He was a good man. It’s been seven years and I still love him, still miss him, wish he was here to share my life and wonder why he had to be taken so young. We had plans for the future, near and distant. None of those will ever be fulfilled. We were going to grow old together, we laughed about us being that couple the Beatles sang about... ‘will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64’. That was not in the cards.
I remember the first time I laid eyes on him and told my girlfriend that I thought I’d end up married to him, that was over the July 4th holiday. I didn’t meet him that day. No, that was on July 16th. My friend and I had sworn off men, were getting drunk and disparaging every single one of them, except her boyfriend that was living in California. Then she called Corky over to her place to eat the cookies we baked, played strip poker and I lost every hand, but wouldn’t take off my clothes. We ended up in his apartment playing backgammon and from there we became inseparable.
I remember the first time he called Bon Jovi ‘blow job’ and swore that they couldn’t sing or play their instruments and how hard I defended them. I remember him refusing to take me to see them play softball against the local dj’s. And I remember when I finally did see them in ’93, him getting up after I got home in tears because someone had gotten mustard on my brand new t-shirt. He stayed up with me and helped get the stain out.
I remember when he was stabbed and didn’t want me to go to the hospital because it was ‘no big deal’ and I remember even clearer the call from his boss when he got hurt at work and wanted me there. Seeing him with his arm laid wide open and him apologizing for me having to take off work. I also recall the Hepatitis C that he got from that wound and how hard the battle was fought to win against it. And he did. Five years of pills and treatments and he beat it.
We did everything together. If I wanted to do something and he didn’t, we’d compromise. Sometimes we’d do it and others not. Same with what he wanted. We came as a team. For 25 years my name and his were joined at the hip CorkyandDiane. It’s how we were identified. When he died and I went to a friend’s tattoo parlor to tell him because I knew he wouldn’t know, the manager called him and told him Diane was there. He didn’t know me until I told the guy say ‘CorkyandDiane’ and he knew.
I’ll never forget the flowers showing up at work just to say he loved me and I’d be hard pressed to forget my 40th birthday. Who was that guy? He took the secret to his grave as he said he would. The romantic Christmas gifts, three boxes of tissues, a bag of micro popcorn and the final one, the movie Ghost. Or the alabaster box that was handpainted on top with the heart shaped watch pendant necklace inside. He could be as romantic as they come.
Or the fights. I remember them vividly. How loud and hurtful the words could be on both sides. A pair of tempers that couldn’t back down or hold back their anger. Oh yes, I remember those and I remember making up. The sweetest part of an argument is the making up. Yeah, sometimes it’d be worth it just for that. There were other fights, other arguments that weren’t worth it.
But in the end, his short terrible battle with pancreatic cancer was lost and he said to me, “we had 25 good years, that was enough.” Two days later he was gone and I still remember and I still miss him.
Rest in Peace, My Love, Rest In Peace