I have a guilty secret.
Gloriously, head over heals happy in this life.
Why a guilty secret you ask?
If you have known me for at least a year, you know my story.
Our story really. Marty and I. Our love, his illness, his sudden death and us becoming me on my own.
This isn’t where I fill in all that backstory. How completely entwined our lives were. Personally and professionally.
No. This is about me and where I am now on the other side of the rubble and dust in the wake of a life that was no more. His life. Our life. My life.
When I spoke at Marty’s Memorial Service I made a promise…
‘The man wanted nothing more, ever, than for me to be happy and healthy. I will give him nothing less. Happy and healthy I will be.”
I have created my own business which is ever evolving and growing into one of my biggest joys.
I met a boy!
Forty years ago. We make me happier than I ever imagined I could be again.
That’s right, we, because I was and am happy as me.
This is not where I go into the backstory about the boy and we.
It’s about me and how I have moved north away from the twirly mountain and have settled into a new community with family, old friends and new and you.
Yes you and all who knew Marty and me when we were we.
That’s where the guilt comes in.
How I tell myself a story about how you will judge me and shake your heads in wonder at how I can be in this new we. Chris and me.
I imagine how you think to yourselves, ‘Well now, wasn’t that quick? Shouldn’t she still be mourning and reveling in her grief? Did she even love him at all. No, she couldn’t possibly have or she would still be..’
What? Crying myself to sleep? Reliving his last weeks, days, moments and grieving for a love and a life that was over way too soon? Missing the man deeply and hoping I gave him as good as he gave me?
Here’s another secret. I still do.
I am still a widow. That doesn’t change just because I have found love again.
It does not lessen what was, what is and what will be.
In October I was at Emerging Women15 in San Fransisco and reconnecting with women I met the year before who were just meeting me, hearing my story that was barely two weeks raw.
One woman, while we were catching up, told me my eyes sparkled and I looked deeply happy.
Guilt rose up and I got ready to apologize for my happiness and instead, out of my mouth tumbled…
“ I am! I kept my promise to Marty to be healthy and happy.”
In that very moment, I owned our happiness. I took vows when we were married, I fulfilled those vows, ‘Till death do us part’ and I kept my promise that I made that gloriously sunny, September day in Brooklyn along the river, overlooking Manhattan.
I am happy and I am healthy.
And with that, I’m out.
Breathe, smile, DANCE!