About halfway back, I told Mom and Scott to go on ahead - it wasn't an incredible night for star-viewing by rural standards, but it wasn't cloudy, and you could see the Milky Way without straining. So I just stood there in the middle of the field road and stared for a while, soaking it up, the way I used to when I was a teenager.
It was a little sad, remembering being here in April with Laura, talking about sneaking out one night with some blankets and heading up to this one little hill to lie out and watch the stars together, just like I was watching them from the field road tonight. We never did do that then; it was cloudy out most of that weekend, and the one night it wasn't, for one reason or another we just stayed in the house and went to bed. But I'd still looked forward to coming back one day and making it out to Picnic Hill with those blankets, and lying there under the stars together. Never going to happen now, though... not with her, certainly.
It's sad, but it's not a raw gaping chest wound anymore. It didn't even really feel very painful. It's just... a shame. So much potential there, and nothing realized.
Life goes on.