Packed memories have waited my attention for a time like this. I knew the time would come for me to unpack - to sort through a life that once existed.
I found joy in our daughters drawings of cherished times and of a happy family. I smiled at the memories of those times. Childish handwriting declaring love forever to their mommy and their daddy.
But, you changed all of that. You took faithfulness out of our marriage and replaced it with distrust and brokenness.
You destroyed my view of happily ever after. More importantly, our daughters joy was replaced with fear of loving and being loved by a man that would promise "I love you forever and always".
As I sorted through the photos, I looked for signs of deceit hidden in your smile. I tried to understand how a man could have three girls that spoiled him rotten and loved him unfailingly, yet destroy it so easily.
I found photos of when we first met and the memories came flooding back of when we first said, "I love you". I realize now, what TRUE love really is and what we had wasn't TRUE.
Hidden beneath the videos and photos, was what I once held close to sacred....love letters from me to you and you to me. Years of reflecting, apologizing during an argument, celebrating Valentine's day or a card for no reason other than to say, "I love you." What meant something then, was discarded in the trash as quickly as you destroyed our family. This time, there were no tears shed. It was letting go of a burden that unknowingly had taken shelter in my new life of love and happiness. There was no better place for it to be than the point of no return.
I thought I had let go of the "what we once had" until those memories were uncovered. I thought I had forgiven you. I thought I no longer hated you. But obviously, I hadn't fully embraced it.
A few months ago, when I died for what seemed like an eternity, I wondered the reason why I was given life anew...a rebirth. As I looked for reasons, I found them - some hidden, some revealed. One word came through loud and clear....CHOSEN. I'm still seeking what it is that I'm chosen for but I know a few things I am not chosen for - to continue to allow hatred and distrust to linger in my life any longer.
I am letting go of that hatred minute by minute with God's help.
I have found new love in J - a pure, unselfish oneness that I never thought I'd find in this lifetime. His love for me has been like rain, washing away the tears, bitterness and insecurities and giving me certainty in a place where my heart was empty.
Our daughters now have a place to look when they seek out a reflection of what love really is.
Love is holding my hand through the pain, not knowing what the end result will be but knowing that he will be there every step of the way.
Love is having all eyes on the one you loving, knowing that he or she is the only one that will take your breath away.
Love is knowing that when the time comes to say goodbye on this earth, you can leave with a smile, knowing that you have felt the truest of love.
Love is touchable, seeable, laughable, joyful, hopeful and never letting go.
In a way that I failed to see until now, I owe you thanks. For through your failure to be faithful and committed, you gave me the greatest gift...an opportunity to really find what true love is.
J's Wife, Simone