Can we talk for a minute about love? Real heartbreaking, marvelous, disastrous, powerful love that survives everything, even death and our incredibly fragile yet robustly resilient hearts? You see I need to talk about it right now and would appreciate the ears and hearts of people that understand.
Tomorrow is my sixteenth anniversary. On a beautiful September afternoon, in a gracious historic church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, I walked down the aisle and said I do. It was the smartest thing I ever did and I will never regret it or the life that came afterwards. This is the fifth year that I have celebrated it without my husband. It’s funny how time stands still and moves so rapidly, I will always remember the sharp blue eyes behind the wire glasses, the wavy auburn hair, the strong jaw and especially the small nick in his left front tooth and yet it all seems so far away now. I seem like such a different woman, the life I planned with him turned out to be much shorter than I expected. I have been forced to grow into a different person. Part of me will always resent that, although a larger part of me is grateful that I have been allowed to grow and flourish in this new life. There is a section of me that will always be stomping my feet and cursing the unfairness of it, even though I know fairness plays no role in life or death.
At this point in my life though, the larger portion of me is so thankful that I had that day and this memory. That I got to be an integral part of his orbit for a little over 13 years and part of that journey included that day. I can celebrate the day now, rejoice that we had it together and be thankful for the life we built together, even though it was way too short. I may shed some tears, I don’t know, but I know that I will smile and that my heart will overflow with love for him, that day, and that woman that I once was.
And I will also celebrate the life I have now and the woman I have become, because I have learned to celebrate each day that you have on this earth. I will share my day with a totally different man, one who wears Harley T-shirts, has tattoos and a little boy grin. And I will love him just as much as I love J.R, even though I know it will end as all things in life do. I will love both of them with an open heart and embrace the contradictions of this life. It seems almost impossible and incredibly foolish, but that is my choice and my life. Stuck in time and moving forward simultaneously. Mourning yet happy, cynical but forever optimistic that love can conquer all. Thank you for listening and one step at a time my fellow travelers.