FOR BETTER OR WORSE:

Lisa Gastaldo
Human Parts

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A 25th Anniversary Love Letter to my Dead Husband

I've begun this missive multiple times. Spurts of dialog verbalized in my dreams. Numerous scribbled passages were wadded up and subsequently rescued. I stared blankly at a flashing cursor for hours.

How do I write a letter to you on the occasion of our 25th wedding anniversary when death did us part?

Do I recount the details of our nuptials? How I had fantasized about a ceremony with the pomp of the Sound of Music? Should I divulge we desired a reception that rivaled the Godfather? Do I elaborate on how my cathedral-length veil and our 45-minute tarantella helped to realize the vision?

We opted for spring in a vain attempt to evade the valley heat. (It was 110!) The priest that had witnessed the birth of our relationship was enlisted to perform the nuptial rite. All I Ask of You from Phantom was sung as we lit the unity candle.

Anywhere you go, let me go, too.

I feel as if our life’s story has been ripped in half. The latter chapters were snatched away and callously thrown into the wind. I've tried to recapture some of the pages, frantically grasping whatever I could as they whirled about. Re-affixing the adrift sheets has been haphazard at best. Puckered with tear stains, they don’t quite fit. Their fragility only permits a tenuous binding.

What tales would exist had we not lost a chief protagonist? Would we have stayed in our home? Would our sons have chosen different paths? Which friends would we still socialize with? I have an entirely new circle of acquaintances and confidantes that only know you through my memories. To them, you are a historical figure. In what aspects would our future history have been different?

We had modest aspirations: raising a family, becoming grandparents, a trip to Italy. We anticipated bumps along the road and gathered provisions. But circumstances quickly depleted our physical supplies and drained our emotional reserves. Still, we mustered through it all, as couples do, and deepened the bonds between us…

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Lisa Gastaldo
Human Parts

Writer. Mother. Widow. Survivor. Looking for life’s perfect fit at SearchingForBigGirlPanties.com