Advice to my younger self.

To love and win is the best thing.  To love and lose, the next best. ~ William M. Thackeray

Dear Pat,

So you’re planning to get married.  This is a big decision and I know you’ve given it much thought.  Your children and how this second marriage will affect them is uppermost in your mind.  You have a new teaching job, and you and the girls could eke out a living without D in your lives.  You hope they will all get along but you don’t know that for sure.  D is very easy-going and seems to want to get along with them.  But how are the older daughters going to feel about a step-father who is significantly younger than their mom?  Not so great, probably.  You’ve recently learned that D isn’t exactly the person you thought he was.   But it’s nothing big, a small deception that doesn’t change how you feel about him.

What is my advice to you?  Since hindsight is supposedly twenty-twenty, I also know your heart.  The love and caring and passion that you feel for D is like nothing you’ve ever felt before.  I know that he got on his knee and put a diamond on your finger and asked you to marry him because he loved you, too, and he was willing to take on the challenge of a ready-made family.  I also know that this marriage will not last forever as you hope it will.  But listen up, young Pat, life doesn’t come with guarantees and the deep love that you feel for D may come along only once in a lifetime.  For some, it never comes.  My advice to you–go for it!  You’ll have many opportunities to play it safe in the years to come, this is not one of those times.

I feel sad about the pain you and D and the girls (and yes, the grandchildren) will endure when the marriage falls apart.  I know now, though, that you will all get through it and be stronger on the other side.  As the years pass the sad times will start to fade and you will be able to cherish the memories of some fabulous vacations, camping across the US, wonderful parties, a beautiful wedding on the lake, D and S stealing crispy garlic fries from each other (that one always makes me laugh), D’s “How y’all doin’ ” when you went to Maine–so many good times that you will always have.  Remember, no one can take those away.

Oh, and one more thing–I hope the photo above doesn’t offend you.  I couldn’t resist it because it is a perfect depiction of how you felt about your groom at the time of the wedding and for a long time thereafter.

Don’t forget:  Life is good.

Love, Pat


14 thoughts on “Advice to my younger self.

  1. Just catching up with entries I had missed, including the 5 miles per day walk that generated so much email in our group. I love how you mesh pictures, quotes, and entry together. You have a gift, and not only for brevity. 😉 I need to see you in the red shirt!


  2. You said it so eloquently. It’s a good lesson for all of us…to remember and retain the good parts of the past and to appreciate them for what they were and for the things they added to our lives. BTW: I LOVE the cake!


  3. This is why I love reading your Blog. This is a lovely wise and forgiving post that remembers the best of someone whilst having to have gone through the worst. It is inspiring to read. I loved it,


  4. Beautiful Pat! Nice to see that you don’t regret the decision you made at the time, but rather cherish the memories you made.
    You are totally at a point of acceptance. And thats wonderful!
    I wish ypu many more new happy memories with your children, grandchilren, friends and even just with yourself.
    Hugs X


    • Thanks, bye2. I certainly have time to get to know me. Some of it’s okay and some of me needs work. We never stop being works-in-progress, do we? And that’s just the way it’s supposed to be, I think.


  5. This is beautiful. I hope D reads it and remembers too what both of you had. This is a wonderfully inspirational and forgiving post.

    It is so important to remember that no-one can take the precious memories away – no matter what they do. And to remember them in their pure form shows how well you’re doing.

    Thank you – as usual you’ve helped and reminded the rest of us going through similar trauma that there is a light at the end of the tunnel



  6. This is precious! (I love the pic – it captures your spirit at wedding time perfectly.) To be able to cherish those memories without rekindling the pain has got to be the best sign that you have Arrived. Keep it up girl.


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