Do you ever get nostalgic and think about what your life would be like today if you made different decisions yesterday? I think this sentiment is common, especially for the bereaved.

I was boy crazy since I took a breath of life. I searched for love all my life, found it at age 38 and lost it 13 years later when my late husband died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage, leaving me widowed at 51.

3 out of 4 of my siblings have been happily married for decades now. Most of my friends are as well. I’m the odd man out, the widow. Time and hard work have helped me not get down on myself over this and I find myself happy for others who have love.

Yet, sometimes I do wonder what life would be like for me if I chose a different path years ago. Would I still be widowed today? Or would I be happily married with a large extended family surrounding me with love and closeness? No way of knowing.

It’s easy to fantasize for the good and think about all the wonderful things that life could have brought me if I had made different decisions along the way. More children, more money, a bigger house, family, a husband that didn’t die suddenly in 2013…The list could go on and on.

Funny that when we fantasize about this stuff, we rarely go down the path of “it could have been worse.” Instead, we think about all the wonderful things we missed out on.

Yet, it could have been worse! What if I never had my son , then I wouldn’t have my three wonderful grandkids that keep me going and give me hope for the future. Even worse, what if I never met Glenn? What if I never found love at all? This list does not have to be long to realize that I am grateful for life I have today.

I think it’s normal to think these things. It’s the human condition to wonder. We all do it. Since being suddenly widowed almost 7 years ago I’ve learned to pick myself up, to stand tall and be proud of where I am at today. I know I had a great love, and nothing can ever take this away from me.

We are all a sum of all our parts, the good, the bad and the beautiful.


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