Note: this was originally written in 2009 as part of an entry in my old blog, Lonesome Dove Xpress-ions. Like the Valentine's Day entry from yesterday, this post over the years has gotten more response than almost anything else. There are some new comments at the end. – Allan
Four Years Later. It was four years ago today that she and I, with many tears and much travail, walked into the Lake County Courthouse and ended our marriage of ten years.
For a long time, thinking of this day only brought pain and regret. Now, it prompts other thoughts. And, when such thoughts come, I must write. So, now, I write.
It is perhaps fitting that, having begun as friends, our friendship is what remains after all. I treasured that friendship in the beginning, and treasure it now.
I am glad that four years later, we have both moved past the hurt and pain of our parting, and I think that in very important ways both of us are better, stronger, more whole as people than we were four years ago. We have both found some level of happiness and contentment, and for that I am thankful.
As I think about this day, I think not so much about our separation and the ending of our marriage as about the ten years we had together. And I think about it with joy.
She was my love of a lifetime, and in our ten years, I loved for a lifetime. I seek no other, can imagine no other love.
Thoughts of that time bring small remembrances from the treasure house of my heart where such things are stored.
I remember her laughter, and how it brought joy to my heart to hear it. I remember making her coffee every morning so she could wake up slowly while watching HGTV. I remember our Thursday nights watching “Friends” and “ER”.
I remember our Friday night date nights, especially those that found us over at Mom and Dad's playing gin rummy.
I remember cooking breakfast on Saturday mornings.
I remember her thrill at finding a treasure at the thrift store, a yard sale, or the flea market.
I remember her touch, her smile, her kiss, her love. I remember the way she felt in my arms. I remember how right the world was lying next to her, snuggling on those rare cold nights in Florida.
I remember, and am glad.
The end of the matter is this:
Four years later, I still miss her.
Four years later, I still love her.
Four years later, I remain, and ever shall be, though time itself should cease and fail to mark the span since we parted, truly hers.
Three Years After “Four Years Later”: 2012. Though I didn't realize it when I wrote it in 2009, this blog entry represented a real turning point in my heart and my journey toward healing and wholeness. After years of regret and hurt, remembering what I had lost, I found in writing this that I was now able to remember the good, treasure the joy of what I had in my marriage to Charlotte.
In the time since I originally wrote this, Charlotte found love again and is now married to a good man from all accounts I have. That was an answer to a prayer we had both prayed for a long time.
Three years after “Four Years Later”, I don't mark my calendar by the date this anniversary rolls around so much, and if I note it, it is with the joy of gratitude for what we had during those years we were together and not with the pain and regret of what was lost. Today, I am more prone to look ahead to the future than behind at what is past. I am hopeful, grateful, and content. A man cannot ask for much more than that.
Three years after “Four Years Later”, I am a better man, in part because of what I had with Charlotte. For that, I will always be thankful.
Three years after “Four Years Later”, all is well.
I pray it is so with you.