Chapter 40: Dear John


Acadia National Park, ME

There are moments in our lives where everything stops, for a second, for a minute, for hours or days.  We find ourselves staring into space, too numb to even move, and confused about the absence of tears.  That is where I found myself yesterday.

The timing of this is not lost on me, as 9 years ago, in February, is when I decided to take my life from the grips of your hands.  When I heard the news, I was stunned, then my first thoughts went to your kids.  Then more staring, more confusion, and so many text messages I could not keep my phone charged.

One Facebook post hit me the hardest and then the cathartic tears came, as needed, and maybe, just maybe I could put one word on my emotions right now, that would be sad.  I did not wake up confused, dazed or even crying, but I woke up after 9 years of not being afraid to go to sleep, slept through the night, a rarity for me.  You see that Facebook post was written to you.  My friend telling you that you lost and they got ME.  All of them have walked through the last 9 years with me.  The health issues, the court issues, money issues, and profound sadness in those early days.

So, I decided this is what I would tell you if I could.  I do not have any regrets, and guilt is not an emotion I felt from the onset of the news, nor do I now.  I know that during our 12 year marriage and many more times after I told you I forgave you. I wished that you would stop chasing your demons, and get some help.  It appeared at the end that you did that, then fell off the wagon again; making questionable, shady, perhaps illegal deals all the way to the end.  So while my faith tells me you probably aren’t with Jesus, I don’t know your heart, maybe at some point in your profound pain and loneliness you found Him.

I am sad for so many reasons.  Just a few weeks ago, I went through our wedding pictures, kept the ones of everybody and cut you out of all of them.  It was a little cathartic, as I wondered what to do with all of those pictures for years.  I am sad for what should have been.  We did have some good times, and clearly I saw something good, right and redeemable in you or I would not have married you.  I think the argument could be made that had I grown up with a father, I never would have married you.  I got a family on June 29, 1997.  You had the chance to fill voids left by abandonment and abuse; yet you chose to take away my self esteem instead of building it up.  Such a missed opportunity.

I loved your mom to death and I loved how she would laugh at me yelling at the TV during Jaguars games; it was our thing, loved Sunday’s at her house.  I love both of your children, somehow I bonded to them, and loved hearing the word “mom” because I knew I would never hear it from my own children.  I loved to listen to your sister play music, I loved Maine, and in fact, that is one place I have no negative memories of you.

Yesterday was the day I dreaded during the time we were married; that you would find a way to die.  I don’t know what happened, it doesn’t matter, but I truly hope you are at peace.  As for me, I don’t have to be afraid anymore and I feel like a free butterfly ready to fly and put the last band-aid on my wounds.  I will always love you John, I always did.  May you rest in peace.