It's been a bit over four years for me. Today, I was thinking about what I regret about being married to Elaine. All of my regrets have one thing in common, that they are about the things we never got to do.
Elaine was afraid to fly. I should say terrified, she wouldn't even talk about it, and shut down when I brought the subject up. That meant that all our travels were only as far as we could drive. She got over that, and shortly before she died she flew to Arizona to visit her brother, and did just fine. That opened up a new world for us. We had an Alaska cruise booked, followed by another cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles. We would have flown to Seattle, then taken the second cruise back. She died before that happened.
We never got to go to Hawaii. Or Washington D.C. We had planned on meeting up with her brother in Las Vegas and taking a trip to Mt. Rushmore. He got shingles, and was unable to do it, so we put it on the back burner.
She never got to have grandchildren, although the way her son is going, that may never happen anyway, but that's another story.
Elaine and I both came out of bad marriages, and we knew what we wanted from each other and from ourselves, So as far as our life together, it was, as Frank Sinatra put it, "regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention." I don't regret that I married someone that would leave me in such pain. I don't regret that our marriage was so short. OK, twelve years is not a short amount of years, but it was far from long enough. I don't regret all the extra housework I had to do because she was in too much pain from her arthritis. I don't regret all the overtime days I had to work in order to buy her new clothes after her gastric bypass. I don't regret buying her dream car, a Cadillac, although a Chevrolet would have been much more economical.
Life is about having dreams, having plans, having something to look forward to. The tragedy is not that she suddenly died and left unfilled plans. The tragedy would have been if she died suddenly and didn't leave any unfilled plans.