"Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don't even remember leaving open."
— Rose Wilder Lane
— Rose Wilder Lane
They would haunt me nearly every night.
No matter how happy the day, the sun would set, the moon would rise, and all that has happened before would rush into the room. A weight would settle on me, pinning me down to grief. I could hear his breaths from the pillow next to mine, and instead of feeling gratefulness, I felt bitter that I was forced to relive the unhappiness night after night. His dreams were peaceful, but mine would not let me forget, and I woke up crying so many times. How could I let go when something bigger than myself had taken hold of me that strongly? Those nights were lonely, set on fire with old rage, and left me battle weary.
And then, last night, I had a new dream. I dreamt that he and I renewed our vows. Happy music was playing, we were in love, and we danced and danced. I was wearing some sort of lovely dress, and he looked handsome. The evening was sweet and purple and warm, There were strings of white lights over our heads, and our hearts were so full. The people who gathered around watched us as if we were newlyweds. I felt the kind of pure elation that I hadn't felt in so long- not like a familiar, old friend returning, but a new friend that appeared out of the blue.
It's strange how those unconscious thoughts, and those that slip quietly into the empty spaces of the day, can shape a life. I no more chose the happiness than I chose the sadness, but both found me. Some days, the raw memories were all I could think of, while other days went by without them, but they would always find me in the nighttime. Maybe my body is tired of being sad, or maybe there has been enough life gone by that my thoughts have grown wings again. I don't know how it works, gaining a little hope back at a time, but I gasp for that air as much as I can now. I had forgotten how to take a whole breath. Is this how hearts heal and minds rest? I hope so.
There is an open door in the evening. He steps through it after a day at work, closes it behind him, and hugs the ones who are waiting for him in the hall. He rounds the corner. I am happy.
I have not felt that for so long.