A statement from a woman whose acquaintance I made recently kind of caught me off guard … until I took a moment to process it.
She wondered if I was being “premature” in my effort to restart my life after losing my bride, Kathy Anne, to cancer in February. “It hasn’t even been a year,” she said, alluding to those upcoming “firsts” one endures after losing a loved one. You know, first birthday, first Christmas, first New Year’s Eve, first wedding anniversary one should commemorate with the loved one by your side.
I answered her forthrightly. “I believe I am ready” to proceed with my life, I said. Why? Because Kathy Anne would have it no other way. She made her point to me abundantly clear once or twice when we both were in the peak of health. “I want you to find happiness,” she instructed me in a stern voice, in the event she preceded me to her Great Reward.
My marriage succeeded over the course of 51 years largely because I followed the rule most husbands must follow: I did what my wife told me to do.
Do not ever misconstrue this carved-in-stone fact, which is that no woman ever can replace the love of my life. If I am able to find a new partner, she will understand that fact. My sons, my daughter-in-law, my granddaughter all know that about me. They know that Kathy Anne always will be first in my heart.
The task for me emotionally always will be to deal with the pain that is certain to flare on occasion. It will happen without warning. Indeed, I am functioning quite well while performing this or that task.
There can be no doubt that Feb. 3, 2023 was the worst day of my life and the lives of my family members. It happened near the beginning of what has turned out to be the crappiest year of my life.
However, I do possess an eternal wellspring of optimism. The future, as they say, is for the living. I intend to live my life on my own terms, albeit while following the instruction of my darling Kathy Anne.
Happiness is out there for me. I intend to find it.