It wasn’t until the drive home that David realized what was happening. Was she really gone? Thirty-seven years ago they made a vow that was fulfilled last week, and he couldn’t imagine a life without her. When they wed, the priest told them that two lives would become one, and since there could be no half-life, David could not picture going on without her.
A deep sadness overcame David as he continued on his drive. He longed for their early years of marriage, those frivolous days of laugher and shallow bliss. Then he thought of when the children came, and he remembered, in his sad state, how those babies revealed to David and his bride the true meaning of a marriage, that is building a family. And then David thought about how the children had grown and occupied themselves with their own lives, and how he and his wife had cherished what their marriage had became in those later years, when it was just the two of them again.
David drove on, and in remembering those later years with her something changed within him. He could barely hold onto the feeling, but somewhere deep down something was growing at the bottom of David’s sorrow. In effort to grasp this thing, David thought more about his life and his marriage and how his wife and his children had become a part of his whole being. He again remembered the priest’s promise on their wedding day, that two lives would become one, and he felt that their children were also now a part of this one life. He kept thinking about this and he kept driving.
Then, at the bottom of his sorrow, David began to recognize that growing thing inside him was perfect joy. Through his thoughts and memories and through something else, he felt his bride was still with him. He began to feel almost ashamed of his sorrow, and he began to feel his memories and thoughts were silly and insignificant. Then he felt that he, his bride, the children, and even the strangers driving in the cars beside him, with all of their silly thoughts and memories, were all somehow connected, all somehow a part of his life. He became overwhelmed with joy, and he wept like he hadn’t wept in decades, since he was a silly little boy. He no longer felt he would be half of a life. He felt more alive than he ever had before. He was one life made not of two parts, but of billions plus something else holding everything together. She gave him this gift. And David kept on driving in this state of perfect joy until he reached their home.
Categories: Short Stories