Susan, I love Our Love Story. Before I met you, I always wondered when and where I would find you. My life with you does seem like the perfect story to me. I feel blessed and lucky to have you in my life. It feels unreal to have such a happy home and loving family.
I Love You, Sean
Those are the words I wrote in the Anniversary card I gave my wife for our 8th Anniversary on February 8th, 2011. She died suddenly on February 25th. I have been battling with why Our Love Story ended...or did it end? I still love her as much as I ever did and I can't imagine that changing.
The beginning starts like most good love stories do...two friends that accidentally become soul mates. Susan was 29 and I was a much younger 26, not by age, but maturity. We were introduced by our mutual friend "Downtown" Jenny. Susan was a friend of Jen's from High School...I was Jen's College friend. We became Jen's last two single friends...for better or worse, Jen paired us off.
We both were coming out of bad times in our twenties and we were truly just friends on the surface for months...although we both knew deep down "the face across" was more. There was no first date, no asking out. One night we were talking and we truly fell asleep in my apartment. I woke up the next morning and her nose was pressed into my back. I rolled over and said, "I guess you're my girlfriend now."
Our relationship from the start was like a story book. We got married after dating for three years, we bought a house, we started a family, we added to the family, we lived happily ever after...until that Friday night.
Just a normal Friday. Kissed her goodbye at 6:30 in the morning. First on the forehead, then she stuck out her arm and I kissed it so she could roll over and go back to sleep. A little ritual we had that went unspoken.
We never spoke again...I heard her voice at 5:37 pm. She called my cell phone as I was leaving work. She was at our son's pizza party for his basketball team. I was one of the coaches, but couldn't make the party because of work. She said, "Here he is..." The 7 year old boys yelled, "Thanks Coach Sean." Another coach grabbed the phone and told me thanks.
When my phone rang again about an hour later, her name popped up...I answered...a voice asked, "Is this the husband of this cell phone user? Your wife is having a medical emergency."
She died before I could get to her. A blood clot straight to her heart while she was shopping with my boys for summer sandals. She was gone in minutes, if not seconds as my boys watched. Susan was the example of health. She ate well, exercised and had qualified this past October for her 2nd Boston Marathon. But she was gone.
Over the last nine weeks I have tried to stumble my way through this new life that was thrown on my family. But my biggest struggle is that her death hasn't changed my love. I'm here still...in love still...alone now.
I added to that anniversary card the only words that I could think described Our Love Story now.
a canyon is formed from a trickle of water that turns into a thriving river...it flows across the rock with power and grace...and over time the river shapes the canyon making it beautiful and powerful...eventually nature takes that river and the canyon looks and feels incredibly empty, but it was still created by the presence of that exquisite river...every part of it was touched by those surging waters...every part of that canyon holds the memory of those waters in it's walls...I feel incredibly empty, but Susan's love flowed over me and shaped me...and that will never change...her grace and beauty was absorbed into my very soul...I am now and forever transformed by her love...Susan Marie...you made me the man that I could be...your love was kind and gentle and beautiful like a subtle river that seems to continue forever...flows endlessly and will never stop...