I laughed today. I mean I really laughed. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is the first time I have laughed in almost a year. I know you think I am exaggerating, but I know the difference between a real, hearty, comes-on-ya-like-a-freight-train guffaw and a fake laugh that you force because it is what is expected at the moment. Today I had the first kind – and it was the first time since July 9. That was the day my heart got broken.
It wasn’t a mild heartbreak, it was a complete shattering
that caused it to crumble into a million pieces. All the king’s horses and all
the king’s men couldn’t even try to put it together again. It was the kind of
heartbreak that leaves you numb. It was the kind that causes you to wonder if
you can ever possibly allow yourself to fall in love again because you are so
afraid of putting yourself in the path of a hurt so severe it knocks the wind
out of you.
Heart breaks like this one rob you of life’s simple
pleasures. It keeps you distracted every waking hour of the day. It takes away
your laughter for a very, very long time.
For 11 months I got through each day by muddling through it.
Waking up was the worst – it was when the reality smacked you in the face.
Sometimes waking up came on the heels of a nightmare, so the pain was fresh the
minute the eyes opened. Other times it took a minute or two for the memory to
wiggle back to the forefront. Those times were especially cruel because there
were a few pain-free seconds before it all came flooding back.
It is upsetting to look back and see all that I missed. Like
Thanksgiving and Christmas when I should have been basking in the love of my
family, I was wallowing in the loneliness of holidays without my soulmate. I
did my best to concentrate on the wonderment of my grandson when he started
taking his first steps and forming his first words, but instead I was tortured
by visions of him with someone else. And
try as they did, the long hours my daughters spent trying to convince me that everything
would be ok were tainted with continual fears that I would simply never have
the energy to move past this gripping regret.
They say time heals all wounds. I haven’t proven that theory
just yet, but I am still hopeful the hypothesis holds water. At least now I
know there is hope, because today I laughed. It felt good, it felt real and it
felt like I might be able to do it again.