This completes the trifecta of posts about the person from my past and the decisions we made that forever connect us.

Tonight, I received the apology I hadn’t realized how much I’ve needed. But moreover, I learned that I’m not the only one battling demons, not that I would wish pain of this proportion on any human. Granted, I faced my biggest obstacles head-on, and long ago. And his dragons are taking longer to be slain. I say this not with any emotion other than understanding.

This reminds me of when my grandmother died. I battled with my grief immediately. Mom popped Valium to get through the tragedy, but when the pills ran out, the pain came rushing through the door, knocking the wind out of her. The mind can be a dark lair sometimes, and seeking refuge and answers there, in the aftermath of avoidance, usually creates more long-term damage.

I had a distinct memory tonight, one long forgotten, of when I offered for him to start his life over with me. That maybe we shouldn’t give up — that maybe, just maybe, we could make the situation work. All it would have taken from him would have been one word, a simple affirmative, and life would have been so different. I’m not implying that different would have equalled better, though.

When I was in the hospital recently, I was asked about this a dozen times. As much as I’ve put this behind me, there will always be a reason to dredge it up. My medical history will always have a mark on it, much like my heart.

But tonight, my heart is doing a lot better than it has been for the past two and a half years. And it will be fine until Valentine’s Day, when I will inadvertently realize that I might have been celebrating a second birthday, were a question answered in another way. But then I wouldn’t be where or who I am today, either, and maybe the end of one opportunity precipitated the accomplishment of others … and the dream of many more.

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