talking about the show, it would surely get more than the handful of likes that his regular videos attracted. He liked the idea, but it got buried under the stack of other projects that he was working on.

Yesterday, as I was checking things off my baby prep to-do list, the lyrics of that song came to me unbidden.

Did I make the most of loving you?
So many things we didn’t do.
Did I give you all my heart could give?
Two unlived lives with lives to live.
When these endless, lonely days are through, I’ll make the most of loving you.
I’ll make the most of loving you.

Did we make the most of all we had?
Not seeing you makes my heart sad.
Did we make the most of summer days?
We still have time to change our ways.
When these endless, lonely days are through, I’ll make the most of loving you.
I’ll make the most of loving you.
I’ll make the most of loving you.
I’ll make the most of loving you.

Did those tender words stay in my head?
So many things were left unsaid.
Did I give you all my heart could give?
Two unlived lives with lives to live.
When these endless, lonely days are through, I’ll make the most of loving you.
I’ll make the most of loving you.
I’ll make the most of loving you.
I’ll make the most of loving you.

(For those of you who would like to listen to it here’s a video)

At some point when Jon and I were discussing how he could make this song work for him he stopped and looked at me and asked, “So do you?”

Confused, I asked, “Do I what?”

“Do you make the most of loving me?”

My mind was so focused on brainstorming that I wasn’t ready for that question. I was actually a little annoyed by it to be honest. Jon was always was fishing for compliments. He’d constantly ask “Do you love me?” and when I would say “yes”, he would say, “prove it” or “tell me why / how”. And then he wouldn’t let up until I gave him an answer that satisfied him.

I found these exercises exhausting and forced. I wanted a chance to be able to compliment him and tell him how I felt out of my own heart, not because he asked for it. So when he asked that question I brushed it off. “Please can we just talk about your music stuff right now? I’m not up for this.”

When I think about that moment now I cringe. I would only have 4 months more with him.  The least I could have done was answer that question and all of the others like it. All he wanted was to hear me say how much I loved him. Was that really that much to ask?

To answer his question, did I make the most of loving Jon? No. No I didn’t. Not even close. And now this song haunts me. “Did those tender words stay in my head? So many things were left unsaid. Did I give you all my heart could give? Two unlived lives with lives to live.”

It makes me physically sick to think about all of the ways that I took Jon for granted. All of the things that I thought that never made it out of my mouth. The times he wanted to stop and just be together but I was too busy with work, with the house, with Jocelyn to stop and just let him kiss me. And now I sit here, wanting nothing else so much in the entire world than to be interrupted by an unexpected kiss.

How many times did I shut down his ideas because of my damned practicality?

Jon – “I’ve always wanted to take my kids to Chucky Cheeses! Lets go take Jos!”

Me – “She’s only 6 months old. She won’t enjoy it and we’ll just be sitting there with screaming kids and bad pizza. Lets wait till she’s older…”

Jon – “Lets go do the zip line and ropes course at the zoo!”

Me – “That’s expensive and we are supposed to be saving to move. Let’s do it as my Father’s day gift to you instead of the present I had in mind.” (Turns out June was couple months too late.)

All he wanted to do was enjoy life, but I had to be the fun sucking voice of reason. He had a lot of crazy ideas, but would it have really been that bad to let Jon take the baby to Chucky Cheese?

I did not realize how precious time was, I had no idea how short my life with Jon would be. I wish I would have recognized then what a gift Jon was, how valuable his presence was in my life.

Everyone has regrets. There are many things I wish I hadn’t said, done or thought in my marriage with Jon. But to hold onto regrets is to live a life burdened. So I must learn from these things and then let them go.

Eventually I will have love in my life again. Next time, I will have a very clear understanding of what is important. Dishes are never more valuable than a kiss. Facebook doesn’t fulfill our need for connection. A husband and wife should value one another above all else, including our to-do lists. Does it really matter if the house isn’t perfect? If you’re five minutes late? If it wasn’t in the plan?

If you are reading this and you are married, go kiss your spouse, say you’re sorry, put the kids to bed early, go on an unplanned date.. be PRESENT with, not just in proximity to, the one you publicly confessed to love and cherish. Nothing else matters and you might not get another chance. Tomorrow might not come. It didn’t come for me.

To the man I walk the second half of my life with, whoever you are, because of what I know now, I can promise you that “when these endless, lonely days are through, I’ll make the most of loving you.”

Erica Roman

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