Many Years From Now...

I come from a family where, as children, we were always encouraged to spend hours drawing and cutting and pasting construction paper together to make homemade greeting cards for our relatives, as a sign that we truly cared about the person receiving the card.

We never bought Hallmark. We never just signed our names below preprinted sentiments. We always felt an obligation to handcraft our feelings and write small novellas to each other. It was expected of us.

The first time I celebrated my future husband's birthday with him, I gave him a handmade card, and a handmade gift, and three other gifts I had spent days finding for him. He read the card and then tossed it in the garbage.

In my family, we didn't throw away greeting cards. We saved them and put them in a cardboard box so that many years in the future, we could see our cards and read our words again and remember how much we always loved one another.

I may have cried when he threw the card out. I don't remember, to be honest. I remember it hurting. I remember realizing, in a deep way, that my husband didn't love the way I loved.

I remember the first card my husband got for me. It was a few days late. It was a hallmark card. It had the word "love" and his signature at the bottom of it, accompanied by words thousands of other people had received and read.

It wasn't a big deal. It wasn't his fault. It was my fault for being the way I was and for expecting the things I expected out of love. This is what I told myself and this is what I still sometimes tell myself.

The cards never changed. I continued to write him novellas on his birthday and our anniversaries and on Valentine's Days and on Fathers' Days and on Christmas. He continued to sign store-bought cards.

It wasn't a big deal. It wasn't his fault. It was my fault for being the way I was and for expecting the things I expected out of love. This is what I told myself and this is what I still sometimes tell myself.

I held on to my husband's cards, even though they were just store bought, and they only had his signature below an "XOXO" or "Love." He continue to throw my cards out.

It wasn't a big deal. It wasn't his fault. It was my fault for being the way I was and for expecting the things I expected out of love. This is what I told myself and this is what I still sometimes tell myself.


In late June, three weeks after our anniversary, which was strained because we were strained, my husband snuck into my office, and created a heart out of individually wrapped chocolates on my office floor, and put flowers on my desk. It was the first time he had done something like that. It was the last time he did something like that. There was a card, too, that he left on my office chair. It was a Hallmark card, but on the bottom of the card he wrote "Read the note!! There is more..."

In the envelope that accompanied the card, there was a folded up piece of paper that had his writing on both sides. He wrote about his heart and the stars and us being soulmates, and he wrote this:

"Many years from now, when we are sitting together on the porch of our dream home, staring out at the water and the stars, no matter how old we have become, I will still want to feel your hand in mine... I look forward to whatever the future may hold, as long as my future holds you."

Three weeks later, I went down the stairs to our basement, and I found his body hanging dead with a rope around his neck.

Comments

  1. 😥😢 So sad, get tears in my eyes, reading this! But you are a really good writer...All the love and luck to you 💖🌷

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  2. I follow you on Twitter but don't, as a rule, read blogs. I was curious about the title and read all your posts, more than once. Heartbroken for you and your children, inspired by your courage and strength, captivated by the raw emotions that live in your words, drawn to the power of your unique style, convinced by your definitions of life and admiring of your to-the-bone honesty, I felt compelled to write to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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