Years ago, when Scott proposed, I said yes. Actually, I nodded my head, but that nod meant, “Yes! I will marry you! I will spend my life with you!” We thought that yes meant many years of happily ever after.The future was ours. Back on that day in March of 2001, we had no idea our time together on Earth was short. Two children, life changes, marriage ups and downs, and one diagnosis of cancer later, Scott was in Heaven and I was here alone.
However, I am not a person who is meant to navigate this life in solitary confinement. I am a person with love to give. When I was ready, and maybe a little before, I met my Chapter 2. In a different way, with a different man, I fell in love and knew we’d be together until death do us part.
This time, when I said yes, I knew what it meant. This time around, I said “Yes to the mess.” When you’re 21 and say yes, you immediately start thinking of the dress, the flowers, the church and the wedding. The second time around when I said yes, it was not to the dress or the wedding. Instead, I said yes to the marriage, the life, the family, the love, and the mess that comes with those commitments.
Joining two families and bringing them together as one is a mess. There are other parents alive and dead, children who have adjusted, and have to adjust again. Big feelings, fears, loss, love, and hope also stop by for the family. This time around, I knew that when I said yes, the love and life are here today, but tomorrow is not guaranteed.
It’s not about saying yes to the wedding, the love, the hopes and dreams. Instead, it is saying yes to life, loss, love, sadness, anger, frustration, combining, adapting. We say yes to the marriage, the love, the hardships, and the moments of wonderful. We cherish and live today, because this time around we know: it may be messy today, but tomorrow it all could be gone. We open our hearts, say yes, and let the feelings flow.
I said yes to the mess, and while it has been full of ups, downs and all arounds, I would do it all again. It’s not a perfect life, but this mess, this family is perfect for us.