I don’t hear it EVERY day, only when I am at home and the apartment is kind of quiet. But at a few minutes to 6 (or 7 depending on the time change) in the evening each day, except Sunday, the alarm on Brian’s old watch goes off. It’s a cheap Casio watch like many I bought for him when we were married. He had always worn one from the time we first met when we both worked at Mervyn’s Department Store. He liked the Casio style because it was cheap (easier to replace) and had dependable alarm settings (pre cell phones) and took a beating. Because he worked as the loading dock manager and rode his bike to and from work, the watch he wore got scratched and nicked up quite a bit and usually he would wear through a watch band about once every nine months or so. Brian was someone who very much fought the transition to cell phone technology and never lost the habit that now seems somewhat old fashioned, of wearing a watch. The alarm he set was to let him know it was almost time to close up Secret Headquarters, his comic book store. …. close up…. tears streaming down my face. Over a year later and I still come to tears thinking about the fact that there is no longer at Secret Headquarters, Comics and Games for Everyone, to close up. [There is The Vault¬†and that is a HUGE blessing to my heart!] But the tears are not really about the store at all. The tears are about the fact that I miss those little quirky things about Brian. I miss his habits, even the irritating ones. I miss the man who was my best friend for a very long time. I want that watch to be on his wrist! I want him to be here!

Brian doesn’t need a watch anymore. He doesn’t have to worry about finishing up at the store after another very long day at work. He doesn’t have to count down the register or straighten the shelves, or prep them for Wednesday mornings (new comic book day). He doesn’t have to vacuum or take out the trash, write up a deposit slip, pull the journal, …lock everything up. He doesn’t have to get Fiona Grace to gather up all of her school items and art work and rush home or to somewhere to eat and get her home and ready for bed. And when she was not with him, he doesn’t have to go home to an empty house. Brian is home. I need to remind myself that although I miss him and FG misses him and so many of his friends miss him….he is home.