Today, I sat down, I heard the wife and the kids in the other room, being loud and obnoxious and it made me smile.
The other day I ran into a gentleman, a man who had seen hell and had a lot of pain. He seeked me out and came up to me with his hat in his hand.
His sad eyes searched mine and began to tell me a story.
Years ago, he fell in love with a woman, that changed his life. She gave him love and was so happy until he messed it all up. He didn’t want to go into it but she left him, broke his heart.
He looked at me and asked me the strangest question, “Can you tell me about your family? Are you happy?”
I sat there and felt a smile come across my face and I looked at him and felt the need to tell him. So I began with how I met the woman that would become my wife. I described her with all the love I held. I told him about our kids and how our daily life is. Yes, sometimes its a struggle but its something that I couldn’t live without. I paused for a just a moment and realized something more. “I thank the man that let her go, because of his mistakes, she came and found me. She gave my life meaning.” I saw a tear spring to the man’s eyes and he shut them as if the pain was too great. I felt great concern for him and voiced it.
He gave me a watery smile, “Your welcome,” He replied. “She was the best thing that ever happened in my life. Listening to you makes me realize that I could have been you. But I didn’t do enough for her, I didn’t give her what she needed. I let her go and I want you to know that you are lucky.” He stood and shook my hand and walked away.
I had to sit there for a bit longer and wrap my head around it.
When I came home that night, I pulled her close and hugged her tighter than I have in a while.
We weren’t each other’s first loves but we were definitively proving to be the last love. We have learned so much from each other. This was never a walk in the park. We had to fight to be who we are and learn not to outgrow each other, but grow together. Treating her like my best friend and remembering that she’s not an extension of me, she is so much more. Together we bring so much to the relationship.
I don’t know where that gentleman went to, I just know that looking at him I felt his pain and his loss. Sometimes there’s one person that gets to us, crawls under our skin. The one person that can correct our life and make it mean so much more. But if we lose that person, we lose it all, then we’re never the same again.
If he hadn’t made those mistakes, I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t know what I was missing. The kids that we have together wouldn’t have been born and thinking that their bright smiles would never have existed hurts me more. Not having her in my life makes a sharp pain go through my heart and I know that a life without my family would have made me just like him.
So today I sit here in the other room, listening to her laughter in the other room, the kids screams and giggles and I feel like the luckiest man alive. I’ll never take this for granted again.