Happy families are all alike; every happy family is unhappy in its own way, and hers was very unique.
It was a glorious day, the sky were crystal blue. The view outside her window was stunning. It was the early days of June, just the beginning of the summer, the whole valley was green and dotted with flowers colored in all various colors of the rainbow.
She looked at the pretty women staring back at her from the mirror. She wasn't so young any more, yet, her beauty did not fade. Laughter wrinkles (or was it sadness?..) were curved beside her eyes and on her brow, and she had to dye her hair to hide the white that now replaced almost all of her once striking shiny black hair. Her indigo blur eyes were as piercing as ever, and her lips still full and red like ripe prunes. She wanted to look at her best. She chose the sapphire earrings her first husband bought for her for their tenth anniversary. She loved those earrings, not only because they matched her eyes perfectly, but because they were the last thing her first love gave her before he died. She sighed deeply. The pain of his loss never left her. At the time, she thought she would never be able to collect the shredded parts of her heart, when they put Gerry into that dark hole in the ground, she wanted to jump in and join him, part of her did.
But today wasn't a day for sad memories. Today was a big day, maybe even the biggest of them all. She wanted to look glamorously happy, so that everyone will see this was the highlight of her desires. So she continued preparing herself; she opened the dresser drawer and took out a magnificent necklace made of real diamonds, pearls and drops of sapphire. This too was a precious token from a loved one. Knowing how much she loved the sapphire earrings, and how much they meant to her- Nathaniel, her second husband, had that necklace made especially for their wedding day. Not only that it was a beautiful master piece that made her look ever so glowing, she embraced it because it was his way of showing her that by opening her heart to him, he doesn't expect her to forget Garry. Nathaniel showed her the way back to happiness. He was patient, sensitive, and humble enough to co-exist alongside Garry. At the end of the day, she confessed to herself, he granted her with the biggest joy of life- motherhood. They had three wonderful and beautiful children.
But her dear Nathaniel did not live to see their grandchildren. Just a few months after their oldest son was married, his heart stopped. Again she deteriorated in that dark process of grief. She couldn't bare that kind of loss all over again. She had to pretend to be strong, for her children's sake. But inside she felt hollow. As if there was nothing left. She loved her family very much, they meant everything to her, but nevertheless she thought she was doomed to live the rest of her life lonesome.
She met Henry in therapy group. He had just lost his wife after 25 years of marriage. Her heart went out for him. Their sorrows melded and became one. They sat together and spoke for hours, long after everyone else in the group had left. When they decided to marry, it was as if they decided to march the path of mourning together. Somehow it eased the pain. But she grew found of him. With time, she understood, it was deeper that just fondness, she loved him. He reached some of the deepest parts of her inner self.
They had good years together, and he was such a good father and grandfather. He filled in the deep gap Nathaniel had left. But that did not last long. After five blessed years of good marriage, he passed. It was swift and merciful. He died in his sleep. This time it was easier to let him go, seeing how peaceful he looked. But the pain curved deeper in her heart and guts. She couldn't even cry. Her silence was loud and fierce.
Her thoughts kept wandering to those dark and unhappy moments, but today she wanted to concentrate on the good. She wanted to make the most of the day. She took the special gown she had made especially for this day. For her second and third weddings she didn't want to wear white, like she did in her first wedding. Somehow it didn't seem right at the time, so she chose lilac and ivory. But today, she felt as if like in some kind of a mysterious cycle, she is like a bride in her first marriage. Today she wore white again. She felt whole and pure. She ordered a bouquet of flowers, exactly like the one Henry used to bring her on their anniversaries. It was a mix of white roses and blue morning glories. It matched her dress and jewelry perfectly.
It was time. The whole family gathered for the occasion. She had also invited some close friends. She didn't want it to be something grand, but she did want to be surrounded with loved ones. And she wanted that day to be remembered as a happy day; the day that set her free.
She went outside, and couldn't ignore the whispers of the crowd. She was stunning, and she was happy. She walked on the blue carpet. She didn't want it to be red; red reminded her of blood and death, and she wanted exactly the opposite. She wanted eternal life; a life with no separations and no sorrows. She wanted to unite with the three loves of her life. Ever since the doctor told her that her illness is incurable, and that she has only a few months left, she planned that day carefully. She decided to celebrate her departure from this world...