Most of the time I am impressed with how far I’ve come. I can think about Jon and talk about him, even talk about difficult memories, without breaking down into tears. It’s the moments that come over me out of nowhere, the intense feelings that hit like a ton of bricks. It’s the times when I remember, all over again, the tragedy that occurred in my life. A miracle and a tragedy – all wrapped into one, too-short love story.
I sit here, clicking through picture after picture . . . each a piece of our journey and I can see my own reflection in the background of the computer screen. And every so often, I have to remind myself that these pictures I’m looking at, are of me. I was there. I was with Jon. He was here. We did this, we did that, we were happy. Sometimes I still don’t recognize that girl anymore. Or maybe this girl . . . I’m not sure. It feels like a lifetime ago, and in some ways, it was.
This girl is happy. Happier than I ever imagined I’d get to be again. And every single day I am surprised and grateful for the gift of true love . . . a gift I have received not just once but twice, in my 26 years on this planet. A treasure I thought I would only experience in memories for the rest of my life. A blessing I was sure I’d only get once in a lifetime. A miracle that I thought began and ended with Jon.
I know, with every part of me, that he had a large part in my second chance. He never wanted to leave me. He was more afraid of that than dying. Knowing Jon, who he was as a person, and the immense selfless, unconditional love he had for me, I am sure he decided if he could not physically be on this earth to love me for the rest of my life, then he’d pick the perfect person to do it. And knowing the way he truly knew me, he recognized that this love had to go above and beyond, because I was SURE and 100% convinced I’d never experience that kind of love again. He knew it would have to be special. It would have to be right in front of my face. It would have to be intense and ‘you’re-an-idiot-if-you-don’t-get-it’ easy. It would have to include no room for doubt, and also no room for comparison. He chose someone who was completely different than he was in so many ways, yet so wonderful in so many of the same ways. He picked someone who would be able to give me so many of the things I wanted in life that he could never give me himself. He also chose someone who would never attempt to write a song for me . . . he wanted to keep the upper hand there. Haha He chose someone he knew would love me the way he believed I should be loved, and most of all, someone I could love back just as much.
Maybe this all sounds sort of far-fetched. Perhaps you think I have a false sense of grandiosity. Maybe it sounds like I think I’m some special case. But the truth is, I don’t. I just know how Jon felt about me. How he saw me. And I will never stop wondering why. Why he picked me . . . why he loved me as much as he did . . . what he saw inside me. And what I did to deserve that kind of love . . . and why I’m somehow worthy enough to be loved like that again.
I have seen enough terrible things happen to good people to know that not everyone gets a second chance. Not everyone gets “rewarded” or blessed after facing heartache. Sadly, that’s not how life works. But in my heart, as hard as it is to find reasons for things, I believe there are reasons. I was meant to be by Jonathan’s side for the rest of his life . . . but by some twist of fate, he wasn’t meant to be with me for the rest of mine. I will never understand that, but I have to believe, he does. I like to imagine he has perfect clarity now. That he can understand everything. That if anyone knows my future, if anyone sees a plan laid out before me, he does. I hope he’s with me, guiding me along the path I should be on. Scratch that, I know he is.
I wrote a blog a long, long time ago about my difficulty believing in God and committing to religion. I wrote that LOVE was my religion; because it was the only thing I could feel when I closed my eyes . . . the only thing I could have absolute, unconditional faith in. That continues. LOVE is my higher power.
I miss Jon constantly. Mostly I miss his presence, what he brought to this world, and my life. Sometimes, I miss who I was before he left. We were so hopeful, so convinced that we could take on the world. I hate that I’ve experienced such a loss, and whether I like it or not, I know it has changed me as a person. I guess we are all shaped by our experiences – good and bad.
I am thankful. For the miracle that was my time with Jon, for the personal angel I know is always with me, for the belief and strength that relationship brought me, for what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown as a person. I am thankful for that love story.
I am grateful (and excited) for this new love story. For this person who was sent to me, who understands who I am, why I am who I am, and who loves me in a way that I pray everyone gets to experience at least once in his or her lifetime. He is everything I could ever hope to find. I was handed another miracle.
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