One.

One hello. One goodbye. One ordinary moment is all it takes for the life you once knew to be replaced.

One year ago today, two simple words changed my name, my life, and my heart. Many call your wedding day a happily ever after, but my love and I saw it as the beginning of our adventure together.

March 5, 2011, was unequivocally the happiest day of my life. When I look through the photos, I can still feel my heart swell as it did on that day. I see the pure, untainted love in my eyes and cherish the memory of the girl I see. She loved freely, without judgment or regret. She saw only good in the world and knew that on that day, none could be more blessed than she.

It might be crazy, but when I see that girl in photographs, she seems more like my baby sister than a younger version of myself. A sweet, young girl who knows so very little of the pain I have known. A precious heart who I want to protect.

As my mind flashes four months down the road, that same heart feels the very same break. I want nothing more than to hold her close and show her that no matter what happens, the world will still be a beautiful place again.

In that one ordinary moment where she rummages through the junk drawer, I want to stand beside her. To hold her hand as the receipt from his hotel room catches her eye, and stroke her hair as she quietly starts to cry.

If only I could go back to her, I know I could help her through and tell her that no matter how hopeless life seems, she can rest assured that the universe if unfolding exactly as it should.

Looking at the girl in my wedding photos, I know the pain that she must endure. She will go through the tearful counseling sessions, and live the pain of each moment where she uncovers a new piece of the puzzle. The emails. The photographs. The dating profiles.

I remember how it feels to spend your days staring at the ceiling, sitting in an empty bathtub. To suddenly forget how you came to be lying in the grass on the median, but remember only that you’ve lost everything you were once living for.

While I would love nothing more than to protect her sweet and overflowing heart from the damage that will be incurred, I understand she must brave her own path. Because if she didn’t, I would never be here with you today.

For one fleeting moment, that girl knew all of the joys that life can hold. A precious moment, indeed.

But she must also know that all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.

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