It's funny - we spent barely more than half of our marriage living together. Although we got married in March, he still lived in Massachusetts and I still lived in Kansas. We had a long-distance marriage until that August, when he was finally able to move out here to be with me and my kids. At that point, I thought that life couldn't get any better. I finally had the man that I was so deeply in love with living with me, and we started trying for a baby immediately. It didn't take long - I was pregnant by October. :)
But while we were trying to build our life together, it was already falling apart. It didn't take me long to realize that he was an alcoholic, but it took me a long time to admit it to anyone, including myself. We tried to make it work - he even went to rehab at one point - but it just didn't work. The final straw came in May 2009 when the alcoholism just became too much for me to handle anymore and I asked him to leave - for good this time. It was by far the hardest decision that I ever made in my life, but I know that it was the right one for me and for my kids.
We lived together for about 2 years and 9 months. Not very long in the grand scheme of things. There are so many good memories, but also so many sad ones. Today I have been thinking about all of them. The day that we got married was crazy. I had flown to Massachusetts to see him and his family for a weekend, and I had taken my barely 2 month old son with me. We had a great time, I met some of his family, and then I was scheduled to fly back out that Monday, I believe. We got the crazy idea to elope and we rescheduled my flight in order to make that happen. We ran all over Plymouth that day making the necessary arrangements - we had to get a waiver to avoid the waiting period, which involved going before a judge, we had to go to a convenience store to get money orders to pay the fees, had to make several trips to the clerk's office...but it was a fun day and we got married. We went back to his house and told his mother and celebrated.
Looking back now, I know that we rushed into it, and realistically we never should have done it. But we did. It certainly didn't turn out the way that I wanted it to, but I have to believe that everything that happened did so for a reason. It has all become a part of me, and a part of my life, and it has played a part in who I am today. I know without a doubt that I loved him very much, and in a way I still do - I miss the good times that we had and wish that there could have been more. But it wasn't meant to be. When he was sober, he was a wonderful, kind, loving man - and I will always miss that man, the one that I fell in love with.
I have shed more than a few tears today, but I know that it is all a part of the healing process. This day will pass along with all of the others, and the pain will fade even more with time. For the most part, I have come to accept his death, but there are still those moments where it sneaks up on me and smacks me in the face. It hasn't even been two months yet, and I know that it will continue to sneak up on me for months, even years, to come. His death is a part of our lives now, and we are going to go on living. Our son will hear the happy stories about his father, and he will know that he was a good man, despite the demons within him.