What if while I was with you I could have told you everything? That every single year, all 50 of them, were the most amazing years of my life. That my love for you grew more and more with every warm embrace, every beautiful smile and every sweet kiss. You were and still are the love of my life. From the day we met my life was different and that difference was profound. You allowed me to regain the focus that for years was lost. You allowed me to, well, just be me. In my mind are millions of photographs. Of you. Of me. Of us. Of our children. It is a non-stop slideshow. Oh, the places we have gone. The special moments we have shared.
Now that I am gone I watch you from the other side and I hear you. I wish that I could reach through and fill in the gaps that are missing for you. I wish that nothing would have gone unsaid during the time we had together. But alot was.
So go back with me sweetheart to a few of those moments.
Hawaii. It was perfect. We knew that we were perfect for each other. Almost as if God had split one soul in two and then reunited them in two separate bodies. That week was when Emma Sophia made her start into this big world. Those walks on the beach and golden sunsets reminded us that there was not any height that could not be reached nor mountain that we could not climb. We talked during those times and we would tell each other that if either of us passed on before the other that we would know exactly how much love there was between us. Remember? I know you do. But you still wonder why. Moments like that are unforgettable and… Oh wait a minute! My love do you remember that ring that you found in the sand? We knew that it was recently lost by someone because it was so shiny and beautiful. We never found out who it belonged to so for years it stayed in my briefcase. Well a few years back I took it out of that old briefcase and put it in the bottom left drawer of your jewelry box. Go. Look. When you do, just sit down and let the moments we shared during that honeymoon come flooding back.
The big move
We climbed the mountains. We were victorious! We knew that if we just let Christ guide us that we could do anything. So we prayed and in His time those prayers were answered. Years ago, 37 if my memory serves me correctly, we made the move that we had spoken of and worked toward for years. To Orlando. You had spent much of your life between Orlando and Puerto Rico. I had never been to either place before you introduced me to your family. Remember how terrified I was that your family would not like me? Even though you told me a million times not to worry. In fact, you told me that about a lot of things but I still did. You were always right though sweetheart. They loved me. They welcomed me. They knew that you had made the right choice when you decided to give your heart to me. The move was rocky at first but in time just like in everything else, we prevailed. You advanced in your field very quickly, a lot quicker than you thought possible. The first business I started failed. But I failed upwards and success soon followed. The move was the best decision that we ever made. We both left friends in Texas and I left all of my family. My Brother and Sister, my Grandfather and my Dad. It was all worth it though. When my Grandfather passed away you answered the question that you ask so much. Why? Do you remember what you told me? I do. You said, “Baby, your Grandfather loved you. He always made it clear that if he were one day not here that he would never want you to wonder. He told you so many times that sometimes there are questions that simply do not have an answer. Especially that ‘Why?’ question.” He was tough. He would say, “Well son, why do you turn the water off when you are done showering?” and I would be like, “Well, obviously it’s because you are done.” I would just roll my eyes and laugh. It may not be the answer you want as to why I am no longer here but think about it. I was not done loving you. In fact, I still do and I am waiting for you. We can pick up right where we left off. What I was done with was my time on earth. My love, I made you a promise that I would love you forever. That promise did not end when my life did. My point is that there is no reason to ask why. There is no answer. You faught the battle with me in the end so you know why I passed. Just know that I love you. That I am still holding your hand. That I am still sleeping beside you every night.
Why did you love me for all of those years? Because we were meant to be. Why did your life continue while mine ended? Because that is how life is meant to be. Why am I certain that you should have no doubts that I truly truly loved you with all of my heart? Because I did. Why am I no longer here with you? Because I went to another place to wait for you. It was the big move… Live your life baby, I’ll be waiting. I love you.
She looks just like you. She is beautiful. I fell in love with her not on the day we had her but way back when we had quote unquote movie nights on the couch at your old house, we talked about her way before she arrived. I remember how beautiful she was when I walked her down the aisle. She really turned out to be an amazing woman. You loved my children from my previous marriage as if they were your own. And I loved yours. You even became good friends with my ex-wife. That was a beautiful and defining moment for all of us. I remember it well. It had been 11 years since I had seen my children. When I was taken out of their lives my oldest daughter was 8 and my twins were 6. We had planned it for weeks, to go and visit. You always told me you would be with me when that day came and you were. You were right there beside me. It was tough because that why question came up but we made it through. It took a few years but they came around, they forgave me. Noone could replace them but Emma Sophia gave me a chance from day one to get it right. I love you so much. You gave me so much. You gave me the chance to be the man that deep inside I knew I could be. All I ever wanted was for one person to believe in me and because you did so many others in the end did too.
I am no longer there with you physically. But I am with you. You can talk to me. I can hear you. I am still part of your amazing story and you are a part of mine. I tell my new friends about you everyday. I still love you just as much as I did the day we met. It was love at first sight.
Tears flood my eyes because I know that as I write this that you will never see it. But if you look within then the words that are penned on this page will be imprinted on your heart. Then you can rest easy and why will not be a question you have to ask.
Signed, your truest love
Original Epistolary Narrative by J. E., circa 2017