Today marks 13 years since my first husband died from a cocaine overdose. It’s strange to think that he’s now been dead longer than he and I were married (12 years).
I contemplated whether to write anything about this today. I have no desire to commemorate him or my time with him in any way; looking back on that period of my life, I mostly feel anger at what he put me through, shame at what I let him put me through, and a vague sadness at how many years I wasted being victimized and utterly unhappy and hopeless.
But time and distance have a way of altering – not so much the memories themselves, but the texture and quality of those memories. It all seems like it must have been someone else’s life now – not mine. Or a movie I watched. How could I have experienced all those things, living in this very skin that I live in now, looking through these very eyes that I look through now? It seems unfathomable. And yet, not. The bruises on the surface healed long, long ago, but there are scars on the inside that will probably never heal.
This isn’t a “poor me” piece, though. More a reflection, an observation of how far life takes us in directions we never imagined. All those years ago, I never dreamed my life would look so different just a few years into the future. I couldn’t imagine a life of contentedness, a life of bounty, a life of strength built on facing adversity, a life of gratitude. But here I am, living just such a life. Things aren’t perfect, but I wouldn’t trade this full life for anything.