You left me and never looked back. It wasn’t on that horrible day in July but years prior when you made the choice to let your addiction be the one you wanted. I could never compete with the booze and once the drugs hit your body it was a forgone conclusion.
We were children those many years ago, I can still picture you sitting behind the desk in your crisp Navy dress blue uniform. You stood up and came towards me and my heart skipped a beat. Your soft blue eyes and gentle smile calmed my nerves. I guess my subconscious knew that I would spend the rest of your life with you.
We had a love that could be reinvented with every homecoming. You and I kept that young love alive and many admired and hoped one day to have the same kind we shared. What happened to that love? I can only be described it as we aged and changed it was inevitable that our young love was not as strong as the changes that tore us apart.
I have been mad at you for the past few years. Mostly your failure to overcome your weakness, not for me but for the beautiful grandchildren that will never know you. Seeking a way to forgive you has been my journey and it has been a rough one.
For the first few years after you passed, I played games with my mind and let myself believe you were just out to sea and you would come home soon. When that stopped working, I went to a dark place and booze became your replacement. Why not, there was something familiar to it.
Our daughters and friends watched me stagger though booze filled days and hoped I would see that I was destroying myself not the memory of you. Thankfully, I did figure it out. It isn’t easy walking away from something that softened the blow of loneliness and isolation. It wasn’t your fault that I was lonely or isolated, I was making that choice all by myself.
I opened my eyes to a world without you. It scared me, but one thing you always told me is that I was a strong stubborn woman and you never worried about me when the Navy took you away for months at a time. Packing our memories and taking charge of our life is what I’ve been doing all along, and I had come to the realization that this time you were not coming along for the ride.
I forgive you. I never want to forget you. I know you are flawed, sincerely imperfect, often scared, and at times selfish, but aren’t we all? Its how you shape your little part of the world that makes a difference in the people you love.
I’m the same nineteen-year-old girl you married decades ago. I have a few wrinkles, grey hair and scars that molded me into a woman that wants to take on any challenge and come out victorious. I have you to thank for helping me get here, not in your death but in our life together. An experience if asked would I do it all over again, sadly would say “yes” if it gets me to where I am today.