When getting married the second time, I knew exactly what I was doing. I was motivated by love. In the light of day the internal dysfunction that beat on me constantly could not be seen. And in time it took control again. While my then-wife was not blameless, my behavior is ultimately what brought a divorce.
I really did love her. Always will. There I a debt of gratitude I carry for her for how she helped me when I earnestly got into recovery from PTSD, childhood trauma, compulsion, depression and such. Even after divorce she came around and gave me support for a couple of years before telling me she had to get on with her life and could no longer have contact with me.
In time I have come to accept A. moving on. I understand she did what she needed to do for herself. She remarried and has custody of the child of a family member. She always wanted to be a Mother and I bet she is doing a great job raising that little boy.
Two weeks ago my mobile phone rings. Caller ID says it’s ‘her’. It’s been a long time since we’d spoken and I was surprised. I answer and soon notice it’s a ‘pocket dial’. To no avail I tried making whistling noises and such to get her attention so she’d know I was on the other end of the phone.
For a couple of minutes I listened to her sing along with the little boy while driving. It was touching when she switched to “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray, you’ll never know dear how much I love you, so please don’t take my sunshine way…”
You see those were the words we sang at least part of to each other just about every day while hugging and greeting each other after being apart. My first reaction was sadness, but it was quickly replaced with good feelings. It was with the knowing the only way she could be singing those words was if she was past the hurt of our relationship.
It was the happiness in her voice that meant the most. It lifted a good bit of my weight off the hook I had kept myself hung on for hurting her.
While I could have kept listening, I smiled and pressed disconnect instead. Initially the thought came I should text her or email to let her know about accidentally calling me, but thought better of it. There would have been no point except to bring a little of her attention to me.
I will never know if A. realizes she called me without knowing it. I actually hope she doesn’t. The accidental phone call gave me a good bit of relief from the guilt I was still carrying about the end of our marriage.
I will always love her, but can do so now easier in a past-tense sense. Knowing she is happy and content living a life that contains her dream of motherhood made me feel good. After all, if a person truly loves another it’s that person’s happiness that is most important. It’s another small example of a divine force at work. What might appear only as an accidental phone call was a blessing of grace. To the source from which all things originate I will always be grateful for this gift.
Love is when the other person’s
happiness is more important
than your own.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.