The Letter that Changed My Life
I remember the day well. We had spent the weekend in Houlton at my husband’s family’s and Matthew retrieved the mail. Nothing was done with it, as I was having surgery the next day so our minds were elsewhere.
The following morning, Matthew took me in for my outpatient surgery. I have been having pains in my stomach, and my surgeon was going to remove excess scar tissue that had grown from my uterus onto my other organs. This was a simple, outpatient surgery, but I could see the terror in my fiance’s eyes all the same. Before they took me away, he told me, “I love you and I will be here when you wake up. I will always be here for you, babe.” I smiled at his words, and my heart swelled for adoration for this man who continues every day to promise to love me and be there for me forever. The man, I had already agreed, to love and support for a lifetime as well.
Surgery went well, and that afternoon I was home and resting comfortably, thanks to medications, in bed. I was barely aware of what was going on around me. I knew the kids were at my mother’s for the day, and my husband was sitting at the desk in the bedroom. I vaguely remember hearing him sniffle. I asked, “is everything okay?” He had lost his own mom to cancer the previous year, and sometimes things make him think of her, and he will cry.
“We will talk about it later,” he managed to squeek out. My husband, a big, strong, solid man’s man was crying…this was not going to wait until later.
“You can tell me now, hun. What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I was going through the mail and I got a letter about registration,” he simply said, “we will talk about it later”.
No amount of medication was going to stop me from completing this conversation. I was confused. Why would he be crying over a letter from the State of Maine asking him to register….and register what? Our cars were already registered, the boat which sat in our back yard was never used, and we didn’t have a dog. I didn’t understand.
“I have to register as a sex offender,” he muffled, as he turned to me with tears streaming down his rose tinted cheeks.
All I could managage to say, in my disbelief, is, “it’s going to be okay.” I didn’t know how, I didn’t know why, and I barely was grasping the life altering effects this would have on our family, but I did somehow know that we were going to be okay. He crawled into bed with me and we consoled each other for the rest of the night. Both of us having our own reasons for needing the other, and both unwilling to budge from the grasp we held on one another. We layed there wondering what the future had in store, and wondered about changes that might have to be made in our family structure. I wondered, could it be, this was all a dream and if so, when will I wake up….
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