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Throughout my thirty-seven first marriage that I ended in 2012, I’d measured my success in life with the reassurance that I would never divorce. When I did divorce, though, I knew from the beginning it was the right thing to do, even while acknowledging it could never be a good thing.
Unlike that divorce, widowhood was thrust upon me quite unexpectedly. Throughout what turned out to be an all too short marriage to Carolyn, I’d never expected I’d be living my life as a widow. Yet, when it happened, my sorrow over losing Carolyn – from the first moment I kissed her cold cheek for the last time – has been buoyed more by the happy years we were able to share than the ones ahead we were never going to have.
The photo that did it for me was of her kneeling over the memorial brick of her deceased husband Mike that had been placed at Angels Stadium, home of his favorite team. Carol’s smile as she pointed to Mike’s brick was one of genuineness, resilience and ever-radiating optimism. In the narrative of her 44-year marriage that she’s written for my blog, Carol described Mike as her best friend. And here she was smiling over his memorial brick as if she’d happened upon his living self by surprise. I thought: she’s in the same place as I am with Carolyn.