She spent years in loneliness. Then one night while listening to something on the television it struck her. In her lifetime she had loved, truly loved two men outside of family.
The first one stole her heart when she was sixteen. He didn’t even know he’d done it. She wasn’t sure when she actually knew, but when she did there was no one else for her.
Due to a tragic incident after high school when she finally knew he cared, she hurt him in the worst kind of way. Feeling as though the tragedy and its burden were hers to bear she let him think the worst. His life went on and she bore the guilt for every misstep he took or that befell him in the ensuing years. It took a lifetime for her to realize they were his mistakes to make and she should not feel guilty. That’s when her heart finally let him go. (Although she admits, even to herself, part of him will always live in her heart).
The second man came along while she was in college. They became fast friends. When she stupidly found herself pregnant he was there. Even offering to marry her. She refused. Not because she didn’t love him, but because she did not feel she deserved him. When he proposed again a few years later, it was because he wanted her to help him raise his own child. By then fear of making a mistake held her back.
Now, in her “old” age she is able to see that either of them given the chance would have stood beside her through anything. For both of them loved her. Something she did not understand when she was young. They both saw her flaws, but they found something else. Something making them a whole as it made her when she was with them.
In life there is no redo. You get one chance and do the best with it you can. If she could go back with the knowledge she has now, things would be greatly altered. Going back is not allowed. Finding her way forward with this new found knowledge is all she can do.
Surprisingly her heart is not broken. Nor does she mourn what might have been. She is happy for the memories of what was and looks forward to what will be. Life is not over yet, nor is it complete.