I was looking through photos of Andrew on my computer last night, and was overcome with mancanza. Mancanza is an Italian word, that doesn’t quite fully translate, but more or less means absence. My trips down memory lane still only serve to resurface the pain I feel of losing my partner in life.
Looking at photos of Andrew from a party I had in my old apartment brought me back to the many times he would stop by and see me last spring in my old apartment on Bleecker Street. He only lived 4 or 5 blocks away. We spent so much time together during his first semester living in the city. I know he struggled a lot with the transition, but whenever he was around me, I felt him happy and more peaceful. He would share with me his issues, and I would talk him through how to solve them. I always tried to give him the tools he needed to solve his problems, instead of actually solving them for him. I would recommend he try talking to different people, and then he would… often to find himself up against a huge bureaucratic mess, but sometimes my advice would lead him to success and he would feel accomplished.
I used to be thrilled when he would show up around dinnertime and I could cook him something. I am very much like my mother in that regard. One of the things I find most fulfilling in life is looking after others, cooking for them, making sure they feel loved and cared for. Since I can remember I have always felt incredibly protective of Andrew and have done my best to look after him. I remember one night last spring when he called me worried about a headache he had. He said his head hurt and that his right arm had gone a bit numb. I immediately left the concert I was at and hopped in a cab to meet him at his apartment. I called a close friend of mine who is a paramedic who recommended he should be taken immediately to the emergency room. So we went. I was so scared that something really bad was happening to him that I didn’t leave his side once. I stayed with him through the night as he slept after being given the proper medications. To this day we don’t really know what was wrong that night, but I find myself constantly pleading with God to rewrite the morning that I was told his heart had stopped into a morning where I was told he needed me to go and take care of him and stay by his side in the hospital.
Andrew, I would spend my whole life standing by your side in a hospital room if it meant I could have you back.