Revising “Happily Ever After”

“Perhaps he was not supposed to be MY happy ever after, but I was HIS? What if our time together was not for me, but for him? He was not supposed to make me feel so happy, so loved; that was just a side effect. What if he was not given to me, but I was given to him? To make the time he had as good as I could. Maybe the blessings I got were not the point of it at all, but his were?What if I was but a tool to make his life all it could be while he walked here among us? It doesn’t make it hurt any less . . . but it changes things a little in my heart, and in my mind. I love him. Always.”

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I didn’t write that. In fact, I don’t know who did, but it could have been something that came right out of my head. Many times I have thought about that part of the wedding vows that says; “To have and to hold, from this day forward, in joy and in sorrow, in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as you both shall live.” And that is exactly what happened, only he was the one who left first. Of course, when we said those vows, neither of us even gave the “as long as you both shall live” part much thought because, after all, it was our wedding day, and we, like every other couple on this day, were into our future together, focused only on the happy parts. It never occurred to me then that “as long as you both shall live” would be so short (though, in truth, no amount of time would ever have been long enough). But, it was, and so here I am. He is gone and I am alone. “Happily Ever After” has arrived. Brian got the “Happily” part and I am left sitting in the strange land of the left over”Ever After” part. He spent the rest of his life with me, but now I will spend the rest of my life without him. Still, I am glad for all that we had; the good times and the not so good ones, the joys and the sorrows, the laughter and the tears. And now it’s up to me to write a revised version of “Happily Ever After.” Brian won’t be there beside me, like I’d hoped he would be, but he will be with me in my heart. Best of all, I have no doubt that I am who I am today because of what we had together.

All that said, I’m working on remaking myself — not picking up the broken pieces and trying to put them together again, because that is impossible. So many are gone forever; some died with Brian, others are missing who knows where, and the few pieces I still possess of who I was before he died are damaged beyond repair and unrecognizable. So, no, I’m not putting myself back together again. Rather, I am slowly, thoughtfully, and lovingly building the me that am now. The me that I am for having loved, and lost, him. And how could that not be a wonderful creation after having been molded by my life with him? It’s a long difficult road back, I know. But I also know I will get where I am supposed to go, even if I don’t know right now exactly where that is.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

~~~ Maya Angelou

And this I did write:

New Beginnings

Out of the ashes of your death
I will rise
and lift my eyes up
to the skies.
I'll bow my head and whisper
a silent prayer
to God, who I know
is always there.

I'll ask that the love we pledged on
our wedding day
 gives me the strength to
find my way
through life on my own, 
without you here,
yet knowing in my heart
you're always near.

Thank you, God for sending
Brian to me.
For changing my life and for
helping me see
that nothing in life which I've yet to do
is for me impossible because
I have You.

To have and to hold 'till death 
made us part,
will now move me forward to make
a new start.
The Me I am now, Brian, is because
I loved you .
Dear God, hold my hand. Help me
start life anew.

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