Today marks three years since Lucy passed away. Please take a moment to remember her and the joy she brought to our lives. She was an exceptional person and she is deeply missed but lovingly remembered. Her courage and determination during her cancer battle was inspiring, and yet she remained compassionate and generous to those she loved. I have always gravitated towards strong, intelligent women. Lucy was the strongest person I have ever known, and her intelligence made her an ideal partner. I am so grateful to have spent nearly 28 years with her, including 24 years as her husband. Cancer may have stolen her life, but it never stole her spirit, her strength, or her love. That is why I can never say she lost her cancer battle, but rather that her battle ended.
Lucy and I had discussed our respective mortalities over a decade before her cancer battle began. Lucy wanted the best for me, but most of all she wanted me to be happy. That is what I wanted for her, too. We put each other’s feelings first, we optimized our time together despite hectic and demanding careers, we took care to not smother each other, but most importantly, we loved and respected each other. I always felt our marriage was a fairy tale come true compared to so many other relationships, and I referred to our time together as our happily ever after.
“Time heals all wounds” is an old saying, but it is not at all true. The wound of losing a loved one never totally heals. It does get easier to keep moving forward, but there are still some extremely hard days, like today. I am fortunate to have a great support network because I could not have made it this far alone.
I am so lucky to have the love and support of Lucy’s sisters, especially during the first eight months after her passing. They suffered losing their mother, their oldest sister (Lucy), and their father in under a year, but yet they were there for me, and for that I am grateful. Their goodness is because of how well Bob and Betty raised them. I miss Bob and Betty because they accepted me into the family without hesitation and because they were such warm and genuine people.
My family has provided a huge amount of support, love, and guidance. They listened to my heartache and sorrow while I tried to make sense of the inconceivable, to accept the fact Lucy was no longer physically here. I am so lucky to have both of my parents still alive and in good health. Even though I am over 230 miles away from my nearest family member, I know they are close to my heart.
My close friends rallied around me and are a huge help, too. I may not have many close friends, but I am so lucky to have some truly outstanding ones. All of them have been in my life for over twenty years, except for one, and all of them have bettered my life. Lucy met each of them, except for one, and she enjoyed their company.
I am most grateful to my buddy. After we reconnected slightly over two years ago, we went from being friendly, to being acquaintances, to being friends, to being close friends, and now we are best friends. A friendship like that is very curative for a wounded soul, and we will remain friends for the rest of our lives. Career demands conspired to keep Lucy from meeting my buddy, but I know Lucy would have gained another dear friend.
My friends have asked if I would consider dating or remarrying. My honest answer is I do not think either will happen, but that I am keeping my mind open. Dating in my teens and twenties was a humiliating and arduous time, and Lucy entered my life as I accepting life long solitude. I’m still a misanthrope, still quite introverted, and really need very little interaction with other people. Trying to make new friends since Lucy’s passing has shown me that unattached women in my age group are either vengeful and bitter divorcees, or have badly broken souls. The really good ones are in relationships, or remain focused on their careers, or are busy with their children or grandchildren, or are not at all interested in me. Perhaps that will change in time, but for the immediate to middle future it is more likely that Earth gets overrun by purple unicorns than me finding someone to date. I may remain solitary for the remainder of my life, but that would not be a terrible fate because solitary does not mean lonely. I have my family, my sisters-in-law, my friends, and my buddy. Lucy set an extremely high bar, and I will not settle for anything less.
Be thankful that you have a best friend in your life. That person is there for you in good times and in bad times, to help you mourn or celebrate, but most importantly, to be someone you trust and with whom you enjoy spending time. Those of you who have a special someone in your life are very blessed! Do not miss an opportunity to let that person know what she or he means to you. When giving that meaningful hug to your special someone (who may also your best friend) today, let it linger a few extra seconds for those of us who had our happily ever afters end many years too soon.