For so long I have focused on what I lost…I think that it is natural to do when you lose the love you thought you would grow old with. I want to outright say the love of my life, but I have a new understanding of that because I have two loves of my life and I don’t know how to convey that. One does not diminish the other in my heart, but words certainly do not do them justice. So, I guess that is me trying to explain that when I say things like Michael was my true love, the love of my life, my everything…and then I say it about Frank, they are both true. You might not understand it, how it is possible, but it just is.
That was a little run off…back to the point: I have had a hard time looking past the loss. I know, because I know them, that there are lots of ladies in my shoes that have a hard time with it too. There are parents, siblings, Aunts, Uncles, in-laws, and friends who have a hard time…I know that, but I can’t relate because what I have gone through is losing someone that I chose to have in my life. Someone I fell madly in live with. Someone that I always wanted around, no matter what. I made plans with Michael, we had babies together, we were parents, best friends, and lovers. We lived and breathed each other. He was an every day part of my life when he was a “some times or past” part of the lives of others. I am sure lots of people thought about him every day…or most days…but with me he was a constant. I say all that to get others to understand why we don’t understand each other completely (and that it’s okay). There was time for my work or school, his job, but none of it ever really was enough without each other. We hit rocky patches brought on by both of us, but we always came out on top. More determined. More willing. More committed.
So, having it all taken away has been hard to accept. I have focused solely on what was taken…all the birthdays, holidays, pancake Saturdays, bacon Sundays, anniversaries, and other special days or milestones that we could not share together. I was sitting here outside Liberty Tire where I get my car serviced thinking about Michael and all he gave me and I realized that while I lost a lot he sure gave me a lot too.
No, I don’t get to spend my life with him alive. But, he lives in my heart and my memories. The only good thing about not being there with him while he died is that I cannot be haunted with those memories. I only have a few memories of him not living…when I visited him at the funeral home…and I choose to not let them overshadow the living memories that I have. I still wish I was there…but on the same hand I am glad I was not. Michael gave me two living mirror images of him. He gave Olivia a Daddy to look up to and be proud of. He gave me a love that changed my entire perspective on people and life. He took all of my past mistakes and flushed them right down the toilet to be forgotten. He always said things that would embarrass me…he called me his hero, he said that I changed his life, that I was the best thing he could have ever found…I used to just laugh and kiss him because I don’t see myself through his eyes, but it is good to know that I changed him too. It is good to know that I was worth it to him. It helps a little with the pain because i know that he was happy. I know that he was living the life he wanted.
Without him I would be without a lot…so, while it is hard, I cannot focus on what has been taken anymore, I have to daily focus on what was given to me by having known Mike, by falling in love with him, by sharing everything with him. I challenge everyone else hurting from the pain of loss…a husband or wife, a child, a sibling, a friend, a nephew or niece,even a dog or cat…and the list goes on…to remember what having them in your life for the time that they were they brought you. Think about where you would be if you never had known them…and how incredibly sad that would be. It is sad and painful that Michael is gone…but I am so blessed that I got to experience his amazing light at all. His presence in my life was a gift, one that can’t be ignored because of the loss.
I want to talk about something else.. I have heard so many times that the kids and I are lucky that we have Frank. It is sort of insulting. I feel that way because I don’t really feel very lucky. It isn’t lucky to have gone through what we did. Beyond that…luck insinuates that Frank falling in love with me (a WOMAN with three kids) is out of the ordinary. That this sort of stuff doesn’t happen…but it does!!!! He is a great man. He loves us. He cares for us. He gives us hope. He didn’t come to us by any stroke of luck. He came to us because he was meant to. In my life after Michael, this is what was meant to happen. It is hard to see that in the fog, because everyone involved with our lives thought Mike and I were meant to be…and we most certainly were…but no one guaranteed us a specific time table. I have had to accept that, I think everyone else should too. No, I am not where I thought I would be, but after all I have been through..l think I am where I am supposed to be NOW. I will cherish BEFORE forever, but I look forward to my future as well.